Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is 1925 novel by F Scott Fitzgerald
The book was recommended to me by my fellow blogger and friend Maverick and since recently a motion picture was released based on the same, so I was also eager to read it before watching the film.
The book is reminiscent of a classic with its elaborate and almost poetic rendition of nature and surroundings and is considered quite popular for creating and depicting the period before the constitution of the American Dream.
Its the story of an extremely rich guy Jay Gatsby, narrated in the words of his neighbor , Nick Carraway. Nick was a bond salesman who was trying to make his own on the East side of America and Gatsby was his next door neighbor who used to throw lavish parties, full with sea of people every day, which used to run till wee hours of next day. Nick too got invited to one of these parties , where he finds that most of the guests don't know Gatsby and have only heard unconfirmed rumors about his claim to fame and inheritance. 
Nick initially thought that Gatsby was friendly to him due to their common war background but later gets to know that his proximity was more due to the fact that Gatsby once had a small fling with Nick's cousin Daisy in past , who was now married with a kid to Tom Buchanan ; And Gatsby was still in love with her and Nick could be instrumental in getting them together.
So the book covers how their relation and past unfolds leading to intense drama and murder.
To be honest it cannot be termed as a great read but at the same time it had some uniqueness which makes one glued to reading it.
I liked the flow of the story despite the fact that the story has not much to offer. But as I said it had a classic sense of drama which narrates a simple period story at its own comfortable pace. 
The fact that its been told from the perspective of Nick Carraway instead of Gatsby gives an added punch to the book.
I will rate it as a light read and one that should be enjoyed by ardent readers.
Next up will try to see the motion picture to give visual to the imaginations that the book has created.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Black Dahlia

I completed reading The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy.
Its a fictional take on the 1947's still unsolved brutal murder of a young lady in Los Angles. The lady was christened as Black Dahlia because of her customary black outfit seen in her file photos.
The story revolves around two detectives Lee Blanchard and Dwight Bleichert, who start as boxing rivals, then becomes best friends when they start working as partners and then get overly obsessed with the Black Dahlia case which eventually leads to destroying both their personal and police life.
Although an engrossing book that makes you read it till the end, every time you pick it up, but somehow it falls short of creating the suspense and passion that one expects with a crime mystery.
No doubt the book is full of twists and new disclosures every now and then but somehow it fails to stir any awe or shock within me.
The description of the dead body and how the murder was conducted is quite brutal and violent and the flow of the story too is well paced.
Not a highly recommended book but you can give it a try if you feel like reading crime novels.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lajja by Taslima Nasreen

Photo of the copy I was reading

Finally I completed Lajja by Taslima Nasreen and honestly this time it wasn't me but the book and author herself to be blamed for the marathon reading.
Lajja is the story of Dutta family who are Hindus living in Bangladesh thus part of the minority population who once thrived in those parts of subcontinent before it was partitioned.
These people were true believer of homeland before religion and thus kept on clinging to their country even after lakhs of people migrated to adjoining India during partition in 1947 and again whenever riots broke across those regions.
The story starts the day after Babri Masjid is demolished by Hindu fanatics and as expected Muslim fundamentalists in Bangladesh blamed innocent Hindus over there for such an act and thus resulted in widespread riots across Bangladesh resulting in Hindus being butchered , looted , raped and forced to leave their country of birth.
The Dutta parivar being the leftist they were, did not believe in these religious doctrines especially since they so actively fought for the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 from Pakistan. Dr. Sudhomay, the father, who once was quite rich and prosperous but had to sell everything and relocate to Dhaka due to pressure from Muslim extremist, always taught his children that this land is as much theirs as is of the Muslim people . His son , Suranjan, who followed in his footsteps of being a liberal social activist filled with same passion and principles about his motherland as his fathers. Then their is the mother, Kironmoyee , who is a typical Bengali housewife, whose life is devoted to the care of her husband and children. And lastly , Maya, the daughter, who unlike her father and brother does not want to struggle or oppose anything and just wants to live her life in that world even if she has to convert to Islam or has to marry a muslim guy. She takes refugee in the Muslim family when situation worsens and her brother decides to do nothing at all.
With due respect to the atrocities suffered by people , I am really disappointed after reading this book. I appreciate the grim and inhuman suffering that Taslima Nasreen so aptly portrayed in this book but portraying that only in each and every page and chapter somehow makes it a dull and boring read. Every page you read, you crave for something more to happen but in the end you are left disappointed.
The book is written in sequence of days in the life of Dutta family starting from Babri Masjid demolition to the day when they finally decide to leave. Their struggle to keep believing in their rights and despite the constant fear, trying to justify that this is their homeland too. But all hell breaks when the daughter is kidnapped and they could not do anything and thus result in Suranjan challenging all his beliefs and finally asking his father to leave to India.
I always wanted to read this book in order to find out why Taslima Nasreen is subject to so much atrocities from the Muslim fanatics. Although after having followed her for a while on Twitter I could understand the reason some what owing to her constant rebellion of the religious doctrines and dogmas. And perhaps I did not need to read this as it showed the same feeling of her tweets repeated on every page but nevertheless I believe you should read anything and everything at least once, thus helping you to decide what not to read again :-D
Have been an admirer of Taslima Nasreen and somehow consider her an example of what to have once we manage to remove the boundaries of inequalities between male and female from our society. But let me keep that to another post as this post has anyway became quite long.
What Next ? Well , till I get the next book "And the Mountains echoed from Khaled Hosseni", I am fighting to read FountainHead..lets see how it goes..

