Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lighting up your life!!

Yes- that is what I can say about Shahrukh Khan and his movies- and my life :)
He is the light of my life ( my husband comes a close second ;)
His movies are just so utterly feel good and make me really really happy and smiley and gooey and mushy :)
As you must have guessed by now, I saw "Rab ne bana di Jodi" yesterday. And still haven't stopped smiling. As usual. Me being the starry-eyed romantic that I am, I loved the movie.
I loved its premise. As I said a long time ago, SRK movies/ dialogues become the latest truth in my life. And this time, as always, its about love and loving and giving and making the right choices... even through impossible epiphanies.

And of course, I cried. Tears poured silently down my face as the girl realizes the value of true, silent, eternal love.. as she makes a difficult, but the right choice (this sentence sounds so cheesy, but whatever. That is love for you ;).
As the girl realizes who her "Rab" (which is Punjabi for God) is. For that is what the movie is all about... seeing God in the one you love...
"Tujhme rab dikhta hai...yaara mai kya karoon" goes the refrain in the movie.

Another reason I loved the movie was because of Amritsar. My mother belongs to the city, so I have a lot of family there. And also because of the Golden Temple (the movie has a lot of scenes of the Golden temple, with major moments happening there). Where we would go every time we visited Amritsar, every year in the summer vacation. Where I learnt to make my childish requests to God. Where I sat eating the awesome 'kadha'. Where I prayed and hoped as I circled the Wishing Tree.

Where I last went a few days before I got married. To get Rab's blessings. To say thanks.
To say that I had found the one person in the world, in whom I could see God.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Kya pyaag hai, yeh pyaag hai,
thodi si pyaas, kuchh aag hai
in do abhaagon ka ik bhaag hai

pyaag to wo pyaas hai jo
peene se na ghate
pyaag to wo aag hai jo
pani se na hate

pyaag wo khalish hai jo
tere hone se na bhare
pyaag wo khwaish hai jo
tere milne se na mare

dhadhakte hue sholon ki aag hai
laga hai jo chunari par wo daag hai

kabhi saanch hai kabhi aanch hai
kabhi malhar to kabhi deepak raag hai

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cafe Culture

One of the things I love most in this country (yes, there are actually quite a lot of things I like in this country, esp. the bathrooms) is its Cafe culture.
The fact that one can go and sit in one of these places for hours on end. People go and sit there working, reading, doing stuff on their laptops (most provide free wi-fi), eating, drinking, talking, doing homework...whatever.
They are places to meet, places to live- simply places to BE...

I love that. One can just sit happily for hours, watching the world go by ( all for the cost of a small cup of tea). No irate waiter is there to tell you to leave and go once you have finished your drink/food.

Every time I feel lonely, I usually go to one of these places. They are warm, welcoming and they
Of freshly roasted coffee... newly baked cakes... roasted cheese...warm just-out-of-the-oven bread..
I often sit there watching people out of the windows, curled up with a book, or just my thoughts.

They do provide human contact of a kind. Maybe, in this lonely country, that is why they are so popular. When everybody is running short of time, these are the places where one can sit and relax and take a break from life. Where one can just be... alone, but not lonely...

Where one can stop and smell the roses...err... coffee!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Catalog Love

Yes, I am addicted- to catalogs. To all the different companies/stores that keep sending them in the mail.
Ikea, Crate & Barrel, Macy's, Bed & Bath, AAA Living, even the Henry Ford (which I got two days ago)- I devour each and every one of them. I read every single article/item/piece description, how it looks, the variety of colors it would be available in, the shapes, the different sizes, the mix-and-match stuff, etc. Of course, the most difficult part is matching the A,B,C's to the item description, but I do it.
I spend hours and hours poring over these catalogs, looking at every possible item- from complete prefabricated kitchens in IKEA to the smallest table runners in Crate & Barrel.

