Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Year & 2 Months Today

I just realized that my blog turned 1 on October 31st! That's 1 year & 2 months to this day.

A Belated Happy FIRST Birthday to the blogger me!!

I'm surprised I've managed to sustain blogging for over a year, but then that's the hold blogging has on you. It's de-stressing, an outlet for myriad emotions. Not to mention that reading other people's blogs is an enriching experience.

A very BIG THANK YOU to all of you who've been reading & commenting on my blog since it's inception, as also to those of you who joined the tide midway. It's been splendid having you on board.

Here's to many more Happy Fabulous Birthdays...Like to write, will write!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ghajini Disappoints

While Aamir Khan shines.

An hour into the movie I thought I didn’t like it, but then I thought it was too early to dismiss it because after all, it WAS an Aamir Khan movie, and he generally chooses his movies well. After watching the movie I was quite certain I didn’t like it.

The killers : the love story between Sanjay & Kalpana (the lead protagonists), the 3 hr 15 mins running time, the misplaced songs & Asin.

First things first : Aamir Khan is absolutely brilliant in the movie, both as Sanjay Singhania the industrialist & the revenge-obsessed Sanjay Singhania. It’s amazing how at 43 he still retains his school-boyish charm. Watch the scenes where he’s with Kalpana. He’s in love, yet displays a lot of maturity & mellowness. And within minutes he transforms himself into a yelling, screaming, out-for-blood monster. There is a reason why he needed a body like he has in Ghajini. It’s not there for effect or to make women (or gay men) swoon. It’s there because the Anterograde Amnesia-inflicted character of Sanjay Singhania who is on a killing rampage (where he can knock down people who are twice his size) would have been comical had Aamir Khan not gotten himself a body like that. So a word has to be put in about the dedication of the actor. Secondly, I felt NO OTHER actor could’ve carried off the role convincingly.

Now the spoilers…

The love story between Sanjay & Kalpana drags the movie down. It’s shown in two installments & impedes the pace of the movie. I found the action parts much better (though they’re violent & gory).

The movie was way too long. The editing could have been much crisper & the length could have been chopped down to 2 hrs 45 mins or so. Maybe by removing a few songs – one where Asin is introduced, the ‘Laddoo’ song with Jiah Khan & the ‘Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gaye’ song in the end which is good but a repeat.

None of the songs in the movie carry the story forward. In fact, they pop out of nowhere & disrupt the flow. It might have been a good idea to retain just one or two songs in the movie & release the rest as part of the music CD. That would’ve helped reduce the running time as well.

As for Asin, probably the most awaited debutant of 2008 (in Bollywood that is) after Deepika Padukone….I found her quite irritating in the movie. Her character was so jaded…she’s this selfless, kind-hearted young woman who helps blind men cross the road, helps disabled children across bridges, saves young girls from flesh trade etc. I mean, being kind & selfless is all good but there’s nothing refreshing about her character. Her character required her to be loud to a certain extent but she has overdone it in the movie. She's pretty in a very Indian way...reminds one of Revathy in a few scenes...but I didn’t find her to be all that she was purported to be!

There was one innovative thing about the movie though…for the first time I’ve come across the movie which is named after the bad guy!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bura Na Maano Dilli Hai!!

I love Delhi. Minus the crime against women of course!

What do I love it for? The wide roads…the open spaces…the history…Dilli ki sardi…the one million ‘golchakkars’ the city has…for Janpath, Kamla Nagar, Sarojini Nagar & Karol Bagh…for Dilli Haat…but most of all for it’s lip smacking food whether it be the parathas of Qutub Industrial Area or Moolchand Flyover, or the Punju food you get at dhabas!!

I was in Delhi for Christmas 2 years ago (i.e. 2006) & that was the most fun Christmas I’ve had in the past five years. It was freezing & I spent the day with two of my friends from Delhi itself…VJ & SA.

Christmas was on a Monday so we had a long weekend & we spent the entire weekend doing nothing but eating! That’s right….we ate and ate and ate and ate and ate some more!!