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Past ..

Just yesterday I heard this dialogue in the sitcom "Criminal Minds" that I am seeing now a days; Although I cannot recall the exact words but I want it to be the below
"You cannot make peace with your past  till you again sit with it".
And here today I was made to sit at the same location in my bus where I have spent endless months a year and so back. I was made to relive the same cutting yourself off from the whole world by plunging your ear phones tight in your ears as far as they could go, listening to high pitched songs , staring expectantly outside with occasional glances at the book I am reading.
Of course it was different this time, with having a more relaxing and in control experience instead of the agonishing one months back.
I did not question the reality of the quote but for sure did not expect it to be actually happening so soon.
The best thing I love about life is that its always unpredictable and thats why it hurts more when you try to preempt things and they don't go that way. So its always good to stop trying to predict it when you know that it will take its own unpredictable course :)

Friday, May 31, 2013

I so wish....

Feeling so sorry today....I simply don't have the authority to tell you that Go ahead , do what you want to do..... In fact to be honest more than the authority I don't have the will power to stand against it and fight for it...... I can't see them frustrated everyday ...longing for you to come back , get married asap..even when they see that there is such a high probability that this might result in you foregoing everything that you have achieved so far... I just don't understand why our society is so hell bent in getting everybody married... why they don't see that this sole purpose of their life so prevents them from enjoying life...
As I told you, the only thing I can do at present is hope that the path that they are forcing on you should eventually lead you to the path that you want to follow...hope that your life partner not only let you take that path but whole heartedly supports you on that....
Right now I can do anything for that  to get fulfilled..

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Wish 1 - To learn surfing...

Ever since I have been to the beaches of Bali and have seen the might of Ocean as a fierce and powerful force of nature, I developed a fear of the same. 
The mammoth volume of water that is contained by an ocean and the tremendous force by which that volume moves in the form of waves especially during high tides simply gives me goose bumps.
Honestly having seen just buckets or at max tanks of water in our daily life , and then have to look and compare  the amount of water that an ocean contains in itself, it makes you realise how insignificant humans or for that matter land mass is compared to water bodies.
I just get too intimidated when I am looking at that massive amount of water. Personally I feel that no other natural element can stand up against such a gigantic force.
When I was in a boat over the ocean or was skiing on a jet ski , I was scared with the thought that this huge mass of water won't take a second to drown me if I fell into it.And since then I have developed a faint wish to overcome that fear and take on the Might of that natural force.
I feel the most fascinating way  to do so will be to surf on its waves. Although even the thought of it is nerve wrecking at present but seriously I want to do that. I just want to take a week off and go to a beach where they teach surf and learn it.
Its just my dream to do so. To ride fearlessly on these waves, rise and fall with them , get splashed , almost drowned  but then emerge from it unscathed.
Taken from
But somewhere I know it won't be possible to do in immediate future and with marriage to happen in a year or two it will be next to impossible after that :(. Thats why I initially thought to title this post as Goal 1 but then reality stuck.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mom oh Mom ....

