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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Idiotic End to a Thrilling Cricket Series



Just imagine if India and Sri Lanka were locked 2-2 instead of Team India already clinching the ODI series 3-1. The crowds would have gone crazy seeing the hugely disappointed ones today in the abandoned match.

Delhi-the national capital of India. Amidst the roar of T20 cricket, the fours and sixes producing dry pitches and the huge money involved it just clobbers our sense of reasoning. How Delhi could have prepared such a pitch and how it could have escaped attention of the business-driven cricket Board officials. What a shame! Capital of India has almost lost the 2011 World Cup tie to be played at the now black listed Firoz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi.

The blame game has started. Political leaders too are getting articulate. The Board has disbanded the pitch committee and the officials of Delhi cricket association have already resigned. Much more to come in the coming days. Whatever happens eventually it's not going to help cricket at all and that too in the craziest cricket loving nation. Scapegoats would definitely be identified, but for what purpose. Somewhere something is wrong, seriously wrong.

We renew our demand for making competitive and sporting cricket pitches again. If T20 comes as a hurdle scrap it. Cricket must live on.

Music Workshop on Immortal Songs of Kamalananda Bhattacharya

SHRUTINAAD, a Cultural Organization of Assam, presents a music workshop on immortal songs of Poet-Composer-Playwright-Freedom Fighter Kamalananda Bhattacharya (1894-1951) at ADESA Hall, Beltola, Guwahati from January 4 to 10, 2009. Participants can collect and fill the application forms till 4th January.

There will be a musical inaugural function on 4th Jan at 2pm on account of the poet's Death Anniversary at the same venue when an audio CD of Kamalananda's songs sung by me is slated for release. Noted writer-litterateur of Assam Dr. Lakshminandan Bora has consented to be the Chief Guest of the function.

I had been very busy because of this program in the last few days and yesterday that is 26th of December I have reached Guwahati. I have to record the songs, prepare for the inaugural event and finally to conduct the workshop. Deepak Dutta, Jt. Secretary of Shrutinaad, has been working very hard and had also arranged the venue. Chinmay is likely to join me next week.

Please wish us luck and success.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Brilliant! Team India! And, Merry Christmas Happy Holidays to All of You!



This time no question of 'managing' to win or lose. This is sheer commanding victory of the match and the five match ODI cricket series against Sri Lanka leading 3-1. India was without Captain Dhoni, without Yuvraaj and, Sehwag and Tendulkar got out early and cheaply. Yet, India won the 4th ODI at Kolkata with hands down, chasing a target of 316. So refreshing to watch Gautam Gambhir and youngster Virat Kohli scoring centuries of consecutive balls. This series Indian batting had been consistent and sparkling. Only bowling and fielding need to be strengthened to become number one in Australian style. Generosity is slowly and steadily is being replaced by the Aussie 'killer instinct'. Cheers!

And, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Beautiful New Year to all of you. At the moment work is the only option for me. Poor me, having not even a weekly off amidst holidays! No problems. Work is worship. Work is celebration too. Get worked up and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

India Win The Second Highest Scoring Cricket Onedayer!



The first match was between Australia Vs South Africa. Aus made 434/4 and SA won the match by making 438/9! Total 872/13. Today India made 414/7 and Sri Lanka lost the match by 3 runs at 411/8. Total match score 825/15.

India made the highest ODI total of 414 and yet just managed to win by 3 runs. Sri Lanka was cruising for a superlative victory needing just 22 runs off 18 balls with 5 wickets intact. But, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra bowled incredible last overs and the fielding, for a change, was excellent too. The positive--India won a close match by holding on to the nerves in the dying moments. Managing to win was much better than managing to lose which, in this case, was so blissfully easy or rather made easy by some glorious batting by Sri Lankans.

A twist in the end! Well, Indian cricket Board officials while making lifeless pitches for an entertaining shower of fours and sixes just forget that the opposition team too can capitalize on this and when they indulge in the fours and sixes act the big crowds become ominously silent and gloomy! Better, officials should concentrate on making competitive pitches that educate the crowds about the inner nuances of the game of cricket so that they can still enjoy irrespective of who win or lose.

Anyway, it was a rare treat of cricket match. A suspense thriller till the last minute and a match where it hardly mattered who finally won. If Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar and Dhoni produced spectacular shots, Dilshan Tilakratne and Sangakkara and Tharanga did fittingly too.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Editor's Choice!



Of late, one editor has gone berserk thanks to his ever expansive ego and an impregnable sense of self superiority.

He was on an important coverage and his reports were crucial to shape up the prime time bulletins on the local news channel. The desk editor became the most harassed one due the preconditions and conditioning.

The Conditions: Not a word can be changed of what the reporting editor dictates; No other source can be used irrespective of the importance; Reports must be narrated back to him for final approval; Headlines must only be taken from him; He would not give a voice over by phone because he thought television news should not highlight audio.

The Conditioning: He wanted only fresh trainees who followed him blindly; According to him the old trusted hands in the newsroom were too smart and often tampered with his creative expressions thus making the veterans sit idle; Taking the trainee reporters into full confidence he built an impeccable info network so that every word uttered by the desk editor was reported back to him; Some of the old hands pressed into service by the exasperated desk editor were threatened with vicarious slaps (over phone); He camouflaged his friends supporters and enemies so effectively that one doesn't know who's who.

Wish the desk editor some luck!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Maiden Delights On Kankan Railway!



Coming back from Goa decided to take a maiden ride on the Kankan Railway route. Boarded the train at a quiet hilly station called Thivim, 45 minutes away from its originating station Madgaon in Goa.


The Konkan Railway (Railway Symbol:KR) is a railway line which runs along the Konkan coast of India. It was constructed and is operated by the Konkan Railway Corporation. It runs from Mangalore in the state of Karnataka to Mumbai through Goa, along the west coast of India and Western Ghats-the mountain range.

