Saturday, 28 September 2013

all you need is ..

LOVE... nah uh.. PHONE

Maps , Restaurant Menus to relationship advice.. today what does a phone not give you ? 

I am hooked on to this new app called Quora. Downloaded this cool app a couple days back on my phone and its been my companion ever since.  A wide variety of topics to choose from People , Places, Stock markets , travel , polictics , recipes. You pick what you like to read about.  Intelligent questions find quite intelligent responses here.

"You cant make good deals with bad people" - this is what i learnt from Quora today..

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Captain of a ship (wreck)

This dates back to the year of 2009. Every time a Professor announced that this semester's coursework is a group one , instantly one could hear murmurs in the class. Friends , peers and rival teams devising a perfect plan for a winning team. One could hear in silent whispers, "Let’s take her, she has the experience in Pharmaceuticals" and another gesturing a classmate sitting in the opposite corner, “we will be in one team". I would dread the 'work in progress' stage.  Judging from the experience of two group coursework in the past , there is always peculiar traits in one or the other of the team members.
  • a person who is lazy and procrastinates
  • a person who dominates / alpha male
  • A person just incapable of comprehending the basics.
  • the wise crack who loves to criticize others ideas and isn't talented enough to produce his own
As my luck would have it, i worked with team mates with all of the above traits in one person or weird permutation and combinations in one or the other. This made me cringe to the idea of group work. I would never understand , what coursework one could do brilliantly solo, turned out to be a average piece of work when working collectively.

I understood this after working for 3 years in the business.
Manpower Management , you get this right and you have nailed it.  Business schools insist on  group works because in the real world we do not work in isolation. There is no appointed leader in university coursework and hence there is trouble.

As you grow the business, you have to ready the second in line to your business. In our company , we have so many things that are going wrong. Seniority comes with experience and knowledge from growing in the same working environment. The staff is unskilled, our products are not well designed , there is no delegation of authority , the real masters are missing. The list goes on and on.

I am at my demotivated best.  I keep telling myself , this is not i was born to do .. this is no use of my full potential.

A friend responded . " I just want to be the captain of the ship and sail with my crew".   I responded, " Same here !! its just that i am looking for human beings worthy being my crew ".    As on today , I got none.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

You know its love when you..

  • Take two cute names and put them together to get a cuter name , and start calling them just that and other variations of the same word. [and none of the names make any sense]
  • When they speak highly about a film,with great excitement its a movie date night.. Half way through the film your eyes shut. Disappointed , they let you lie down in their lap and watch their favorite film all alone.
  • When you sulk being at your favorite place / destination / restaurant / movie , hating ever minute being away from them
  • When you watch Iron man 3 in 3D  to watch the smile on their faces throughout the movie
  • When you hummm idiotic HINDI Bollywood songs and shamelessly and type them on sms
  • When you visit the mecca of paan , Varanasi , and don't have one because they were missing 

Friday, 23 August 2013

The best bunch of Idiots ever

Barely a week from celebrating Independence Day  , what news does one wake up to ? 
Gang Rapes , Murder , Extortion , Govt Scams , Child Molestation , Buildings crumbling like a pack of cards & children dying to Malnutrition. A week ago, close to 15th August, a majority of us changed your profile pictures on Facebook , BBM etc with the Indian Flag , soldiers fighting in Kargil , Mahatma Gandhi with his spinning wheel. Patriotic films being played on television. All of us gung- ho about the pride to be a citizen of this great country. I did that too.
What does being an Indian mean to any of us ?  We are the guinea pigs of various politicians vote bank dramas. We are so susceptible and vulnerable to everything these days.  Why should i be proud to be a citizen of this Country ? Rather what should i be proud about ?
- the poor state of public services - pot-holed roads injustice -ever increasing  prices of bare necessities, -poverty - crimes -  inflation - horrible value of Indian rupee . The list is never ending.
So on big days like Independence Day and Republic day , please can someone tell me what are we celebrating here.

A self respecting, moral Indian is ashamed every morning reading in the daily newspaper. I often read newspaper in the evening , avoiding news in the mornings because who wants to start a day with feeling miserable about living in this world. Today was an exception. The morning news runs a story of a 22 year old girl gang raped in Mahalakshmi , an affluent neighborhood in South Bombay. She was raped whilst she was at a run down mill in the area. She was accompanied by a male friend who was beaten up.  The police asks the girl whether did she acquire proper permissions to take photographs at the abandoned mill.  I ask, why ? If there were not permissions taken then is it permissible to be gang raped ?  What a ridiculous question! And the newspaper prints it too.