We humans at times can exhibit a charmingly strange behavior. And I prefer to call such human beings as "Characters".  And among those species one of the most common people who show such character are Mothers.
Yes no doubt they are quite charming and innocent when do such antiques.
When I was a kid , like most of the kids in India and probably across the world, I used to carry my lunch from home and being the naughty kid that I was , most often when my Mom used to keep the packed lunch on the desk from where I was supposed to take it, I used to forget taking it  and have to have Dad drop it at school :). And needless in the evening it would have resulted in heavy scolding from both of them.
That happened countless times in my childhood and biggest concern of my Mom everyday , apart from ensuring that I don't spill milk on my shirt, was to ensure that I have taken it from the desk.
And now if we fast forward to the present , there were times when I used to carry breakfast from home to office and during those time when I could have missed the box at home and still could have eaten a sumptous breakfast at office, she used to put it herself in my bag.
I mean when in childhood if she had put that in my bag then it would have saved both of us from the pain, her mental and mine physical .
When I mentioned this to her that why during school times you used to keep it at desk for me to pick and pack and now when I am grown up you yourself ensure that its going to office with me ? She had no answer, she just said she does not know why she used to do that.
The answer I could think of is that she wanted me to be responsible at that age and now she is just concerned of my well being and no longer needs to teach me anything :)
My Adorable Mom
This picture was taken at a bus stop in Seoul, South Korea, during our visit last year. This is so typical of the adorable character she is :), wearing those Goggles from 70's and wearing a customary scarf so characteristic of a Bengali in a cold place, all wrapped up. Love you so much Mom :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oath of Vayuputras and Others...

I completed Oath of Vayuputras. And I don't know if you will call a book a success if you expected it to disappoint you and it succeeds in doing so?
There are few reasons why it disappointed
1. It came quite a while after the second installment of the trilogy, so you tend to have a vague remembrance of the characters and incidents. And it takes a while for the flow to restart.
2. There was a lot of scope to play and demonstrate the passion and compassion especially the part where Shiva destroys the city (spoiler alert). There was so much opportunity to show the Rodra roop of Lord Shiv, his Tandav ( Dance of Destruction) , his anger , probably his Trinetra etc. The only passionate part I felt was the depiction of Kartik as the warior lord. The way he deployed his War tactics and the intensity with which his battles were depicted were commendable.
Rest like his previous book was mediocre. Surprisingly I came to find that he is an IIMK alumnus.
Ok I may sound hypocritical of him as I dislike his writing so much but at the same time I ardently read through his novels unlike those of Chetan Bhagat which I just labour through. I agree with his content and masala rendering he appeals to masses but I personally feel he could be more articulate. But having said that I will recommend people to read the triology and also awaiting to read his next series which he hinted to be on Mahabharata.
The next bunch of books ( I like to read couple of books at I time) I have picked are quite popular, kind of modern classics, that everyone who is into reading must have already read.
The Alchemist and The Fountainhead.
I was kind of avoiding these for the reasons that one they are popular , second I am a non fiction lover and last the font size of the copies I have seen have been too small to be comfortable.
Luckily this time I got a copy of Alchemist which is decent and I have already read most of it and should complete it by today. To be honest I find it quite simple but of course appealing. With its plot of chasing your dreams and proverbial lines ,I can see why it is so popular.
Having read few pages of Eleven minutes and then failing to proceed I had my apprehensions about Paulo Coehlo but now I am glad that I picked Alchemist and now again want to pursue Eleven minutes.
Coming to Fountainhead ,I have purchased a second hand copy long time back but never had the courage to read it, so it was lying packed as it is in my cupboard. But recently with having nothing else to read I took the plunge. With its minuscule writing I could manage few pages, I liked it and have made up mind to read at least 10 pages daily.
Having started so late to read novels is something that I regret about my life and is one thing I would like to change if given an opprotunity to start life again :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

iSnore ...