A ride worth remembering. For nearly 100 tunnels on the way--the train rushing through dense forests and hills and mountains. For the breathtaking scenery. For the marvel of technology making way in absolutely noway land. And, for the culinary delights! The food was excellent and in all grandeur of variety. Hope all Indian railways follow the KR menu!

And in cricket Team India made history by making it to the top spot of ICC test rankings in its 77 years of test cricket. Tremendous batting performance and a thumping 2-0 series victory against Sri Lanka. One point is made always. India win by big margins if it wins and mostly loses all close matches--be it in any variety of cricket. Kirsten and Dhoni must consider this religiously if it wants to win all winnable series like that against Australia. And of course, Indian batsmen must show more consistency--ok, 293 is rare treat, but 50-100 should be the norm. Above all, generosity must be replaced by ruthlessly professional killer instinct.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

IFFI 2009 Goa-Noise Deafening!

If you are here in Goa Inox Festival campus with no managerial duties assigned you better enter into one of the theatres. Else you face the noise which you can still savour with lots and lots of beer glasses and other food delicacies.

The Goan music bands are playing full blast, the mega monitors of a local cable channels are emitting noise in terms of pop, fashion, cuisine and a series of unending star interviews. There is no escape! Come out of the campus and you confront the carnival blazing just opposite on the banks of the Mandovi river. It's all fun no doubt, but if you are one of the film purists who want the typical film festival ambience then you are in troble. You also need tickets to enter theatres with proper seat numbers. You are alloted maximum of five tickets on your delegate or media card. The good old days of carefree enjoyment are gone. There is also tight securtiy all around which is of course the utmost necessity.

Today being the first anniversary of 26/11 terror attack we had asked delegates' views on that. They have all expressed that terror must be stopped and they are happy with the security arrangements made here.

As our units go from event to event we have no alternative but to face the noise! And watching movies for us? Well, no time even to think about them! Good that just managed a minute to write this post!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

See You in Goa!




IFFI GOA--2009

Dear Friends!

We are off to Goa for the coverage of the 40th International Film Festival of India, Goa-2009(IFFI) from 22nd of November and will be back by 5th of next month.

I will try very hard to keep you posted from Goa amidst expected hyperactivity. But if I fail to do so which is not at all ruled out please enjoy Goa and the rest!

Meantime, the first test between India and Sri Lanka ended in a draw thanks to the lifeless pitch at Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Such pitches made for four and sixes are robbing the game of its inner charm, tension and glorious uncertainty. Rid the game of big money!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

ABCs Of Friends And Enemies!



Once upon a time A was working as the boss of the office. A had B as its right hand and C as its left hand in terms of trust and confidence. Thus, B and C cornered all the favors and attention of A.

D was the most desperate of the lot. It had major responsibilities and being harassed by A at every step working was just nightmare. D was fine with B and C, but that did not help getting A's attention.

But just as it happened, one fine morning B and C fought bitterly over an issue and the whole office reverberated with their most foul most loud howling growling and brawling. A was dismayed and was so grievously affected by B's reporting of the incident that A banished C to the desolation ward. Right hand got the upper hand naturally but the left hand got lost. Vacancy created for favors.

Since D happened to make one or two good remarks earlier in regard to B it got instantly selected to the vacant spot. D started getting all the attentions and favors now from its boss and it thanked God passionately on and on. What a relief!

So then, chance has a big role to play in remoulding friendship and enmity. Be ever ready to lose your friends as fast as gaining enemies and vice versa. Never be desperate! Just wait for chance to intervene!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cricket Breaking News! Team India Manages to Lose the Series!

Team India did prosper temporarily under the positive energy of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and started winning matches against all odds. They became strong contenders for the No.1 ODI team.

But traditions of generosity, ability of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, how not to win and so on have been becoming too strong for Dhoni. Against a depleted Australian team they had shown true colors of generosity by restoring Australia's confidence, bringing them back into contention and finally gifting the series to them. Team India had successfully snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the first, fourth and the fifth one day internationals. In the sixth today they taught precious lessons in 'how not to win'.

In the first game Team India got into a winning position thanks to a tremendous rally by the bowlers batting. Needed 9 runs from 6 balls and if you are considering No.1 spot you have no business to lose from that position. In the fourth game they made a mess of chasing just 251 which was not even competitive on Indian pitches. The fifth game was a shame. Someone played an incredible innings of 175 and even that failed to inspire the team members.They lost triumphantly from the position of 19 runs in 17 balls. Today's match is not worth a comment.

A word for the SELECTORS! Did you drop Rahul Dravid just to go on experimenting with Virat Kohli and other so-called young players? Dravid would have at least kept one end going. In every losing match India got all out with balls and overs to spare.

Who says one day internationals are passe! It's the demons of IPL and T20 that are threatening the glorious game of cricket. Scrap them!

Anyway, congratulations for keeping the Indian traditions alive!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cricket and Politics: Hattrick Hiatus!



Team India was poised for performing a hattrick beating Australia for the third consecutive time at Mohali, India yesterday and for becoming the number one ODI team. Indian Skipper MS Dhoni won the toss surprisingly elected to field. Why? All the external factors that inflicted earlier skippers have begun to haunt Dhoni too. Factors like pitches, weather, dew and so on. Positive cricket does not need all these--it means batting first and setting a 300 plus target. Dew or no dew such a total is always a challenge. Yet, Indian bowlers did extremely well to get the Aussies all out for 250. After a blazing start the old Indian story of over cautious progress unfolded. Barring Sehwag who rarely lasts long enough for a win, all batsmen trying to ensure a win dug themselves in unnecessarily and perished thanks to such negative tactics. Hello Dhoni, play your natural cricket and never ever listen to past Indian skippers. A huge opportunity had been mauled, spoiled and lost.