Throughout the three days, the three of us would meet in the morning and start making plans for the day. We would make many plans but eventually we would do nothing. We would make plans, walk from one place to another, eat. Make plans again, walk to another place, eat. Make even more plans, walk to yet another place, eat again!! And we ate all the unhealthy fattening stuff in the world…aloo parathas, gobi parathas, paneer parathas (doused with butter mind you, there is no other way to eat parathas in Delhi), chhole bhature, butter chicken, gaajar ka halwa. I can’t ever forget for as long as I live how much gaajar ka halwa I ate in those 3 days! Dripping with ghee that too. We ate so much over those 3 days that when I came back to Bombay after it, I had gained 1.5 kgs!!!

Christmas day was the most fun though. We spent the day at Connaught Place. The three of us bought Santa caps (the ones that have lights on them) & we wore them around Connaught place all day. We ate, we took pictures, we harassed the roadside vendors selling Christmas paraphernalia asking them a million questions, bargaining with them & not buying anything from them. We wished random people ‘Meri Christmas’.

Then in the evening we went to PVR in Saket to watch a movie (we watched 'Kabul Express' if I remember correctly). We had to kill some time before the movie so we (surprise surprise!) went into a restaurant & ate.

When we came out (still in our Santa caps), a guy from the Airtel store spotted us & wanted to take a picture of us. He went on saying things like “You guys are looking so cool! Please let us take a picture. We will publish it in our brochure.” Basically I think he wanted to take our picture as we were the only three freaks roaming around in Santa caps & he would've printed it in his brochures to be circulated NATIONALLY with the caption "Look at the 3 Morons"!! But what the hell…it was Christmas for Chrissake!! So we let him take a picture, which he promised to mail to us but never did. It came out pretty cute, actually. Then the guy started singing ‘Jingle Balle Jingle Balle Jingle Balle Balle’ to us….which has sort of become the anthem for VJ, SA & me since then.

After the movie got over, we went to a club called ‘Café Morrison’ at South Ex, named after Jim Morrison obviously. Still in our Santa caps! Stayed there for a few hours, got drunk. After we left Café Morrison, we wanted to cut a Christmas cake (please note we were completely sloshed by this time, at least VJ & I were, not sure about SA).

There were a couple of cake shops at South Ex but they had run out of cake!! We went across to a convenience store at the gas station across from South Ex. They had cakes but not eggless ones (VJ is Jain so he couldn't have cake with eggs). Then we walked to another eating joint a little further. Don’t remember the name…it was something with an R…Rameshwar maybe? They didn’t have cakes at all! Then I think we tried finding ice-cream. Couldn't find that either, so we finally settled for chocolates.

Well, we might not have been able to have Christmas cake in Delhi but we surely had enough gaajar ka halwa to last us ten winters! Say 'Aye' to Dilli!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Many Lives, Many Masters

Do you believe in reincarnation? Spirits? Do you believe that the soul survives after death and takes the form of another body?

Well if you don’t, read ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Dr Brian Weiss, a practicing psychotherapist who graduated from Columbia University & Yale Medical School.

‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ is the true story of one of his patients, Catherine, who suffers from depression, various phobia & anxiety disorders. Months of conventional psychotherapy fail to bring about any improvement in her condition. That is when Dr Weiss decides to try ‘past-life therapy’ on her, where the patient is hypnotized & regressed into his/her past life. Not only does it emerge that her phobias and anxieties are rooted in the way she died during her 86 past lives, the patient, in the state of hypnosis, even starts conveying messages to him from ‘Masters’ (or highly evolved souls not presently in a body) that exist in the “space between lives”.

The Masters make some startling revelations about life after death and also disclose secrets about Dr Weiss’ past & present that Catherine definitely had no means of knowing, thereby adding a sense of authenticity to their existence.

The messages from the Masters are myriad. The soul is immortal. Reincarnation does take place. The soul leaves the body after death & houses itself in another body after a resting period in which it floats in darkness before coming into contact with a bright light that rejuvenates & re-energizes it. During this waiting-to-be-reborn state, the soul apparently also acquires wisdom or transcendental knowledge from the Masters. Souls then await instructions and guidance from the Master Spirits.

Our fate in our next life and the quality of the life itself depend on our actions in the previous life. Or ‘karma’.