Yes I know men are not comfortable to accept this fact but I must admit that I snore while I sleep. There has been numerous occasions where my friends have made videos of me snoring while sleeping and honestly I have no qualms in accepting it that yes I do.

I know scientifically its due to my excessive weigth that makes me to snore but now I feel psychologically too I want to snore.

Yes I understand its a cause of nuisance to people who sleep next or nearby me but still I feel that my sleep is not relaxing if I am not snoring. So as I was saying , snore does provide a mental satisfaction to me that Yes I have slept.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saaf Safai Seekho O Padne Likhne Walo

I was a firm believer of Educated people are more civilized. Yes , was not am. I mean yes I still believe education can be a solution for a lot of problems but definitely not in the present form.
With spurt of crimes and uncivilised behavior still so rampant in India especially with educated people involved, seriously makes me think that there is wholesale overhauling required with our education system.
Cleanliness is something that is very closer to my heart. Something that really disturbs me when I am in public places. The level of garbage and dirt I see carelessly sprinkled everywhere makes me sad.
Once when I visited a slum with a friend of mine , I was surprised to see that despite of their mean surrounding each of them had clean huts with TVs but each of them had dirty muddy water either stagnated or flowing haphazardly outside their homes. I was  shocked to see that how could these people who could afford some more basic necessities than their other unfortunate lower class people can be so ignorant of the need for a clean surrounding. I mean I who knew that I won't have to be there for more than half an hour was not able to bear the stench then how can those people stay in that stench and filth without doing something about it?
Everyday on my way to office , I see two government schools on Mathura road. And everyday in the morning you could see people defecating outside them. Baring the area outside the gates, which should be hardly few meters, rest all is full of human faeces. And I can see children entering the gates or praying just on the other side of the walls. I simply don't understand that how can anyone let this happen ?
Yes we all can take the path of blaming the authorities of not doing anything when all is required is to have a will to take things in your hand. And in both cases somehow I blame the children and thus our education system for the situations . Our education system does not instill the courage and initiative taking capabilities in our children that they educate their parents and even school authorities to take these things seriously.
Yes we have the problem of public or toilets at home in India with our 70% people still defecating in open but that does not mean that people can continue to live with its side effects. Having a clean and hygienic environment is one of the most basic need for a healthy life.
Like in this news story , it was the determination and courage of a 13yr old child which brought such a drastic change. So its high time our education is revamped to put more stress on civil and moral issues. 
Keeping our homes clean is something we have valued, with our women folk who stay at home, working all day to ensure that everything is spotless. But when it comes to places outside our houses we just become careless. People still don't think before littering around in public places, spitting wherever the urge comes irrespective of whether they are walking in crowd or standing with people next to you. And what hurts more is that this is being done by people who do have a brush with education either directly themselves or indirectly from their kids at home but still we are not able to change their habits.
And at the same time revamp requires a careful and meticulous effort and just not some blind following like in the initiative taken by CBSE to introduce open book exams when ironically US which has open book system is contemplating introducing the stricter exam system that India has. Of course open book has some pros but at the same time the cons should not be neglected especially with India having the advantage that its not the first to implement it.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Athati Devo Bhavo ???

I would like to share a post written by one of the bloggers I follow on wordpress.
He has been living permanently in India since last 5 years and has been associated with India for over 17 years.
I have been quite impressed with his writings which mainly revolves around his observations and experiences in India. Not only they are honest and true but at the same time written in a non-critical and non-sympathetic way.
In the post that I am sharing , he shares a bitter and disgusting experience he recently had on a visit to a famous pilgrimage in South India.

Saying that I am ashamed of being an Hindu after reading it will be gross understatement as this is what we have been doing all our life i.e. some insult others and some feel sorry but no one does anything.

Will share my thoughts in some subsequent post but at present just wanted to share his post.

Racism in the name of Religion!