I know I am not buying anything right now- maybe not even in the near future (after all, I am an unemployed graduate) but still I do this. ALL THE TIME!!!

Maybe I should spend all that time looking for work- that would be the first step to be able to actually afford the hand-made pottery :)

Friday, October 31, 2008


I usually NEVER link to other places in my blogs- yes, maybe an occasional song, but usually not what other people write. For me, this is more a place where I write about my frustrations, my life and rants, and NOT a place for people to find interesting links- If you want to see/read weird stuff on the internet, go ahead and find it yourself.
My blog is only about ME!!!
(Obviously you are here since you want to know about my life - for everything else, go and check out the Encyclopedia Galactica ;)

However, this time I am linking to an article, something I feel really strongly about.
Go and READ!

A Woman's Place

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Any Good News?

There is this intense pressure in Indian society to have a kid the moment one is married- not exactly, but you know what I mean.
One has barely breathed a sigh of relief- oh, I am finally getting married, now the whole world will be off my back- the innumerable buas, chachis, mausis, Mom- all of whom were hounding me to get married!
But they ALL started- a FEW DAYS BEFORE I GOT MARRIED- on the fact that I should have a kid really soon! Nowadays, every time I speak to anybody at all in India, I am asked-
"So, any good news?"

It is not considered possible that I might actually not want to have a child right now- I mean- How can any woman NOT want a child as soon as she can legally have one with complete societal acceptance? That is against the laws of being a good Bharatiya nari.

It is such an all-pervasive idea settled deep into our society- that a woman can not be happy/complete until
1. She is married.
2. She has male offspring IMMEDIATELY.

So I was having this IM conversation with my nephew and my bua (his grandmom)- who is about 18-19 years old (my nephew, not my bua) and here is what happened:

Bua: Beta, khush hai na? (Are you happy) {general routine question she always asks}
Me: Yes, I am happy and fine.
Nephew: No, of course you are not.
Me: What? {surprised} I am!
Nephew: No!
Me: Why? What do you mean? All is well with me.
Nephew: No, because you don't have a child.
Me: Speechless!!!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dishwasher Lullaby

I realized recently that the sound I love most in the world is the sound of the running dishwasher. I love listening to it- the sloshing and ticking - every sound produces in me a deep visceral joy and contentment.

I love listening to it as it runs, revelling in the knowledge that all my dirty dishes are being cleaned. Often, I run it just before I go to sleep- as I love to fall asleep listening to its watery rhythms- it is definitely the most soothing lullaby in the world!

Yes- you must have guessed by now that I absolutely OD about the state of my dishes (clean or unclean). That is why I love sleeping to the sound of the dishwasher- for it gives me a feeling of gut satisfaction, of a day well spent, of knowing that I will wake up to a clean kitchen...
ohh heaven :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

An Apple a Day...

And have been laughing and laughing and laughing...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Me no Gulti

Here's what I have been doing lately.
I've fallen in love with this song.

And have been listening to it non-stop for the last 5 days- on repeat mode on the computer.
I also play it again and again and again in the car. Totally NONSTOP.
(in fact, its even playing right now- I just play it 24/7)

Now that I have am using my husband's computer, I obviously had to explore everything it had (read: me being a nosey parker :)
And found this really great song.

The only problem is:

I just love the music.
Can somebody translate the whole thing: poetically, not by breaking up the sentences and telling me individual word meanings, but as a coherent beautiful poetic whole.
And now, just because of this song, I want to learn the language. The song is so poetic just to listen to, it would probably be great to actually understand it.

I wish this could be done like in Matrix: somebody plug my head in, and when its over I know the language. Completely- with all its subtleties and nuances.
I would not have to go through the pain of learning it.

Can somebody please teach me Telugu??
(I would ask my husband, but I don't want even more fights ;)

P.S.- Read the first comment under the video. Its hilarious!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


My computer died exactly one week ago!!