We are meant to learn certain pre-ordained lessons in each lifetime, and if we die without learning those lessons, we must go back. This is apparently what happens to people who’ve had near-death experiences where they have admitted to floating out of their bodies towards a bright white light before returning to their bodies once again because they are asked to go back. People in commas can decide whether or not to return, depending on how much learning they have yet to accomplish in their present lifetime. If they feel they have nothing further to learn, they can crossover to the spiritual state.

In the ‘in-between state’, souls have a chance to reflect on the lessons learnt during the previous lifetime and can choose to be re-born, what they need to accomplish and what karmic debts need repaying. If we do not overcome our vices before dying, we carry them over with ourselves to our next life.Groups of souls tend to reincarnate together again and again, working out their karma over the span of many lifetimes.

All human beings are given intuitive powers. Some of us possess powers greater than others because they have been accrued from other lifetimes. Therefore, people are not all created equal but eventually we will reach a point where we will all be equal because eventually there has to be balance & harmony in the universe.

The Masters also tell us about the existence of many subconscious ‘planes’ or dimensions, each being a level of higher consciousness. What level we go to depends on how far our souls have evolved in the ‘physical state’. According to the Masters there are seven planes of which only 3 are revealed in the book as Catherine gets completely healed before the Masters have a chance to reveal the remaining four.

The first plane is the plane of Recollection where you are allowed to see the life that has just passed. Souls that are highly evolved, i.e., Masters are allowed to see history with the help of which they can share lessons of past lives with us (essentially what happens in this book). The second plane is the plane of Awareness where we become aware of the lessons we have learnt in our previous lives and those we still need to learn. The third plane is the plane of Transition where it is determined what dominant trait we must overcome in our next life.

The Masters also tell us that there is a God who we try to approach by going through each lifetime. Once we’ve learnt all the lessons we were meant to learn, accumulated enough knowledge (not intellectual, but what they call ‘emotional’ or ‘subconscious’ knowledge) & have cleared all our karmic debts, we can finally get close to God and rest forever.

A chilling message given by the Masters is that humans will eventually destroy themselves because they are full of greed, ambition & fear. But nature will survive.

I did not take the book very seriously while I was reading it because like millions of other people in this world, my brain too believes in the ‘logic’ of things. Spiritual talk seems abstract at best, to me. Stuff about souls, spirits, life after death, reincarnation etc. are not things that tickle my fancy. I’m one of those people who believe that once life is over, it’s over. End of story. One lifetime is enough to deal with, who wants life after death and another life after that!!

I started thinking about the book a couple of days after I was out of it. One might be tempted to dismiss the book as crap, psychological babble etc. Except that it might not be psychological babble after all. This is because the ‘Masters’ do disclose some secrets about Dr Weiss’ past & present life through Catherine, which are unknown to anyone except Dr Weiss himself and Catherine has no recollection of those things once she’s out of the hypnotic state.

Many of the concepts that this book talks about, such as the immortality & indestructibility of the soul, reincarnation, karma etc. are things one knows as being major tenets of Hinduism. Quite a few of us, especially those who are not very religious, usually dismiss such concepts as religious bullshit. At least I know I did…until I read this book. I’m not saying the book has altered by belief completely but it has definitely made me think if these things could actually be true. That Hinduism might not have been so misguided after all. And the thought is spooky!

Read the book if you’re open to questioning your beliefs. Yourself.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Naach Basanti Naach!!

There’s a reality dance show called ‘Nach Baliye’ on Star Plus in which real-life television couples participate. I find their reaction to the judges’ comments after their performance most amusing. They take the judges comments so seriously…they yelp & jump when the judges give them good comments/scores, they even start crying when the judges give them negative comments!!

The reason I find their behavior utterly amusing is because of two reasons…..

a) these people, the participants i.e., are all television actors. They aren’t exactly the "common man" for whom the show is their one big shot at fame, money & a glittering career in television. So why do they take the comments so seriously??

b) Have you seen the credentials of the judges themselves??!!! I have no clue what gives them the experience or the right to judge these shows? Karishma Kapoor & Arjun Rampal are two of the judges on ‘Nach Baliye’. Errrr….why? Karishma might have danced in many movies but she is in no way qualified to judge a dance-based show. God knows Arjun Rampal can’t dance! Malaika Arora has made a career of judging dance shows? Why again?? The only song where she’s danced well is‘Chhaiyya Chhaiyya’. All her other “item numbers” are over-hyped. She’s hilarious…she even gets offended & walks out of shows if any of the contestants questions her judgement. Urmila Matondkar & Shilpa Shetty have also served as judges on another dance show with TV actors called ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’.