I write this saddened and disgusted. The experience I have had today has left me with a bad taste in my mouth and disillusioned with those we are supposed to look up to as guardians of our faiths and beliefs.
Today I was refused entry to the Mahabaleshwar Temple in Gokarna because I was born in a different land. Not only refused entry, but pushed and shoved by Temple Priests, my Indian wife ridiculed and reduced to anguished tears because she stood up for me and my 6 year old niece left mentally scarred by the sight of her uncle who she considered the same as everyone else, being discriminated against, shouted at and forcibly prevented from entering a place of worship.
I have been living off and on in
India for the last 17 years and permanently for the last 5. I was married in a Hindu Temple and have visited religious sites (Churches, Dargahs, Gurudwaras and Temples) of all the great religions in this wonderfully diverse country of India. I have always been welcomed and this is the first time in 17 years that I have been barred from entering a place of worship.
The reason given by the Head
Brahmin? “Foreigners do not know how to behave and are disrespectful and therefore they have been banned from entering. “
I was carrying an offering of flowers, had removed my shirt as is the custom in this Temple and was in the company of my wife and six year old Niece. Is this a sign of disrespect?
Foreigners give up their comfortable lives in the West and travel half way around the world to live in a different culture, a different climate, with no close family support, and take the trouble to learn another language and customs, in their search of the great spiritual traditions that India is famous for. They come and study Yoga, learn Sanskrit and practice meditation.
To ban all of them from visiting a House of God because they are not Indian is disgusting and discriminatory. Is the God in this Temple only for Indians? Did God, when he created the world, make a mistake when he created the other countries and races?
Hinduism is a beautiful, open, and tolerant religion, teaching non-violence, acceptance of all beliefs and love for all. What kind of Hinduism are these priests practicing? To behave violently both verbally and physically, to have no compassion for a fellow human being, to make fun of someone, all while standing in the sanctified place that foreigners are accused of disrespecting?
The great Saint
Sri Ramakrishna once said “Lovers of God do not belong to any caste . . . . A brahmin without this love is no longer a brahmin. And a pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah. Through bhakti (devotion to God) an untouchable becomes pure and elevated. “
A foreigner who comes to India to visit a temple has much more bhakti than the Priests I witnessed today.
What do I say to my niece who loves me unconditionally; who has always accepted me as an integral part of the family and has never paid attention to the fact that I look different to the rest of the family? How do I explain why a priest is pushing and shoving me and preventing me from praying to the God that she loves?
Eventually I will forget this and move on. But it is the devout masses of India who visit this temple in their thousands, that I feel sorry for. They will spend their life savings on a pilgrimage to this Holy Place to seek blessings for their lives and loved ones, only to be herded like cattle, shouted at and pushed, given 10 seconds for Darshan (sight) of the God they love and respect, and then fleeced of their remaining money by Priests who promise them all will be well if they perform a Puja.
If this is how the keepers of religion behave then I am no longer a follower. I believe in God but no longer in religion. My religion is one of compassion for my fellow man and tolerance and acceptance of all, no matter their colour, race, or beliefs.
All I can hope for is that, if the Hindu concept of reincarnation is true, these Priests are re-born in a foreign land.
“However men approach Me, even so do I welcome them, for the path men take from every side is Mine” – Bhagavad Gita iv -11

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Good news...."

Working in a MNC makes you come across diverse human behavior and which makes yuou both proud and guilty of your customs and traditions.

We Indians are always portrayed as quite emotional and dramatic people especially when it comes to our family and relations. And we somehow take pride in our those strong bonds. But I still somehow feel we have a lot to learn as far as events surrounding birth of child are concerned.
It still seem quite a taboo to share the news that you are expecting a child with your friends and others.
In last few months , couple of my french colleagues have become parents and I found it quite amusing, but at the same time satisfying, the way my manager over there and other colleagues were sharing the news affront in the weeklies, even before the couple have delivered. They were equally excited in the way they used to say " He is on leave and we don't know when but soon we should expect the good news". Of course they had a shyness in their voice but the excitement made you feel and sense the strong bond they all socially shared.
In India on the other hand its all hush hush affair till the child is born. People are not at all comfortable in involving people before hand the actual event has occurred. 