It was quite awful- a sudden flash of blue lighting, and then everything went black. Gone for ever, moved on into the realms of where computer souls go once they leave their earthly abode.

And the PANIC !!!
Because me being me, I am not very friendly with Mr. Back-Up. Ohh, we've met, and even exchanged a few words occasionally (we had been introduced by my computer).
But we were not exactly bosom buddies, more like nodding acquaintances.

Suddenly I needed to get to know him. Immediately and intimately. With the mutual acquaintance no more. He was extremely elusive- and I had no idea where he lived, or worked or anything.
I was in absolute panic- here was 3 years worth of data and stuff and stuff and data- GONE!!
Pffffftttttt! Chole Gachche (Like the headache and Amrutanjan).

Anyway, went to the Data Recovery center, paid a load of money and got everything back. THANK GOD!! Though I spent 4 days in recurring waves of panic.

So I need a new computer (no, it could not be salvaged and is completely totally dead).
What should I buy? I have no idea about specifications and other such stuff- the only spec that I really want is that it should be RED!

Suggestions and advice needed. NO MACS.
And something SST (sasta, sundar, tikaau).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


When I was in high school, my Mom introduced me to the wonderful world of ghazals.
And it opened a whole new area of expression of all my teenage angst.

Mom had a really really old diary (dating from her jawani) in which she had written a number of ghazals, and then she would sing them. She often used to sing them to me too, as we both sat in the balcony on hot and humid evenings, the usual electric power cut happening.
(She's got the most amazing voice ever).

As I sit here missing my husband,
these lines from that old diary wafted into my mind (after probably 15 years of hearing them)

"Lamhe lamhe mein basi hai teri yaadon ki mahak,
Aaj ki raat to khushbu ka safar lagti hai..."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cooking...Aur Mai?? Kabhi Nahi

And no amount to Pan Pasand is going to change that, unfortunately. Yes, its official-
Indian men are proud of the fact that they can not cook!!

Why one should be proud of lacking a serious life-survival skill is something I just can't understand. Though I should add a disclaimer here- a lot of the men I know cook, and cook really well. But among the ones who don't, what I hate is this tone of pride that they can't cook. So it goes-

Cooking... aur mai?? hehe... kabhi nahi...

(one can almost hear the undertones of- me male, me great, me never stoop to cooking, me has wife to serve me)

It started with me talking to a friend (in India) yesterday. His wife had ordered some Chinese takeout, as she did not cook that night. So I told him that he should have cooked if she did not want/feel like it. And his answer-
Mai to cook nahi karta kabhi (and what infuriated me was that rather than be ashamed of the fact, he was so happy about it).

Then he shot back- So does your pati cook?
Of course he does!! (and my pati cooks a mean chicken curry, but I had the feeling that this guy would die of shock if I told him that me (a woman) eats non-vegetarian food. (Gasp!! Thud!!!)

(No, this is not an assumption, earlier in the conversation he had asked me whether I eat non-veg, and when I said no, his exact words were "Chalo shukr hai, kam se kam non-veg to nahi khaati")

On second thoughts, maybe I should have told him and done his wife a huge favor.

Cooking, in India, is so considered a woman's job and domain that it does not even enter a lot of men's realm of thought that they can actually do it (do I hear another Gasp?
Great :)
I wonder why, because it is simply an essential skill to live- no good, bad or anything connotations attached. Maybe Indian men are so unsure of their masculinity that they are afraid of even venturing into the kitchen. But here, I am over analyzing- I am sure that cooking is so far from their view of the world that it does not even enter their thought processes, ever.