Rape has, of late, become an acute disease in the Indian society.  This is a problem arising out of a mental disorder, but there is also a larger cultural context that, to an extent, explains how the Indian male became so brutal.
Our cultural upbringing conditions male minds to behave in a cruel fashion with women. Family upbringing, societal conditioning, religious sagas and political animus, all construct our men and women into being what they are — men as aggressive and women as submissive. Which is why men here, in India, are different from men in other countries. 
Every time a gruesome rape gets reported, we all are ashamed and angry. That’s one thing; but working out ways and means to eradicate such evil is another thing. We cannot leave it entirely to the police or the judiciary to tackle such heinous acts. For, rape is also a cultural problem; and it is a more serious problem because of the extermination of the victim. We need to treat the malaise from its very roots.

Mumbai legislation bans night clubs , dance bars ,prostitution, couples canoodling in public , PDA etc.  They dont want the youth to have a life here in the city. There is restriction to express love openly to the other. And this is where the suppression leads to heinous acts like these. Radicals are known to arrest brave-hearts expressing their views on social networking sites.  Our authorities are busy shooing couples from Marine Drive , while gang rapes are taking place in stone throw distance.

As a travel professional , how do i give assurance to my clients , who btw are very worried about these crimes before visiting our country.  Our nation's tourism is suffering, our businesses are suffering.

Jungles have more order than this city.   

Mumbai MOTTO :  Crib - Suffer - Bribe - Attack - Suffocate

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Right Place , Wrong Time

Rant Alert:

I am so out of my head these days. I am hating work. Lack of motivation , irresponsible staff and low benefits have put me down. I rather be sitting on a bench by the muddy seafront and read a book. Notice , how i didn't suggest being home. Because being home is no delight too.  People I know are behaving oblivious to their insanity.  why a total disregard to their existence ? I feel a victim of their bizarre behavior. Feels like i am at the right place at the wrong time. 

What comprises of a good holiday ? A good hotel, scenic beauty , fun activities , right company ?  I cannot help but wonder , that being in just the right place  but at a wrong time make a trip memorable ?

Three years ago , I visited Alton Towers with a bunch of idiots. After a lot of planning and who is coming , who is not ? we don't care lets just go, this short trip was planned. We were a group of 5 -6 people, a rather odd bunch. Alton Towers is Britain's largest and most visited theme park. Its UK's answer to Disney Land. I was very excited about visiting whilst all the planning. Getting there required a bus journey in the wee hours of the morning ,shuttle bus and a train ride. It was such a boring day ! I hated every second on being there. I realized it doesn't matter where you are, the right time and right company is essential to enjoy. even if the right company is just the one of yours alone.

I seek peace of mind.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Trust thy self

July has brought in some eye opening events into light. To be honest nothing that shocks me.

A distanced family member confessed tampering with our land ownership papers. Now this person was the trusted one by our family to manage our properties. And he turned out be be a crook. It has all come out in the open now. There is no hiding place.  Now sorting out this mess is a task. 
What a sheer waste of  my time and energy !

I have been told that i m a 'closed' person. Let me explain. Friends say that i dont share my problems easily. I have this guard around me that a handful of people can peek through.  I would say that could be true. I have trust issues. I confess that i do not trust people easily. In way I believe thats a good thing.

" For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth."

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The closer i get to seeing life, I am hating it !

Next time an Indian person rants about being ill treated in a foreign country will hear a ear full from me. We are living testimony to living in glass houses and throwing stones at others. But the instant a stone is hurled at them they come out blazing standing up for their beliefs. Who wants to hear the truth ? The truth has been strangled and buried under heaps of hypocrisy. In India, we are stereotyped according to the caste and religion we follow. And i cannot keep it in me anymore but downright disapprove of this ridiculous way of living.  In this city , one can get away by smooth talking with the cops in this regions native language. It ease out the tension instantly. We dont see the credibility of the person , we don't see the authenticity of the work to be done, all one wants to do is prove it to the other that they are one of their own and get the job done. You may spend your lifetime walking straight but soon you would realize that it doesn't bloody matter what you are doing. The definition of  right and wrong keeps changing as per  situation from people to people.    We might not fight for the color of our skin, but we do based upon the God you believe in. And when pointed out this fact , i have been said that i am being  ' unfair ' (YEAH RIGHT !!)

Right from school  we are taught, God is one. People have different religion , different ways to worship but all religions preach goodness. None of  them endorse cheating , fraud or killing of the other. In India , we are made to understand (at a very early age) that multiple religions co-exist.  SO while we are given no restrictions to make friends with other communities , sit , eat , chill with   "the others" we live in perfect harmony.

And now, i notice a bias in our day to day lives. Names are not just identity of the person , but it defies their nature / profession / family lineage / and even future instantly. Its a shame. I was brought up in liberal environment. I was taught the right from wrong and then told that the final decision was left to me.  