Basically the funda seems to be to take any flop/has-been actor or actress who is currently vella & to sign them up as a judge for a reality show! This works well for both parties...the judge is light on the pocket of the production house, and the actor/actress gets some visibility & income. Seldom do these shows actually help resuscitate the careers of these have-been's. Take Shilpa Shetty & Urmila Matondkar for instance. Both women were full-on doing jhatka-matkas on the reality show, obviously to show producers they weren't jaded yet. Urmila would even go on to the dance floor uninvited & start dancing. Still I don't think they gained anything from the reality show in terms of a boost to their sagging careers.

When the credentials of the judges themselves is dubious, should their judgment be taken so seriously??

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Of Peace, Hope & Faith

I am one of those people who're hopelessly in love with Christmas. Don't ask me why? There is no specific reason why Christmas warms my heart more than any Indian festival, it just does. The irony is that inspite of having gone to a Catholic school for 15 years of my life, I wasn't so crazy about Christmas then as I became after school. It's probably the memories of celebrating Christmas during my college years in the US that made the festival so endearing.

This is what our Christmas celebrations in college used to be like : The city would start getting decorated mid-November, as people started their holiday shopping. Malls, airports, streets, restaurants, hotels all would have giant Christmas trees and be decked up with lights. Every store you walked in would have Christmas carols playing in the background & Santa smiling indulgently at you. We used to play Secret Santa every Christmas, where all of us friends would write out names on small chits of paper, put them all into a box & everyone would draw one name each. The deal was that you had to get a gift within $5 for the person whose name you drew, without the person knowing it's you who's getting them a gift! The day before college shut down for Christmas, we would all meet in one of our rooms & would one by one give gifts to the person whose name we pulled out. The next day we would all be headed 'home', wherever that was (My Christmas used to be spent either in Chicago or New York, where I had family). The fun part of this game wasn't only the exchange of gifts but also those 10 days leading upto it when each person had to keep a secret & figure out something that the other person would like & appreciate.

Now, my Christmas celebrations start mid-December & last till the end of January. I decorate my home & my work station with Christmas stuff. Like every year, this year too I got this GORGEOUS Christmas tree that already has some beautiful decorations on it, and with a little bit more it will truly light up my living room. I also got a beautiful wreath for my door & a Santa to put beside the tree!

My mother, who loves Christmas almost as much as I do & is a great sport in life, will be with me this Christmas, and the two of us have drawn up some great plans to celebrate the day, which include an English Christmas lunch followed by a movie (preferably a Christmas movie - my all-time favorite is 'Love Actually'). In the evening we're calling a couple of my friends over for plum pudding & hot apple cider.

I look forward to Christmas every year but this year I'm particularly eager for it to come around. I was thinking why and you know what I came up with? We're living in times of such fear, insecurity, despair & hatred. Most of us are scared to go to a mall, movie theater or other crowded public places. Our society is becoming more & more fragmented by the day. There is so much hatred towards people belonging to other religions, so much regionalism, so much distrust towards one another. Everything, including life itself, seems so transient, and I have a bad feeling that things will only get worse with each passing year - at least for a few years UNTIL we take care of the menace of terrorism (globally) and divisionary politics (within India) once & for all.
Come to think of it, this is such a sad way to live life. Living in fear is no way to live. It is simply counting down to death because our aim then is to make it through each day.

I refuse to live in fear. I want to live believing there is still a lot goodness in this world, that is much stronger than evil. I want to believe there is still a lot of love within all of us that is much deeper than the hatred in the entire world put together. I want to believe. This Christmas I'm going to say a prayer for peace, for hope, for faith and for humanity.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

All Christmassy on the Scarlett Front

I am happy. Make that very happy. No, ecstatic actually. Why?