Here's to all the men in the world who cook. Pan Pasand for all of you!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Celebration of Love

So, I saw Sex and the City (the movie) yesterday (first day, third show :)
And absolutely luurrrrrrrrrvvvvvvved it.
It is just so beautiful, so sweet, so poignant, so "love"!!
That is the only way to describe the movie- its all about LOVE - all-encompassing, forgiving, generous, sorry, painful, difficult, beautiful, emotional, hopeful, endearing- its love, love, love :)
(Yes, that's the sappy grin on my face that still has not gone 24 hours after seeing the movie :)

Its about "happily ever after" and more importantly, about believing in happily ever after. Its about having dreams of love, and getting there, albeit with innumerable trials, tribulations and triumphs.
It brings a whole new meaning to "Love conquers all" :)
(yup, goofy grin again).

I know- I am a hopelessly sappy romantic mushy stars in the eyes happily ever after believer- so obviously I totally related to the movie (just as I have always been in love with the TV series).
Its definitely a must see for all diehard romantics- simply because you believe in love, and even more if you like "the girls".
(goofy grin with stars in my eyes- I have no idea how to emoticon that).

The girls have grown older, have mellowed, maybe wiser- yet they are all quintessentially the same, with the same quest for true love. And they find it- be it within themselves or outside.
It is this patchwork quilt of life, with its unbearable pain knitted in with its hilarious moments, its grief and anger, its learning to forgive, its pure joy, its guilt, and self-doubt and questions and finding answers and looking forward...

Looking forward, and looking beyond- beyond labels (on both clothes and people), beyond names, beyond self, beyond ego... and even beyond love...

So, taking a quote from the movie... "Get Carried Away"

Monday, May 05, 2008

Clothes don't make a Woman

Or do they?
I've been branded a ganwar dehatan this weekend. Simply because I chose to wear a (Indian) suit.
And because I cooked (for the people who branded me a dehatan!!)

I sometimes wonder at this Indian prejudice (especially in the US)- the minute they meet another Indian in a non-western dress, she is pretty much an illiterate housewife.
So, I met some people for the first time, who came to a party of sorts at my place. I was wearing a suit (which, by the way, was a simple cotton, but very nice). As I opened the door for these (new) people, they took one look at me- and after that, all of them addressed me in shudh hindi.

They did not even ask me if I was studying here (everybody in the party was/is in various stages of their Ph.D., and so am I) but assumed that I was just an English-challenged housewife who's main goal in life is to cook and clean for all the other Ph.D.'s!!!

I was wondering quite a bit about this- just because I chose to cook for a bunch of people, I become a housewife (yes, with all derogatory connotations possible). Is cooking so uncool? Why do Indians look down upon it- why is it associated with "not being modern"?

So because I wear suits and cook, I am labeled, branded and slotted- all in the blinking of an eye. It does not matter that I probably do have better English than the rest of them put together. Or that I worked tirelessly so that I could make good food for all of them. And was so tired after it all that I could not go out drinking with them- I did not (because I was really tired after a day spent cooking and cleaning, for 7-9 people, but in their eyes, what in the world would a dowdy housewife do in a pub?)

Why? Why do Indians need to show off all the time? And then consider themselves superior to people who don't?
Why doesn't being a nice person count?

P.S.- I don't even wear a kilo of kaajal- which is the basic prerequisite for being a modern Indian woman in the US.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Forever Love

Yesterday was my first wedding anniversary... hard to believe, but it has been one year :)
Here's my husband's anniversary card to me-

Just a reaffirmation of why I love this guy so much ;)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hum bhi Modern hain

I think I want to write, to write about the new India, as seen through the eyes of an architect. I will not go into Indian politics, religion, caste, history, (post)-coloniality, sociology or historiography- any of the myriad things that people associate with India (I won’t even talk about the snake-charmers and elephants!). This is a biased, subjective and prejudiced perspective, of an Indian (though what that means is also not sure) architect (again, what does that mean).

Let’s call it the viewpoint of an onlooker, observing changes in the Indian urban landscape. Interestingly, I have reviewed three different types of building typologies, emerging in the globalized modern India, and have found that each is but a manifestation of the same process, a new avatar, a new face, a new body, but the same thing. What do we call this multi-headed hydra? Globalization? Americanization? Consumption? Liberalization? Greed?