A close friend of mine is expecting and after coming to know from another common friend I congratulated him and his first reply was "Please don't share with anyone else, its quite a personal affair". I won't say I was not taken aback but somehow I could understand his reservations in making it public or letting others participate in it.
Me and one of my colleague wondered about this socially different behavior we encountered.

Why our elders and society teaches us to be so secretive and uncomfortable about such things? With due respect to the privacy of each individual , what could be the reason for the same ?
Foremost that we could think of was the fact that we are scared that something bad might happen if the news is made public. (Seems insane right ?). In India people are more jealous of others success than they are happy of their own achievements. So they feel any ill - thought may prove harmful for the baby thus its advisable to keep the thing under wraps for as long as possible. India in its earlier times had a huge number of infant deaths or miscarriages (its still not fully eradicated) and instead of accepting it wholly as a result of poor medical facilities, we get comfort in our superstitious beliefs. 
Second , people feel embarrassed to touch anything that is even remotely related to sex. In a country where the sole purpose of sex is still to procreate , the reverse is also true. Ask any recently married guy jokingly "When are you giving the good news ? " and don't be surprised to get the most embarrassed look that person may have ever given.
Ok I am not implying that we people need to be totally forthcoming about our pro creating activities with everyone , I duly respect the notion of keeping your personal life reserved but what I personally feel is that people in India should stop portraying these things as one of the most heinous crime that you may have committed and be so uncomfortable about such things with your friends and well wishers.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Small can be Big...

As per the book Tipping Point , ( and since I have not read any other book on criminal psychology, I will take it as my holy grail ), if you want to curb a serious and major crime, you need to stop the petty crimes.
So I feel the provision to make Voyeurism , stalking and eve-teasing as punishable crime as per the new Crime Against Women bill can be quite instrumental to bring down the cases of rape in general.
In that book, when murders and thefts were quite rampant in subways and metros of New York city in 90's, the police decided to tackle the problem at petty level.  Most of the people , seeing  the law and order situation at such places , used to dodge taking tickets and used to jump over those turnstile. So the first thing police did was increase the vigilance at the turnstile ensuring that people do punch tickets and whosoever tries to avoid that was caught at that very moment , handcuffed and taken to police station. This not only made people follow the basic rules of subway travel but also reinstalled the respect and faith in the law and order system.
Soon people found that the murders and thefts that were becoming so common in New York subways, became extinct overnight, whereas nothing as such was drastically done  for that specific problem.
So the point is that if we prevent people from even doing small basic crimes, which at times we tend to overlook, then it very much discourages them from doing even heftier crimes.
The problem with India is that no body (read public) does anything when you encounter someone teasing or passing lewd comments at public places. And if somehow somebody takes the courage to protest then the teasers don't even blink before harming them gravely.
And because of this, they slowly slowly gather enough courage to commit even more heinous crimes.
I think most of the rapists don't straight a way jump into raping someone, they have a prolonged history of eve-teasing and stalking, so if they are stopped at those points itself then it may prevent them from becoming sex-offenders.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Life is not about not making Mistakes... Its more about making them and learning from it and ensuring its not repeated !!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Want to be a Foreigner in my own country

I envy William Darlymple.

Ever since I started reading books regularly , William Darlymple has been one of my favorite writer rather person. He is a person who is living the life I dream.

It has always been my dream to travel significant places , interact with people of different diversities, study their culture, traditions and capture them not only with my camera but also in words, to share with people around the world. And this guy William Darlymple does exactly the same san the photography part (to an extent or at least he does not make it the primary objective.)

But that is not why I envy him. I envy him because he does the same thing in my own country. This guy has more access and knowledge about my own country than what I can ever garner and I personally feel its because of the fact that he is a Foreigner. I am not comparing our intellect or charm, he is way ahead on that , I just feel its the ease with which people open to strangers from abroad and that's what makes me envious.

Ever since I have started clicking people in public places , I have always experienced that Indians will readily pose if a foreigner is clicking them but will take all the objections if their fellow countrymen tries to capture them.

Its just not about photos , lets see the books that have been published about Indian culture, history and traditions in last few decades , I am yet to come across an Indian writer who has written an impartial and globally well received book about our country. Yes Arvind Adiga won a Man Booker's prize for his book the White Tiger but that book is more about a life of a particular person then India as a whole.