Up until i took that final decision. Thats when everything changed. One cant live in isolation, i agree, but i also agree that isolation is preferred than hypocrisy..

Thursday, 13 June 2013

I rather..

Take  a dip in the crystal clear waters of Sameranger Lake, Austria

Camp under the Aurora Boralis

Hike to Trolltunga Mountains , Norway

Stay warm at Turquoise Ice Lake Baikal, Russia

Dance around the Lavender fields in Provence, France
Take walks at Vadhoo Beach , Maldives

Romance in Santorini Islands, Greece

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

No pain,No gain

Starting of June has changed my life. I have taken some steps that are crucial life changing decisions and now standing up to what i feel is right for me. Its been a roller coaster ride.  I realize i cannot please everyone.. that just cannot happen. Sometimes I'm a roaring lion and the other times I'm a distraught soul.  We can not be everything to everyone nor can we do everything, especially at the same time. What we can be and do is our best !'!'!'  

Monday, 3 June 2013

You know you are vacationing in Indian Resort when..

  • You eavesdrop on a fellow guest reasoning with the Reception staff  insisting two extra beds in a room
  • Orders are placed for   "Tomato Soup  4 by 6, please "
  • Trust us to wear the most ridiculous Swim wear.. not only colorful full sleeves swim wear, but also sarees , salwar kameez, and burqa are allowed
  • Clothes drying line is a must have amenity in the room
  • 150 dishes expected out of a buffet menu (for every meal) and we attempt to try each of it in bulk quantities.
  • There is a appointment register for Table Tennis table & Carrom Board
  • Sign outside the pool says . "Urinating in POOL.. Strictly Prohibited"
  • One of the dishes  on display is  " Veg Steak - JAIN "
  • The balcony of the rooms has clothes drying on the coffee tables and chairs
  • Check in is at 15.00 hours and Check out is at 9.00 hours.  [and you find people checking in at 9.00 hours and checking out of the hotel at 15.00 hours]
  • Bathrobes have strict codes and WARNINGS not be be packed with your belongings while check out

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Who am i ?

In these last few months of 2013, life has asked me this question again and again..who am i ? what do i want ? Its as though God has sent me an angel from up above watching me over my shoulder. I am protected , spoilt by this angel. Its an Art of Living tutorial in a living being. I have learnt a lot about my self. Its like Vipaasna but with verbal communication. I need to ask my doctor friend, does our brain shrink with time ? Am i aging already ?  There are answers i seek from myself.

Where do i see myself in the next 5 years ?

What are my priorities ?

what are my career goals ?

what is an ideal relationship ?

why am i laid-back ?

what do i want ?

why fear ? why paranoia ?

why do i run away from my problems , instead of facing them ?
how unhealthy is my Ego ?

who am i ?

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Good Samaritan

Juhu is one of the busiest places in Mumbai. Juhu Beach, a popular hang out for many Indians. In fact many of the city tours has Juhu Beach as one its stops. Plenty of roadside eateries , toys and games are on sale throughout the 3 km beach stretch. The parking lots close to the beach are usually busy. This day Vikram and I are returning back to my car heading home. As we walk close to the car, I notice a Maruti Van parked rather out of the usual spots. A little walk ahead , I notice two men beating somebody. Vikram walks near to that car and i walk straight towards my car and then i see what is happening clearly. One man is beating a woman , his friend is what looks like trying ( Rather passively)  stop him. Now one thing you ought to know about Vikram, he cannot stand injustice on women. A lot  many times I have seen him stand up for women being ill treated. Vikram asks the man, " Sab theek hai ? (Is everything alright )". The man looks up, the way he talks and walks its evident that he is drunk, back answers "Kyun ? tu theek karega kya ?  (why ? would you make it alright ?)".  I ask Vikram to sit in the car and we quietly drive off ( just what any other chicken of a human would do *ashamed*). He starts throwing weight on Vikram. Rather rudely. The words he uttered were filthy. He signaled me to take my friend away.  The women steps out of the car is sobbing and limping. I notice that she is not a woman but a transgender dressed in a saree.  She walks up to Vikram sobbing and reaches out to touch his feet. The goon hurling abuses says that its their personal matter , and we have no business to get ask.  Vikram looks at me , I am pale petrified of whats going to happen. I yell at him to get back in the car.  The parking lot is empty.. what are the fucking chances ! Now this bastard of a man is so low that he is thrashing a woman.. he is a goon.. he can do anything.  Vikram is angry, i can see that, he is controlling because of my pleading. He walks towards us, by now i have sat in the car ,   ready for the boy to sit in and we go. Suddenly, the man reaches out to hit Vikram and there is a fight. Now there is lot of tugging and pulling. yelling of swear words. Vikram is yelling at him. I am shitting bricks, i want to take Vikram and run out of this place. I run out of the car and beg people around us to help. I felt so helpless, petrified & shivering. The goon's friend is trying to separate the two.  People who i asked to help, walked up but then looking at the transgender woman, who can be assumed to be a prostitute they walked off. This is what human life in Mumbai is worth of !  The fight sobers down ,Vikram walks to the car. We drive off.  He kept apologizing for what happened. But this is not right. What just happened is not right. This gentleman stood up to an asshole for hurting a woman. This is half the battle. For all you know , he would have beaten her to death now we have left. We drove to the police station, got two cops to accompany us to the spot. What luck the asshole was still present in that parking lot.  The woman changed her statement a million times. I was parked at a distant, so could only hear a little of what was spoken.  An hour and half later, Vikram walks out of the police station. I hear that the asshole was beaten black and blue to the extent of losing his front teeth. The police buy Vikram a cola, and wonder why would anyone jump into a fight selflessly in such a situation. He has won these policemen hearts. Honestly, I cannot take the image of that bully out of my head.
Vikram will rest tonight knowing that he did a good deed.  That woman would rest tonight thinking that some stranger stood up for her.  I am hoping she never finds herself in a situation like this ever again. That asshole son of   b*tch would writhe in pain realizing that not to mess with another human, they just might turn out to be mightier than you can ever imagine. That goon's friend will twist and turn in his bed tonight thinking  never to mess with a woman. And i will rest tonight thanking God for blessing me with a fine gentleman like Vikram Gupta. God Bless you Vikram ! If God makes a few more of you, this world will be a rocking place to live in. 