The first was the shopping mall- yes; I’ve reviewed them so thoroughly that I can recite facts about Indian shopping malls in my sleep. I’ve written papers (okay, just one) on them. And I see the grasp of consumerism slowly expand its tentacles to get a hold inside the minds of the population. How consumerism has become the mark of status and existence. How where you shop is more important than what you buy and how you use it. How being in the mall makes you modern. The mall stocks western goods and commodities, which are bought by the new breed of Indian ‘transnationals’. The class that is transnational because they have been to that mysterious place that makes one more than human: abroad. The glitz, glass and chrome all shimmer invitingly. Yet, am I being too cynical? Is the mall really a sign of modernity?

Let’s talk about the second type of modern building- the ‘commercial’ office complexes. The glass palaces of the software czars. The modern edifices dedicated to outsourcing. The huge information technology parks. Which are redefining modern for the people who work there. Indeed, this is where the ‘transnational’ class is created and this ‘transnational’ place is where it works. So, does being a software engineer working in one of these enormously attractive buildings make you modern? It is a bit of the West supplanted in the Indian city. It is an offshoot of a western company. By extension, the westernity rubs off on the inhabitants?

Talking of inhabitants, I want to come to the final resting place: the home. A home in one of the most exclusive, entry-by-invitation, community of ‘like-minded’ people. The new gated community. That promises round-the-clock electricity, water, cleanliness, air-conditioning, clubs, roads and gymnasiums. It promises isolation- from the filth and squalor that is India. . Most importantly, it promises ‘abroad’- a piece of the world in India? Something that can be bought at ‘world-class’ prices by ‘world-class’ people. Yes, indeed, the home for transnationals. For it is only by living in such a community that one can preserve being an Indian in India: I am home, but who wants to see its ugly face?

Isn’t this what being modern in India means? What relation does modernity have to a way of thinking, mature self-growth, enlightenment or education? As long as I wear a pair of jeans and shop at the mall, I am modern. This makes me wonder. So one does not stand a chance if one does not live in a gated community, work in a MNC and shop at the mall.

After all, hum bhi ‘modern’ hain!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mud Pie Mojo Moods

Soft, sweet, melting and with the texture of silk..aahhh... ice-cream...
How I love it as it gradually melts on my tongue, soaking in the taste and texture,
chewing on the bits and pieces... sucking on as its tastes linger elusively on my palate...

And yet, not any ice-cream. I can only ever have chocolate ice-cream-
I have had ONLY the chocolate flavor for the last fifteen or so years (ever since I realized the pleasures of chocolate and the angst of teenage :)

However, this has rendered me completely incapable of eating any other flavor- I mean, anything else tastes sweet!!!!
For heaven's sake... sweet ice-cream..Ugghh. I just hate the taste of sweet ice-cream- unless it is tinged with the slight bitterness of chocolate, its not ice-cream.

The love affair started with Hot Chocolate Fudge (HCF) from Nirula's, Delhi. I just had to have it every time I visited Delhi. And continued, with HCF from Hot Millions, Chandigarh-here,
I usually had the standard Butterscotch replaced with Chocolate- and extra fudge.
It culminated with the Death by Chocolate- the ultimate chocolate fantasy, but available only at Corner House, Bangalore. Unfortunately, I've visited the city only once in my life.
(only five days of the world's best ice-cream, alas!)

Then I came to the US- and discovered the million or so flavors of chocolate ice-cream.
And also discovered Coldstone.
After a few experiments and trials- I have settled on Mud Pie Mojo.
Its just THE best (and this is coming from a connoisseur of chocolate ice-cream- its even better than the German ChocolateCake, and that is saying something).
It is not chocolate ice-cream, but coffee (obviously not sweet, thank god!).
With swirls of peanut butter and roasted almonds and Oreos and (lots of extra) fudge......

I think I am going into an orgiastic frenzy here.
(after all, they do say chocolate is a substitute for sex).