Because it's almost Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In case you can't tell from the pictures on my blogs, the 'Jingle Bells' carol right below this post & the countless exclamation marks above....I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's my favoritestest festival of the entire year! I like Diwali too but Diwali is more about being with family etc. Whereas Christmas is all about warmth & joy, and Christmas decorations are much prettier than decorations for any other festival. Take malls for example. They are so prettily decorated around Christmas!! Actually, I love everything about Christmas...the decorations, the plum cake, the midnight mass. The very mention of Christmas generates visions of warmth, fireplaces & apple ciders in my head. Not to mention winter & snow!

Sigh...I really do love Christmas.

So let's all be happy & celebrate Christmas. Like the Delhiites say - MERI CHRISTMAS, TERI BHI CHRISTMAS!!! :D

This one's for Moonshine, a Delhiite to the core who shares my love for Christmas. Guess where it's from, Moonshine!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

It's That Time of the Year

*Title borrowed from Moonsine (this is what I thought her latest post was about :)

Now that I've ensured she can't sue me, let's get on with it :-)

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
Over the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight

Hey, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upshot

Hey, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dick's Last Resort

I was reading an article on the World’s Strangest Restaurants on this website the other day.

I would like to add an entry to their list – Dick’s Last Resort Restaurant.

It’s an American (of course!) chain of restaurants that welcomes you with something like this : “From Rug-rats to Old Farts, from High-Class to No-Class, from the Top of the Food Chain, to the Bottom of the Barrel, it’s FUN FOR ALL AND ALL IN FUN FOR THOSE WHO DARE TO ENTER! …Dick’s has always been known for its outrageous, surly, energetic waitstaff who inflict humor upon our guests… If you’ve got any talent, git up on stage and sing with the band. Dance anywhere ya want - except… don’t shake ya booty on top of our fine tables and chairs. They’ve lasted 20 yrs, and we’ll use ‘em for 20 more if we can. You may end up wearing a 2ft tall paper hat complete with a humorous slogan, or doused in a sea of napkins. There’s never a dull moment in this 3-ring circus which is exactly how we earned our infamous reputation”.

One needs a very thick skin & a damn good sense of humor if one wishes to lunch/dine at Dick’s and enjoy the experience.

The USPs of the restaurant are : rude waiters that insult you & provide poor service, bizarre interiors & strange things you’re made to do while eating at the restaurant.

First about the waiters, which I found to be the most amusing part of Dick’s. They are rude, they abuse you, they will throw the cutlery in front of you, they bang your plate etc. They will even go to the extent of asking you to F-off. I kid you not. They can get really offensive. I have been to one & it’s happened to me and my friends.

The restaurants are generally huge with wooden interiors. The one I went to (in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina) resembled an airplane hangar, and had a number of motorcycles strewn about & women’s undergarments hanging carelessly above the bar. The décor is completely random and unrelated to food.

The food is greasy, served messily, and accompanied by a big bib & a paper hat scribbled with nonsensical stuff that every diner must wear.

The menu consists mainly of American Barbecue, Steak & Burgers, and offers a couple of bizarrely named entrees such as ‘cluck & moo’ (chicken & steak) and ‘oink & cluck’ (pork & chicken). Here’s a sampling of what Dick’s has to offer its guests…

For all their crass humor & patron abuse, you will be surprised to find that the patronage consists not only of high school/college kids but also families with young children. It’s a fairly pricey restaurant, the food is greasy but good, and comes in gigantic portions.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Went to a very nice resto-bar called Zara for Sunday afternoon lunch. Zara is a Tapas restaurant (Tapas refers to Spanish appetizers) but it serves Chinese, Italian & Mexican food as well! The main course is mainly Continental but both the times that I've gone there we have stuffed ourselves with their spicy, delicious appetizers, skipped the main course (which you would get at any Continental resaurant) & jumped straight to the dessert, which are Oh-My-God-Heavenly!! It was my second visit to the restaurant & I'm beginning to think the people who work there have developed a liking for me (grin from ear to ear :)

The story goes somewhat like this...

The first time I went to Zara, they gave my friend & me an appetizer (a very nice one) on the house! I have no clue why!! The second time was even better (isn't it always? ;)

They make these awesome Strawberry Martinis. Basically, they add fresh strawberry juice to Vodka and leave it to ferment for a week, so the Vodka truly imbibes the taste of strawberries. They prepare this concoction in-house.