The movie made on the Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi was made by a foreigner , was enacted by a foreigner and was based on the book "Freedom at Midnight" which was again written by two foreigners. The fact that they could easily retrace and reconstruct the sequence of events leading to his assassination by the Hindu extremists somehow substantiate the fact how comfortable it was for them.

Yes I agree , we Indians tend to trust fellow Indians less and always feel the other person is always going to exploit us or take total benefit out of us without crediting us. And these things make them more comfortable and trustworthy of a foreigner.

Yes we all want our 15 seconds of fame and interacting with a foreigner is the easiest way to get that.

I may be underestimating the problems that these Foreigner face as I myself don't have the first person account of their interactions or behind the scene account of their work and at the same time I still need to horn my skills of public / street photography where I sometimes need to politely first ask people about clicking their photos, so kindly forgive my ignorance about the same.

I do have due respect to these peoples people skills but being an Indian myself I know how we people react differently to our own countrymen.

My apprehensions might be getting the better of me at this moment but some day when I do embark on fulfilling my dream of being a William Darlymple I just hope I am more determined to put more effort to make people comfortable to share themselves with me :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How will it change ?

With the spurt of rapes still continuing in the National Capital of India and our government being as always inactive in curbing these atrocities against Women, I wonder how are we going to change the mindset of men when we are so surrounded by traditions , culture and even government policies which don't consider Women at par with Men.
A friend's mom need to visit him in Singapore for couple of months and I was asked to check for the Visa formalities for her and I was surprised to find that since she is a housewife and will be travelling alone without her husband , Singapore Embassy requires her husband to present a  No Objection Certificate stating that he has no objection to her visit.
I simply don't understand what is the logic behind her requiring the permission of her husband. What if he does not allow her , won't she be allowed to visit her own son ? Has it been the other way around that her husband was travelling alone,had he too need to submit a NOC from his wife ?
I honestly did not expect a rule like that from a developed country like Singapore.
Another funny thing happened today while I was at an Aadhar centre getting my Aadhar enrollment done. There was a lady there, who too had came for the same and she had her face covered with her dupatta , as you normally find village women in India. When her trun came , she had to get her photo clicked and she was quite reluctant to remove her dupatta as she was accompanied by a male who was elder and as per Indian customs a lady should not show her face to her elders. It was quite amusing with people trying to convince her and they finally had to ask the elder to turn around.
Although it was amusing but at the same time quite saddening to see. And this has been the state of our country for ages.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kai Po Che....

Watched Kai Po Che yesterday . Its based on the book  "3 Mistakes of My Life" by Chetan Bhagat which narrates the story of 3 friends trying to make big in life.
Have never been a fan of Chetan Bhagat and his writings and have only read them when I wanted to read some masala stuff to lighten my mind. Some critics once called him the "Rakhi Sawant of Indian literature". Although I don't completely disagree with this but the only positive thing I have about him is that he knows what sells. He knows whats the pulse of the Indian youth (has a book published by the name What Young India Wants), what they can easily relate to and to top it he add some prominent facilities or event of India in the mix of it, which makes it quite popular. 
So coming back to the movie. The movie revolves around 3 friends based in Gujarat. And it shows their dreams and how they go about it and how their life is impacted first by the Bhuj earthquake of 2001 followed by the Godhra riots of 2002.  It touches various emotions that we Indians go through during the course of our life. So you have die hard Friendship, Innocent Love, our religiously followed passion for Cricket and lastly but not the least Our insane reverence to one's religion in such a way that we forget about humanity.
The movie with its fresh faces and masala content makes it watchable but I personally felt there was a lot of scope for improvement but nevertheless a nice one time watch.
There is a song in the movie called Manjha and I really liked it a lot. I feel after the song Ye Hosla from the film Dor this is one inspirational song that I will always like to hear.
The lyrics of the song goes like this
Roothe khaabon ko mana lenge
Kati patango ko thaamenge
Haa haa hai jazba
Ho ho hai jazba
Suljha lenge uljhe rishton ka manjha
Hmm ka manjha, hmm ka manjha...