With my husband going out of town for a few months,
I think I'm going to have a lot of Mud Pie Mojo.
After all, that's the only Mojo of any kind I'll be getting ;)

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Wizarding Point of View

When asked why she wanted to do Muggle Studies (as her parents were Muggles), Hermione had answered, "... but it would be fascinating to study them from the wizarding point of view."

That is exactly how I feel in my South Asia courses and classes. I have been taking a lot of South Asia (read India) related courses for the last year. Most of my classmates are either Americans (fascinated by India) or second generation Indians wanting to "study and learn" about India ( I am the only Indian- born and brought up in India in these classes). My reason, of course, was the same as Hermione's- to see India from the outside (so to speak).

There is tremendous amount of research/work done on India, right from the colonial times- both by Indians and non-Indians. And I have realized that the way of looking in from the outside is very different from being inside and experiencing it, growing up in it. I am NOT disassociated with these events. I am attached, and all this is part and parcel of my being Indian. Even of me being me. These are events that have shaped my thoughts, feelings and ideas.

It is often difficult for me to clinically analyze the issues being discussed, simply because I am not a bipartisan bystander. I am involved, things are not like this, you can't be so dispassionate- I feel like screaming.
But I am learning that there is a different point of view. For the people who have done such excellent research and work, have looked at both points of view. At the inside and outside.

Despite my attachment, my ideological motivations and even my inherent prejudices, I am glad that I got to study all this. That I can now see India from the outside.

That I have now seen the wizarding point of view!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Holi, All

Hap-Hap-Hap-ppppyyy Holi!

Holi has always been my favorite festival. It means joy, and laughter, and teasing, and flirtation and enthusiasm and excitement and trepidation and anticipation :)

Oh joyous Holi, with its colors and water - and even the eggs and grease and coke - all that we used to throw at everybody else- and get thrown back at us.
I loved the Holi food too- especially the Gunjias and Kaanji (the extremely khatta kali gajar ka ras- if you have not had kaanji, you've missed out on something in life, believe me!)

There are numerous Holi songs, yet the one that captures the spirit and verve- and the one I love most is-

Jo jee mein aaye,
tum aaj karlo,
chaaho jise,
in baahon me bhar lo

Ang se Ang lagaana,
Sajan hamein aise rang lagaana....

Gaalon se ye gaal lagake,
nainon se ye nain milaake,
holi aaj manaana
Sajan hamein aise rang lagaana

(It really captures the spirit of Holi ;)

Unfortunately, its too cold here (its still snowing outside) to play the Indian wet holi style!
But for all of you in good weather, have a colorful blast on Holi.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

When the going gets tough...

How many of you have played this game- of adding a totally inane phrase behind a sentence, quote or even every line one speaks?
In my ragging days (by now, I am sure quite a few of you are wondering about the kind of ragging we had) we often had to append some (usually off-color) phrase when introducing ourselves to our seniors.
A favorite that was given was "in my pink panties". Another- "in my purple pyjamas"

So it went-
My name is XYZ... in my pink panties.
I am from ABC... in my pink panties.
I love reading books... in my pink panties.
My favorite hero is Shahrukh Khan... in my pink panties....

(Try doing this in your head in everyday conversation. I am sure you will get some gems :)

However, the first time I came across this game was when I was in Class 6th or whereabouts, at a friend's birthday party. The 'phrase' to be appended was "Under the Carpet".
And everybody had to add it on to some famous quote.

The one that I remember clearly is -

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.... under the carpet.

You see??? So every time I hear this quote "When the going...." my almost Pavlovian response is to add 'under the carpet'.

But it bears repetition-
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Was introspecting quite a bit today, and I realized that I had to get both over and through some muddles created in/ by my own mind. The self-made morass I was wallowing in left me precisely there- it is nice fun to wallow in the mud, but I guess it is time to come out and have a wash... in my pink panties :)

Ruminating on this, I fell asleep. And woke up with this quote on my mind and lips...