The ruling combine of Maharashtra was voted back to power for the third time. The mature verdict ensured a hattrick for the coalition coming out even stronger than before. People's verdict needed to be respected, followed with utmost urgency and the top priorities of good governance should have been realized. But what's going on? After over 11 days the new government is yet to be formed not even caring for the constitutional deadline of November 3, 2009. The partnering parties have been quarreling, haggling and bargaining for getting the plum cabinet berths, for cornering the key portfolios and for ensuring maximum benefits for each. A huge opportunity of earning people's applause, love and faith had been been mauled, spoiled and nearly lost.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"It Was Excellent!"



A new entrant to the bubbling news agency was sent on an errand by his boss. When the boy got back it was past lunch time and he was ravenously hungry.

He crossed over to his desk in the crowded newsroom and opened his bag.

To his horror the lunch box was missing! He was sure his mother gave him the box in the morning just like any other day. He went on searching desperately as his pangs grew louder and louder. How could it happen? Just disappeared into thin air? Just not possible. Or had his mother forgotten?

He was about to ring up his mother when his boss trudged up to him smiling benevolently.

'It was excellent!' the boss belched out contentedly handing over the lunch box.

He knew for sure the box was empty. His pangs of hunger now turned into seething anger spreading from the hair roots to his toes. How he wished hitting out at the big belly presented tantalizingly before him. But he had to break into a distorted grin. He is new and promising. How could he risk the editor's displeasure when he had everything to gain.

He looked down mournfully at the empty box which was not even cleaned.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mature Verdict For Maharashtra



My 14 hour shift of duty on counting day yesterday proved to be a memorable one as the end result was decisive and good.

The ruling Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Coalition came back to power for the third consecutive term. They captured exactly half of total assembly seats of 288--just one short of simple majority. Congress did better than earlier and NCP did okay despite a few hurdles.

In the backdrop of some serious problems like internal security post 26/11, farmers' suicides, long hours of load shedding, inflation and so on performance of the ruling coalitions was not quite outstanding, yet they have been voted back to power. Well, voters had no viable alternative with the main opposition parties failing to provide concrete strategies and mostly indulging in a mindless game of allegations and more allegations. Secondly, the near majority verdict effectively prevented horse trading which was looming large due to large number of dissidents and independents with the possibility of a hung assembly. Lastly, the master manipulators who prey on hung houses missed the bus completely. It was a vote for stability--giving another chance for better performance.

Yes, a mature verdict that speaks volumes for the Indian democratic tradition. The opposition leader lost his seat, some tainted ministers lost too and the younger generation voted Raj Thackray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena into serious political contention gaining the position of the second largest political party in Mumbai.

Now, inevitable politicking for the next Chief Minister. Our vote is indeed for the present CM Ashok Chavan who took charge amidst the turmoil of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and in just nine months brought his party back to power and initiated some revolutionary steps for effective security.

All the best for the new government of Maharashtra to take shape in the coming few days.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Grand Villains!



One colorful Indian entertainment channel has been endangering the lives of gullible viewers. Cozily sheltered in the garb of a social reformer the channel always gives a message that it's against all kinds of evil. Problem is it welcomes an evil in fond gratitude and treats it in immaculate elaboration, lingering monstrosity, all pervasive manifestations and never ending audacity. Such obsession with evil! It dwells on it for months and neutralizes all solutions though carrying on merrily with its sermonizing. It has also been doing god-damnable research in finding out evils from all corners of India in rich original colors.

The crucial part is all evildoers or villains shown in gory glory are invariably grandpas or grannies. They are shown to be selfless devotees of gods and goddesses and they are shown to be scheming while praying to cheat, kidnap, madden, sadden and even murder their dear ones. Such is the evil potency that the very credibility of granddads and grandmas is at stake.

Rise O' grand people! Get united to thwart all such devilish efforts to color your lives. Get back your affection and adoration. Act fast!

The colors of evil threaten to be the cultural Taliban! Hark!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Didn't Know What Hit Me!



Yesterday evening I just alighted from the bus and was heading for the egg shop using the pavement.

All of a sudden I heard a peculiar sound and my right arm went numb up to the finger tips. I couldn't even move it. I looked around uncertainly to know what happened--was it a bullet or someone hit me or was it a bomb and all. One shopkeeper then told me that nobody did anything. A stone bigger than the cricket ball just shot off from under the wheels a running truck and hit my right arm. I then saw the stone lying by the side of the road.

I wondered aloud. My God, it hit me with such force I failed to imagine could happen. I proceeded towards my destination and bought my eggs. Then the pain came on and I felt dizzy. I decided to sit down inside the shop and shopkeeper was very helpful. He took my mobile and called my wife there.

As I took the tetanus injection and prescribed medicines at the nearest clinic I thought about what could have happened. If the hit was just one foot above the arm this freak accident might have been near fatal.

Since morning today the pain has been reducing and I had to attend office as today is the polling day of Maharashtra Assembly Elections 2009. I thanked God for getting me over a possible crisis.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two Days Of Violence!

Yesterday, suicide blast at the Indian Embassy, Kabul. More than 17 killed. Same day, Gadchiroli in Maharashtra--the border triangle of three states, Chatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, 17 cops mercilessly shot down by Naxals, Maoist extremists. This triangle of dense forests is the epicenter of Naxalite activities. While the Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul blast, the Naxals are fast becoming the Taliban of India. Lurking dangers.

Again today, bomb blast in Peshawar in Pakistan where more than 40 are killed. Reports of a blast in Iraq too.

Who has achieved what out of this process of mindless violence? President Barack Obama getting the Nobel for Peace comes as the positive. This honor could very well be a booster for better things to come in near future.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

ICC Champions Trophy: Sidelights!



Just to oust Team India, Pakistan adopted a negative approach in the game against Australia--well, trying to lose! After doing everything to lose they nearly won thanks to the positive vibes of the ICC T20 triumph. That day I told my friends that Pakistan's negative play would cost them the next match. And, yes it did yesterday when their innings never took off with the last pair giving some respectability in the semi final against New Zealand. Negativity is intensely corrosive. Once you are caught in it you are gone.