Friday, 3 May 2013

100 years of Bollywood

It all began when Dhundiraj Govind Phalke said "lights, camera, action" a century ago. On May 3, 1913, Raja Harishchandra, India's first feature film, released and was declared a hit. It was the beginning of an industry that would snowball into a behemoth, defining India's popular culture like no other. 

A still from the picture Raja Harishchandra

A 100 years later, we bring you some facts about the film that started it all:

Dhundiraj Govind Phalke worked in the Archaelogical Society of India and then as a printer before staking everything he had on making a film. He was inspired to become a filmmaker by 1902 French movie The Life Of Christ, which he saw twice on the same day.

Dadasaheb Phalke quit his printing press career and went to London to learn the technicals of making a movie. He bought a camera, a printing machine, a perforator and raw film. 

Advertisements seeking handsome actors for the lead role brought so much amateur and inadequate talent that Dadasaheb Phalke was forced to add a line saying "ugly faces need not apply."

Dadasaheb Phalke was forced to cast a male actor, Anna Salunke, in the role of queen Taramati because acting was not considered a decent profession for women. He found Anna Salunke in a restaurant, working as a cook. His only female applicants for the role were prostitutes from Mumbai's red-light areas, but even they backed out eventually. The success of Raja Harishchandra meant that for his second film, Mohini Bhasmasur, Dadasaheb Phalke had no trouble finding actresses for the female roles.

His cast and crew were told to say they were working in Dadasaheb's "factory" while filming took place. 

Dadasaheb Phalke was 40 when he made Raja Harishchandra, and some of his friends were convinced he was mad, even trying to have him admitted to an asylum.

Dadasaheb Phalke pledged his life insurance policies, his wife sold her jewellery to raise money for the film.

Raja Harishchandra was partly shot in Mathura Bhawan in Dadar, on a road now renamed Dadasaheb Phalke Road.

The film's outdoor scenes were shot in a village near Pune, where the villagers reportedly mistook the prop swords for real ones.

The title plates that were inserted in between the silent scenes were in English and in Hindi.

Dadasaheb's entire family took part in the making of Raja Harishchandra, with his wife handling much of the technical details and his son playing a major role in the film, that of Harishchandra's son.

To woo his audience away from the stage to the screen, Dadasaheb Phalke promoted his films as: "A performance with 57,000 photographs. A picture two miles long. All for only three annas." He also preceded the film with a dance performance by two European girls for the first few days.

Raja Harishchandra released in Mumbai's Coronation Theatre and ran for 23 days. It was also shown in London in 1914. The story of Harishchandra was not just the subject of Dadasaheb's 1913 film but also of the first Marathi talkie, V Shantaram's Ayodhyecha Raja (1932).

Phalke's story is overwhelming. In 2011 there is a film made to depict the story of his making of the first film, Harishchandrachi Factory.  Dont Miss !!

Happy Birthday Bollywood !!!!!   

(The info in this article is written by Gitanjali for NDTV)