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!

After all, Picture abhi baaki hai, mere dost!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shoe Bite

Contrary to all my New-Year resolutions (this HAD to happen), I am still blogging infrequently. I promised myself that I would blog more, but then it seems that I never have something to say... or too much, in which case mere words can not do justice to my emotions (Oh yes, that is just an excuse for my laziness).

However, this time I am going to talk about something that has been part of my life forever, and has taken up substantial time and energy (and conversation) of mine - my ShoeBites.
(mind you, with a capital B)

Every single shoe that I have ever worn has given me shoebites. Be it a lowly Bata chappal, or some exorbitantly strappy high-heeled stuff- everything results in 4-5 shoebites. So I have lived in perpetual pain in my feet almost all the time. I can still walk miles with my feet killing me, simply because I am so used to doing it.

I have developed a theory around my shoebites- I wear the new shoes for a couple of days- live with the pain- to break them in. Then a few days break- and voila! The next time I wear them, they are relatively painless.

My heels are perenially in various stages of blister formations- burst, about to burst, in conception... Not to mention my toes...and the rest of my feet.
There was a time I used to display the blisters of various colors and sizes to all my friends - since I was so proud of them. Nobody else had such a collection!

Am still suffering as I wore a nice new pair of formal shoes a couple of days back. Have this one horrendous burst blister- which means I can not wear shoes with a back for the time being.

And it reminded me of my long tryst with shoebites all my life.
Is it just me? Or my big, ugly feet?

I guess I am no Cinderella...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This is a poem I wrote in my B.Arch first year ragging period-
we were given this phrase "Mere miyaan ne ande diye"
and told to write a creative piece on it- and be as creative as possible!

This was a regular thing in ragging- we would get some of the most weird phrases-
(I remember, another one was- "Jab mera pair shitpot me fansa)

Ostensibly, to improve our creativity. So this is what I came up with,
and it became quite a legend in the hostel :)
Mere Miyaan ne Ande Diye

Ik din mai kar rahi thhi, rasoi me kuchh kaam,
tabhi mere miyaan ne bulaya mera naam

phir andar se awaaz aayi kuchh yoon,
kukdoo koon, kukdoo koon

Mai pahunchi to darwaaza band thha,
ye sulook mujhe bilkul na pasand thha,
maine kaha "darwaaza kholo"
awaaz aayi, "abhi kuchh mat bolo"

yeh to koi jawaab na thha,
meri curiosity ka hisaab na thha,
maine utha liya hathauda,
aur usi waqt darwaaze ko toda

jaise hi meri nazar bistar par jhuki,
bas... meri to hansi hi na ruki

Miyaan bole...
Hanste hanste tumhara bura haal hai,
par sach kahoon, ye meri izzat ka sawaal hai

Ye ande maine abhi abhi diye hain,
tumhe na sahi, mujhe to bahut priye hain

Phir unhone Munne ko uske paalne se nikala,
aur uski jagah un andon ko daala,
maine Munne ko apni baahon me sameta,
par unhone to andon ko uske kambal me lapeta...

Ye dekh kar meri bhawhein tan gayi,
mai Kaali ka raudra roop ban gayi,
par unhone meri ek na maani,
kara wohi to man me thaani

kuchh dinon baad andon mein se, aayi kuchh awaaz,
hum daude gaye dekhne, kya thha iska raaz

Wo nazara dekh ke, hamaare ud gaye hosh,
andon me se nikle thhe, do pyaare khargosh

kuchh din huye, is baat ko kissa bane,
par wo dono hamaare parivaar ka hissa bane,

Munne ke saath wo
khelte hain chhupan-chhupai,
aakhir aapas mein,
wo hain to bhai- bhai

Chaahe is baat par, yakeen karna mushkil hai,
Par sach kahooon, jaanwaron ka bhi dil hai...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Seetharaman Narayanan

I have always been fascinated by this name- Seetharaman Narayanan. I have been using Photoshop for almost 8 years now, and I've been mesmerized by his name.
Photoshop and Seetharaman Narayanan are synonyms for me. There are times when, thinking about something that I'm designing in Photoshop- this name keeps reverberating at the back of my mind.