Rahul Dravid stated before the Championship began that he considered Australia as hot favorites! When you are a part of a competing team you should always think of your team's win only. Otherwise how you are going to compete?

Highly rated teams like South Africa, Sri Lanka, India were out before the semis. England who suffered a 5-0 drubbing against Aussies managed to sail into the semis only to make it 6-0. Now Aussies must be very happy to have New Zealand in the final to be played tomorrow.

For Team India everything went wrong right from Coach Kirsten's so-called vision document that left the already dilapidated team scandalized. For the first time no hue and cry followed India's exit. Maybe because expectations were low this time. So the 'vision'?

Somehow someway Australia is being helped at every step to become the Champions. Check it out tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Impossible City!



I was caught unawares!

Today is the 11th day of the illuminated lunar fortnight and all immersion celebration of idols should have ended logically on the 10th day. But this time the devotees or more appropriately revelers somehow earned a bonus day and created havoc on the main arterial roads of Mumbai.

As I left office there was uninhibited celebration on the roads--crowds carrying their idols on tempos with loud dancing, louder bands playing non-stop and loudest fireworks right in the middle there. Traffic snarls and mass congregations at the bus stops. City buses started disappearing--maybe the staff need to celebrate too.

I managed to travel half the distance on a bus and afterward decided to walk the 3km home considering pondering wondering.

As usual, the homeless hordes lounged on even the most prominent pavements cooking eating sleeping defecating and suffering there while imported cars zoomed past in fond oblivion. Thousands carried on with their existential dilemma while thousands went on celebration without end and wasting money of immense proportions. And, the city admin machinery looked on. Maybe with election round the corner all voters are allowed to do whatever they want! Eat drink and be merry and 'vote for me'!

Where's this city going? What's going to happen next? How long would it take to burst out of seams? No solutions. I only managed to arrive at the title of my post!

ICC Champions Trophy-India Gets A Point!



India got a point today in the match against Australia which seemed to be slipping out fast from India's grasp and then the rains interrupted leading to sharing of points.

And, it was not due to Kirsten Vision, but rain intervention! Coach Kirsten's therapeutic vision document had Team India in trembles still recovering from the loss of Yuvraj Singh and the absence of Sehwag and Jaheer Khan. The 'vision' has raised a world wide controversy with conservative India scandalized. Kirsten, the most experienced opener for South Africa of yore, did the most inexperienced thing by his anatomic vision. Whenever India is concerned better talk of meditation and spirituality, dear Kirsten. It was obvious that he had to deny the vision under tremendous pressure from all quarters.

Anyway, India got a point and is still in the reckoning technically. They have to beat West Indies by a huge margin and Australia has to lose to Pakistan by a good margin so that the run rate comes in India's favor. If Australia win against Pakistan outright India is out. Pakistan is already in semi final from Group A.

No speculation please on why India eventually wins or loses!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Politics Industry!



An Indian newspaper today reported one politician saying that politics is no longer linked to people; it has become an industry where you make huge investments and try to recover it in quick time. This was in reference to forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly Elections which is poised to become the most expensive one of all times. One candidate would require from Rs. 30 to 50 million to campaign effectively for a win.

The 'industry' phenomenon explains why all are desperate for a ticket and dissidence is growing when tickets are not given. This is affecting parties across the board with stalwarts joining rival parties or standing as independents.

The problem is whenever industry is concerned performance and results are crucial for success. Now, in this politics industry what kind of performance or results are expected considering the fact that it's delinked from people or say voters. If voters have nothing to gain out of the investments where exactly do they stand? Politicians will have to sell something to earn revenues. Or do they have assured risk free returns? Dumbfounding questions!

Anyway, coming to performance a piece of breaking news: one more masala ingredient has just been added to already spicy juicy Indian Cricket! More on that later.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Politics Is Politics!

The dark fortnight ended, but politics went on rollicking.

As we had expected things got moving from September 19, the start of the illuminated and auspicious fortnight. The opposition coalition announced seat sharing first thing in the morning. And politics started afterward with candidates not getting tickets and their supporters raising hell. Where are their forefathers now?

The ruling coalition continued to search for an amicable seat sharing formula and politics went on into the third day of the auspicious fortnight. What their forefathers telling them now?

Respect or no respect, auspicious or non-auspicious, good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable--politics has a mind of its own. It goes on uninhibited and unchecked till it achieves its desired goals or its lack of any goals.

Just Politics!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Elections Yes! But with Due Respect to Forefathers...



Maharashtra Assembly elections are round the corner. Polling on 13th October and counting on 22nd October. And yet...

The ruling coalition has been discussing seat sharing for the last three days and in our news room we wait for the final decision every day and making our headline that 'discussions continuing...' Yesterday somebody got tired and asked me how long would you continue making the same headline! The opposition coalition will declare candidates on an auspicious day, that is, tomorrow, why you will know a little later.

Apart from the problem of delimitation of the constituencies which caused many stalwarts on all fronts lose their earlier ones, there is one basic issue for causing the delay.

It's Pitrupaksha, that is, the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadra (September-October) leading to the new moon when our ancestors descend on our earth and it becomes easier for all Hindus to give their respectful offerings directly to their forefathers. All 15 days offerings are made at homes, temples, beaches and river sides and shraddha (funeral ritual) ceremonies are held. Basically it's our deep respect and gratefulness to our ancestors. We seek to please them and get their blessings.

But the main problem here is that though this fortnight is immensely auspicious, no major decisions are taken, no major trading and deals are made and all wait for the illuminated fortnight that follows to make new beginnings. And tomorrow is the first day of this fortnight when Goddesses are worshiped throughout.

So, we expect everything to happen from tomorrow. Though today was the first day of filing nominations, only one candidate filed his in whole of Maharashtra which has 288 constituencies!

More on Pitrupaksha!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Celebrating 50 Years of Doordarshan!



Door-darshan means tele-vision literally. Doordarshan is the national public broadcaster of India, nominated by the Government of India as Prasar Bharati.

On this day of 15th September in the year 1959 Doordarshan started its telecasts with a makeshift studio and a small transmitter. Its regular daily telecasts started in 1965 and by 1972 some of Indian major cities were covered.

In 1982 Doordarshan began its national network and it penetrated every home in nook and corner of India. That same year color television was also introduced.

Doordarshan--the first to introduce soap opera, the first to start film based programs, the first take games like football and cricket to every home of India, the first to continue committed entertainment. The only television channel to give truth and only truth to the people.

We are celebrating 50 years today. With the colors and vibrancy of the country. A very colorful musical program was organized and recorded today in Mumbai which will be telecast soon.

Doordarshan

Friday, September 11, 2009

Credit Card Use Costlier



No doubt you need credit cards in lots nowadays. One for one particular use, one for some other consideration and some for general use. You go on multiplying your accounts on account of no annual fee, less interest rates, freebies and all that. From the grocery stores to the online reservations you do it on ease without having to carry cash. To say more of such benefits is cliched.

But, particularly in India, costs of card use are increasing. Cash advance facility is almost passe due to prohibitive costs, minimum fee of Rs 300/ whatever amount you withdraw plus interest from the very date. Lifetime free cards are accepted norms, but use is the basic need.

Revolving credit is also proving too costly. Now almost every bank has increased the monthly interest rate to 3.1% or above instead of customary 2.95% with special reduced rate offers. Even in high profile co-branded cards the rate is upwards of 3%. And, some special APR cards have gone to 3%+ interest without notice.

On many purchases like fuel, railway reservations and all you need to pay an extra transaction charge.

So, now you must have a sizable savings account balance to use credit cards and to settle full dues in one go so as to avoid cumulative interest charges.

Isn't this against the trends of consumerism and the market economy?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nostalgia Deep Rooted?



Sometimes our nostalgia is so strong and overpowering that we feel at a loss how to justify it.

It has happened to me many times; maybe it happened to you too.

Sometimes when you pass through a particular stretch of road or locality or residential clove or landscapes a sense of belonging seizes absolute control of you. You feel you belong there, know everybody there. Your heart fills with tenderness and eyes become moist. But your sense of reasoning tells you that this is the first time you have visited or passed through that.

There can be two justifications or possible explanations of such an experience.

First, it may be your intuition or telepathy trying to remind you of some connection that may have happened or is going to happen.

Second, it can be our deep rooted nostalgia which can extend to our past lives. Come on, we cannot arrive on this planet just by chance and do all the natural things naturally. There is an in-built sense of belonging in all of us which makes us to accept all earthly things naturally. This cannot happen by chance only.

Anyway, this is not a debate for believing or not believing. This is just an argument to explain things that cannot be explained otherwise.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Does Humor Has To Be Loud To Be Understood?



Filmmakers are the cleverest lot. They make their comedy scenes so bellowing loud that nobody dares misunderstand. One hint of humor is carried out in continuously heaped up dialogues so that the viewers don't dare stop laughing.

They are dead right. Fine or refined or defined or subtle or quiet or subdued humor is utterly helpless before the connoisseur humor eaters. Anybody trying to do that is rejected dejected and ejected. Herr Humor!

But I was also wrong. I thought this 'understanding' is only rampant in India. Now I'm afraid it's a global phenomenon.

Dare prove me wrong!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

YSR--Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy 1949--2009



Around 9 o'clock in the morning of September2,2009 Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, a southern state of India, set out on a helicopter for an important engagement. He ignored the pouring rain and a very bad forecast. Even the usual helicopter was not available and he took another which later proved to be air unworthy--not serviced for last two years. But, his commitment to his people was the priority.

The chopper vanished after about an hour and the Chief Minister with his two topmost officers and two pilots went missing. As the hours passed by without any success in finding the chopper the worst fears were in the minds of every countrymen.

After twenty four hours, today the 3rd September, the missing chopper was spotted on a hilltop and soon after all five persons were confirmed dead. It was a crash caused most probably by bad weather and the doubtful chopper.

Yeduguri Sandinti Rajasekhara Reddy, popularly known as YSR, was a dashing leader who brought back the Congress into power in his state after ten years in 2004 and bettered it in the last elections. Being the first congress leader to form government for two consecutive term he also contributed significantly to the congress tally in the parliament both in 2004 and 2009 general elections. A Chief Minister by the people, for the people and of the people.

India and the Congress party lost a great leader who had tremendous potential for the future.

We express our heartfelt condolences on the tragic demise of Rajasekhara Reddy and his team of four. We are with the bereaved families in this hour of inconsolable sorrow.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nostalgia!



Some of the songs you heard in different phases of your life remain embedded in your heart. The moment you hum or hear it playing memories of that particular period rush in. Fond or sad nostalgia moist your eyes or makes goose pimples all over your body. I think nostalgia acts very powerfully in songs or music beats and tunes. They enact pictures, peoples and fashions vividly in your inner mind screen.

Movies do too, but songs in some of them act as the catalyst.

You idle at your home and feel extremely bored at times hating to be there, questioning yourself on wasting valuable time. But when you go away you desperately want to be there. Things you hated you start remembering fondly and want them to happen again.

Nostalgia is a potent moving force and one of our most cherished assets. When you meet your dear ones after a long long time just sit down with them and go on chatting. That will be an unforgettable moment.

We need nostalgia to love and appreciate life.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Keyword For Bollywood Is Cricket!



Take guard King Khan! Competition for you in cricket too! Already the IPL(Indian Premier League) experience is exasperating and now another Khan is on the way.

Salman Khan had reportedly showed interest in buying an IPL team yesterday and met the IPL Commisioner Lalit Modi in Mumbai.