I always thought it was just me! And then, a few days back, I found this- an interview with the man himself.
And came to know that,
"Back in 2004, a simple comment was posted on the forum. It said, “Every time I open up photoshop I am mezmorized by this guy’s name. It’s all I can look at. Don’t know why…” Six pages of “Me, too!” responses followed."

So its the rest of the world as well! And I thought it was only me who kept staring and staring at the name. And that is why I decided to look him up. Here's what he looks like (Or what he's made to look like):

Seetharaman as God.

(P.S.- I like the mustache).

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Lakshman Rekha

Men and women experience urban space differently.

(a universal truth, which I would have thought everybody would have perceived and experienced).

However, at a recent party, we just happened to talk about this- and one guy said- "Is that true? I really don't know. I think this atleast does not happen in India"


Which essentially proves my point- men and women experience urban space differently. AND- that this guy was a thick blockhead with no perception.

Women grow up (especially in India) with an inherent sense of the implicit and perceived danger in open urban spaces. We have all heard incessant warnings about not going out after dark, ever.
We've all had our share of those experiences- be it a groping hand passing by on the street, on the crowded public bus, waiting for the bus at night...
My point being- an inherent caution of public space is built into women, and it comes as a natural part of our perception and experience. I had thought of this as something everybody knew- there is, after all, a lot of press on Eve-teasing, and women's molestation, etc.- especially in India. It is part and parcel of our daily life in India.
More so, because public places are not deemed as "proper" places for respectable Indian women to be seen in. Being in a public place at the wrong time is "asking for it".

New Year's Eve, Mumbai was not an aberration. India is getting unsafer by the day (ToI, sometime this Jan).
Take a look at these guidelines- they would be hilarious, if they were not so saddeningly true. These are rules that are internalized by all Indian women, and have been spelt out only for visitors. YES, this is how we all know we are supposed to behave. These are our Lakshman-Rekhas...

So it irritated me no end when an educated, supposedly well-read Indian said this. Made me angry. Maybe somebody needs to put their blinkers away. This truth will never penetrate his narrow vision, perception and thought. Actually, considering his ways of thinking, he maybe believes women have no need to be in a public place at all! (As you can guess, I am infuriated).

Does this say something about Indian men? If they don't even SEE the problem, how can effective steps be made to solve it???

See here!!!

Monday, January 07, 2008


The most intoxicating song of all time:


For the first time ever, I have put a song on my blog.
This is one song I used to listen to when I was growing up (that will make you wonder about the kind of songs I listened to ;)
Actually, my Mom was a ghazal fanatic- and so we both used to listen to these Urdu ghazals, and she would explain not only the literal Urdu meaning of the word, but also the deeper meaning of the whole.
I still remember her ghazal diaries- she would sing the ghazal (she has an amazing voice and had trained in classical music) and then explain their meanings to me - and as a budding teenager, with all its incipient heartaches, I would be absorbed in this wonderful world and find a resonance within me!!

So began a lifetime of love for Urdu and Sher-o-shayari. I am a huge Ghalib fan and just love his poetry.
And of course, the Jaam is such an integral part of the ghazal...
Which is the reason for this post.

If you love alcohol/liquor/ sharaab- you just have to listen to this song.
It is the most incredible tribute to sharaab- listen to the tadap and talab for it as you hear the depth of longing for sharaab... in Munni Begum's incomparable voice!
The lyrics are spectacular- every word a joyous celebration of nasha...

A must hear for all alcohol-philes!!

And a fitting start to the 2008 blogging year- with spirit!!!!!