Race for super stardom is faster in which sector--Bollywood or Cricket? Film stars always show great interest in cricket--supposedly for the love of the game. But, maybe they want a share of popularity of the cricket stars!

Already so many Bollywood stars have joined the IPL bandwagon. Very soon, film stars will crowd cricket so much that the SEO(Search Engine Optimization)for Bollywood will be achieved with the keyword 'cricket'!

And, what will happen to the actual cricket stars? They will of course continue playing cricket, but the limelight will be gobbled up by Khans, Zintas, Shilpas and many more.

Corporate houses too have to take a crucial decision! If Dhoni and Salman are featured together whom they will grab for? Very filmy cricket rickety.

Monday, August 24, 2009

In Lalbaghcha Raja(Emperor of Lalbaugh)'s Darbar



Media friends today arranged a quick darshan of the majestic Lalbaughcha Raja, the most prestigious Ganesha idol of Mumbai. The darshan otherwise would have been impossible considering the waiting period of up to 22 hours as 1 million people visit it daily through three entrances.

Established in 1934, this Ganesha is believed to be the most vibrant one fulfilling one's wishes always. People from all over make it a point to offer prayers somehow within the 10 days of the Ganapati festival.

Staring up at the huge idol with hands raised in absolute assurance I understood why devotees get so crazy to have a darshan. I saw devotees rushing,pushing and elbowing their way closer and press their foreheads on the golden feet.

A friend told me that local shopkeepers and business houses complain of no sale during this ten days. On our way out I actually saw one hardware store resorting to serving hot snacks!

Ganapati Bappa Morya!

More at:http://www.lalbaugcharaja.net/

Sunday, August 23, 2009

HAAPY GANESH CHATURTHI




Ganapati Festival on the occasion of Lord's Ganesha's Birthday is being celebrated from today in Mumbai and Maharashtra. This 10 day festival begins on the fourth day of the new moon lunar cycle. Worshiped both publicly and at homes across the state this festival is celebrated from 1/2 day to the full ten days. On the 11th day idols are immersed in a big way. Depending on the days of celebration immersions take place almost every day. To check pollution in the seas the municipal corporation of Mumbai has kept ready many artificial ponds.

Many idols are being conceptualized on the running themes of drought, swine flu and others.





Meantime the Jaswant Singh book controversy still rages on in India. Somebody criticizes and praises dead persons and people are opposed to both! What kind of democracy we are living in?

More interestingly, this constrained freedom of expression inspires lot more writers to express themselves better!

Beware authors! Book writing in India is immensely dangerous!


Writing a Book in India-Conditions Apply!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Screened Calls!



Mobile phones are so useful, but they can be a nagging irritation too.

There are always unwanted callers. You just do not want to talk to them and your decency does not allow you to cut the line ruthlessly.

Recently I had a caller who would ring my cell anytime and talk continuously and loudly that could be heard by others. He would ask for favors that I could not possibly grant and he would go on insisting.

After much consideration I put his number in the 'screened calls' list of my cell phone. Someday I find his innumerable missed calls, but I am at peace when he calls as my phone does not sing or vibrate on screened calls.

Then, for three consecutive days I kept on finding his missed calls and I was amused.

But on the fourth day evening he came over physically with a friend to my office and there was no way to hide from him or to send him off. He complained of my misbehaving phone and renewed his requests with backlogging effect.

What to do then? How on earth to screen his or my body?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today Times!

Finally Swine flu seems to be controlled effectively. Now the spreading hype virus can be checked too. This even more dangerous virus has infected millions of hapless countrymen.

Then, Rahul Dravid is back in the Indian one day cricket team. Trusted 'the wall' is expected to give solid base to the team in the forthcoming Sri Lanka Tri-series and the Champions Trophy in South Africa, both next month. But, 'ifs and buts' are bound to continue.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!



India celebrates the 63rd Independence Day today. Completed 62 years of freedom from the British. Emerged as a powerful democratic nation of the world.

A Day to be proud of our heritage, our achievements and our people. A Day to muster all our positive energy and bravely face the challenges. At the moment there is no dearth of challenges. But a positive approach could tell the difference between a challenge and a crisis. Let us all join hands and build a new India.

JAI HIND!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flu Blues!



For the first time in history, maybe, Mumbai is giving a miss to its traditional 'dahihandi' festival of merriment in celebration of the Birth of Lord Krishna.

Political parties are falling over each other to show passion and compassion for humanity. With Swine flu deaths crossing 21, majority of them in Pune and Mumbai, people are paranoid. All schools and colleges and cinema theaters and malls are closed in Pune and Mumbai.

The government is doing its best to make people aware, give all medical facilities and appealing to them to avoid congregations.

This marks the start of the festive season in Mumbai. With Swine flu, poor monsoon and drought situations in many parts of the state and country celebrations are bound to be subdued.

But today's restraint could well be the ecstasy of tomorrow! Cheer up!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Serial Loser!



I know a writer who always ends up a loser—for no fault of his or for the lack of talent. Some projects he conceptualizes, writes scripts and screenplays; but ends up not being given the promised money and credit lines. Some projects just dry up, some are nipped in the bud and some vanish as suddenly as they appear.

Recently he had another unique experience.

A big producer called him up through a source and fixed an appointment. At the right hour he was given a story and asked to develop it for a TV serial with native flavor. He was not given any specific deadline and when he asked he was told ‘as soon as possible’.

The poor writer took it very seriously and right ho! He developed the story into several episodes and fully worked out the first one with dialogues too. In the meantime the biggie did not call at all. So the poor writer again phoned to tell him he was ready and could come three days later. The producer agreed and offered to call him before that.

No calls came. The poor humble one thought the biggie must be busy with many other things and so did not want to disturb. After the appointed hour when there was no chance of making up the producer called and enquired why he did not come. Finally ‘misunderstanding’ was mutually understood. The biggie this time offered to call him and meet at some point convenient to both the next week.

Again, no calls. The poor one did not know what to do. So he sent an SMS asking if to stop or plan further. No response to that too. So the poor one thought ‘my labor gone waste, ok. But further losses might possibly have been prevented.’

For the biggies it is their birthright to be arrogant, snobbish and mean. The poor ones have just to go on getting on with it. Only question that arises here is that if the biggie was not interested in his own project why he pushed the poor one on.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ram Aur Shyam!



Ram wants to do good only for his people.

Shyam wants to do good only for his people.

One day Ram mobilises all his sisters and hold a demonstration to erradicate all injustice of the society. Next day Shyam does exactly the same.

If they only join together the demonstration would have been so massive that the movers would have been shaken into action.

Why don't they join hands?

Why only Ram and Shyam? All wanting to do good for the people should join hands and do lasting good good and good.

It's the same people. They should not get divided into Ram group or Shyam group or any other group.

What do you people say?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Credit Card Cheating Goes On!



Credit card frauds are common now. But cheating by credit card issuer banks are also becoming common and this is more disturbing.

A customer got an offer from a prominent international private bank for a much lesser interest rate than the one currently on. He was told that this rate would continue for six months and after the rate would be reduced still further. For this he would have to take a fund transfer without really needing it. The customer agreed happily and repaid the transferred money immediately resisting temptations of spending it. Then he indulged in liberal use of the card as the rate was lowest of all.

After six months he got no notice of further reduction of interest rate. Then slowly he began to see high debit interest being charged. He enquired with the bank and the executive gave him a bagful of sweet lies. Not believing him the customer threatened to close the account.After a few days he got a letter from the bank informing him that the usual rate of interest is being charged and this would further go up from next week.

So what the bank did is this: The promised further lowering of interest did not happen at all. Even the given lower rate was changed to the normal rate without notification. The customer was fleeced unawares for months.

Never take bank credit offers at face value. Ask for written communication. Preserve all documents. Make constant enquiries. If the bank refuses to close the account, do not ever use it again and better cut up the card.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mumbai Times

Fortunately nothing untoward happened during July 23-26 caused either by nature or humans.

But terror is not leaving Mumbai alone. Now again there is a threat of car bombing, particularly for high rise buildings. Again there high alert and tremendous checking and frisking of vehicles. But does it mean that earlier state of alert for specific targets is lax now? This is more worrying. Why not make the state of high alert a normal level of security to be maintained at all times? Mumbai is so attractive and many want to destroy it. A permanent terror target does require a continuous high alert.

In the meantime monsoon is on another break. But things are not looking bleak, though there is worry of drought in some parts of Maharashtra.

Friday, July 24, 2009

And Then The Tidal Waves!



Tidal waves 5.05 meter high hit Mumbai at around 2pm today. First this high tide was declared to be highest in 100 years; then the highest in this year and finally scaled down to the highest of this season. Most feared torrential rains did not greet it for high tea; instead, the sun shone through maybe first time in days.

And the hapless paranoid crowds celebrated and made merry. The hype of 24th July, 2009 carefully created and nurtured ended in ridicule. Weather bureau had the last laugh as it made no hyped forecast. The news channels could have been the worst hit as they lost out on possible hours and hours of prime commercial time. A sigh of relief for the municipal corporation.

Morale of the story? Never ever terrorize citizens for things absolutely not in your hands and things for which you can only make guesses at best. Better, concentrate your efforts in preventing terror attacks.

In the meantime monsoon has become more regular distributing uniform rains all around Mumbai and water supplying lakes are fast filling up. Water supply cut is reduced to 15% now which may go altogether in next few days. Now, it should extend its good work to adversely affected parts of the country.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Government Service Is Not A Bed Of Roses!



Security, sixth pay commission, relaxed way of working and so on are considered to be the lures of government service. This is only a part of the larger picture. A good worker is a good worker irrespective of where s/he works. And a good worker is often not rewarded in government service. Instead, s/he faces numerous pitfalls along the way and is hardly cared for.

A government servant recently went out of town on leave and he fell suddenly sick needing an emergency surgery. He had to rush to the nearest hospital which turned out to be a private one. He spent a lot of money and luckily got cured.

When he joined his office the government heath centres refused to give him medicine as those were prescribed by a private doctor. He was not given any compensation package as he was operated by a private doctor. Even he was refused medical leave as he was certified by a private doctor.

He had to go on buying medicine on his own and he faced more loss of money due to half pay leave as he did not have enough earned leave.

He fell sick while in government service, he was operated while in government service, he got back to duty before he was fully fit(spending still more money for having to commute to office by taxi for a month) while in government service and, he was cared a hoot by the government. He spent all his hard earnings and was continuously harassed in the bargain.

Any takers?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Living Dangerously!

If the threat of imminent terrorist strikes to Mumbai is not enough, the city municipal corporation has issued warning for 24th of July, 2009. The warning says that possible downpour combined with exceptionally high tide could surpass the deluge of July 26, 2005. But not to worry, all steps are being taken to ensure safety to all Mumbaikars.

Now, the weather office has not made any forecast on this. Well, not making such forecasts is laden with undefined hidden dangers! As always, the 26/7 catastrophic cloud burst caught the weather office totally unawares. If they make a forecast well and good, because then you can be almost sure that nothing will happen.

Private news channels are also adding fuel to such dangers by hyping the possible effects of the coming solar eclipse on 22nd July. Solar eclipse does have an impact on the seas and tides.

And mind you, the monsoon is yet to unfold fully.

You have no choice but to keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yes Rain No Rain!

Even after the fourth heavy disrupting rain installment to endow Mumbai with the rain is not considered to be enough. Yes, not in the catchment areas where the main lakes are to supply water to the mega city. The lake levels are still low compared to last year.

And the 30% water cut is set to continue...till...maybe the fifth or the next installment...or. Only if the installment is kind enough to the catchment areas.

The city municipal corporation is also set to go ahead with the planned cloud seeding. Artificial rain needed to compensate for the lack of genuine rain.

It all depends now on the Monsoon to rescue the corporation out of the heavy expenditure ahead for artificial rain soon.


Luckily in most other parts of Maharashtra Monsoon is doing good work.

One more thought. Maybe Monsoon is learning a bit from the Indian politicians, particularly the ladies!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monsoon Installments!



Since the night of July 13 Mumbai has been endowed with the fourth installment of Monsoon rains. This is not EMI, but UUI meaning Un-equated Unpredictable Installment!

The problem here is that UUIs lead to system failure disrupting traffic and life. Add to it the Hitchcock type suspense as to when and where and how much. If rain is spread uniformly over the days there is no system disorder. But when you don’t get rains for one full month installments are bound to continue.

And more grief! In between monsoon breaks the weather continued to be dark and gloomy leading to moisture in my CPU and the engineer just could not come to rectify it. So I could not sit on my PC and had no time to use the office one.

How many more installments left? Make your guesses. What else can you do!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hail Monsoon!



Finally the unwilling Monsoon has become active! Good rains almost all over Maharashtra and continuing since yesterday. Good and continuing in Mumabai too--but still not good enough to fill the lake levels responsible for the mega city's water supply.

But no complaints. Continue the good work so that our farmers can joyfully start the good work too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Monsoon Hide and Seek On!





The South West Monsoon is progressing steadily and has reached the national capital of Delhi yesterday. But it is not stopping anywhere for the pouring task.

Mumbai has a break of now over four days with very little rains. Some other cities are having the same fate and some other areas are having rains--but only temporarily. Mumbai is yet to see and hear lightning and thunder this season!

Is the Monsoon saving its efforts for one day show--the show of the millennium? We have not forgotten the deluge of 26/7 in 2005. And what about the country?

Monsoon is hereby requested to review and answer soon!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monsoon Please Pour!



India achieved independence on 15th August, 1947. But it's dependence on the monsoon rains still continues.

Now it's a delay of over 15 days and all villages and cities are reeling under water and electricity cuts. Farmers are worried for crop failures. Drought like situations in many regions.

What to do? Infrastructure cannot be changed over night.

So, pour and pour and pour!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Raghu Krishna: Adieu!


The man in the blue suit

He was more of a dear friend than a boss. Raghu Krishna, the former Chief Producer of Films Division, Mumbai and Director of MIFF(Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films) for 2004 and 2006 versions, passed away today following a brain stroke and coma.

I first knew him as a film director in Films Division, Mumbai. As we became close we started playing table tennis. He was an attacking player specializing in smashes. Once I was defeated by a colleague and next game Raghu defeated him. Later, Raghu came over to my room for a fag and told me proudly, ‘I wanted to beat him because he beat you!’ I sensed his love for me instantly.

Raghu appeared for an interview for the top post and finally got selected. He joined as Chief Producer in January 2004 and immediately took charge of MIFF 2004 as Festival Director.

Till MIFF 2006 I worked under him and enjoyed every bit of it. He showed tremendous faith in me in the role of a writer-editor. Once I showed him an article to be printed in the official festival book. He read it intently and uttered, ‘Fantastic! See to it that not even a comma gets changed in the final print!’ For any kind of meetings and festival inaugurations he always insisted that I write his speeches.

He had a great heart and believed people easily. So, he got entangled in admin complexities and was eventually disillusioned.

As I moved out of Films Division in 2006 we hardly met after that. Today his death came as an absolute shock. Fond memories rushed to my mind and I realized how dearly I missed him.

We pray for the eternal bliss of his noble soul and offer our condolences to his family.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Diagnosing the Ganguly Malady


In my cricket articles you find one called ‘Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Traces of Arrogance?’ where I tried to point out telltale signs of Dhoni going off the positive track. After ICC T20 experience I feel Dhoni is fast going the Ganguly way.

I give below a few symptoms of the Ganguly Malady which can be diagnosed in Dhoni too:

• Creating friction between captain and vice-captain and between team members.
• Showing favoritism to some players and lobbying with the selection committee to include them in the playing eleven.
• Taking unpredictable strategic decisions.
• Success bred arrogant behavior.
• Getting into a consistent out-of-form black hole.
• Passing on the buck.

Please prove me wrong and help us all to bring Dhoni back to the right track.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why Envy?



Envy is a universal human characteristic, but the reasons for doing so seem to be very personal and often unpredictable.

We know a couple who has no money stacked up, no wealth to hide, no vehicles and not even a owned house--normally the reasons for envy. They live simply, dress simply and go about doing things for their cherished goals in life without malice or ill will to anybody. Of course, with less money they try to do the best--dress in a decent way choosing the right colors and combinations, they eat in a healthy way at affordable best, they go to movies and eat out to enjoy life as they can afford and they always love their dear ones and try to take care--again, as best as they can afford.

But dear ones keep them in constant watch and envy everything they do or say. This attitude causes them tremendous pain and grief and they cannot make anyone understand their feeling.

They do not understand WHY.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shrutinaad's Events A Huge Success






The two events held respectively on May 28 and June 02, 2009 at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, Guwahati, Assam by Shrutinaad were huge successes despite hurdles faced at every step of the way.

I thank all the office bearers and members of Shrutinaad for their dedicated efforts.

I express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Goutam Sarma, Secretary of the Kalakshetra who provided all the facilities at venue.

I am very grateful to respected Lakshminandan Bora, Birendra Nath Dutta, Dhirendra Nath Chakravarty, Swapnanil Barua and other dignitaries who graced the occasion.

I thank all the musicians and artistes who lent their excellence on short notice, all music lovers, all appreciating audiences and all eager participating young students.

I thank particularly the print and the electronic media of Assam without whose support the events would not have taken off.

I am also grateful to the State Bank of India, Dispur Branch, for their patronage to the second event.
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