Fresh strawberries were not available in the market the first time I went there, so instead of using strawberry infused Vodka they made the martini by adding Vodka to strawberry puree. And it tasted divine. This time around when I went, they were back to making their original Strawberry Martinis. I ordered for one thinking it would be the same as last time (since I didn't know the difference), but when I got my martini I was quite disappointed as it didn't taste the same, and much to the waiter's displeasure I kept insisting it was not the same thing I had last time. The guy at the bar probably saw me sulking & before I knew it, there was another glass of Strawberry Martini infront of me, the way I had had it the first time! And it was ON THE HOUSE!!

I quite like the ambience & the food at Zara though not the decor so much. They've got three types of seating - couches where you can lounge, tables & chairs, and bar stools along the bar. The music played is good...on Saturday night they played Spanish music, followed by Retro, my eternal favorite. Yesterday too they were playing pretty enjoyable music though I don't remember what genre! I didn't notice!! But the best thing about the music at Zara is that it is not so loud that it is impossible to hold a conversation. It is a resto-bar afterall.

The best feature of Zara is undoubtedly their desserts. I've had a dessert on both my visits there. On my first visit I had the Dark Chocolate Mousse with Kahlua Cream (thick layer of it :) I'm sure I don't need to explain what it was in detail. The second time I had a Pancake Filled with Molten Chocolate & Served with Ice-Cream. The molten chocolate gave the entire thing a bittersweet taste, and the hotness of the pancake/chocolate contrasted well with the ice-cream.

The hi-point for eating-out enthusiasts...the waiters are polished, well spoken, conversant in English, know their dishes, can recommend good ones, are chilled out & always have a big smile on their faces. That makes a world of a difference at a restaurant. Nothing pisses me off more than dumb waiters at restaurants.

Zara has two outlets in Chennai. They've just opened in Pune & are planning to open in Delhi in February & Bombay in six months if things work out for them in terms of space. I hope they do, and you guys should head there for desserts as soon as they do! And for their strawberry martinis! And for the sweet people they are :)

PS: As you can clearly see, I can only think of food right now. That's because I'm on a self-imposed-diet-under-enormous-societal-pressure. And as anyone who has tried dieting will know, when you're on a diet food is all you can think of!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


I am an urban woman - well-educated, career driven & financially independent. And unmarried to boot. I’m adept at juggling the demands of work with the stress of living on my own; have been doing so for the past five years. I am also 28 years old & getting ready to celebrate my 29th birthday early-ish next year (yes, birthdays are a big deal :-)

Over the years - say between the age of 23 when I first started working and 28 - I have seen a significant change in myself, in my opinions & my views on issues that affect women, the choices women have to make in life etc.

As a 23-24 year old, I used to be fairly certain – make that absolutely certain - that I wasn’t the types to make sacrifices for husband & children, if & when I do get married. I found no reason to do so. Always believed that if a man isn’t expected to make sacrifices for his family, why should a woman be expected to? But as all of you women who’ve been there before me would know, age mellows you down :-)

As you grow older, you tend to re-evaluate your opinions, particularly your stand on various issues assailing the women species. I think the major reason behind this is the events you see unfolding in your social & professional circle. You see your female friends & colleagues, who are just like you (career driven, ambitious), getting married and making certain choices that would seem contrary to their personalities.

I have seen this happening more in my family than outside. My aunts are all over-achievers. One is a lawyer in Chicago who studied law at Columbia & Northwestern Universities – some of the premier law schools in the US. She got picked up by one of the top law firms in Chicago and was well on her way to becoming a partner at the firm when she realized that her kids, who were between 5 & 10 years of age, needed more of her time than she was able to give them with 13-14 hour workdays. Her kids were growing up with babysitters - who to their credit were doing a good job - but the kids needed “mom-time”. So, she decided to go part-time which obviously meant she had to give up on her ambition to become a partner - something each lawyer covets.

Another aunt (IIM-C graduate, did a Master’s in IT from Berkeley & went on to work with Oracle & then Morgan Stanley) too gave up her job because she felt she needed to give more time to her kids. The third aunt, a psychiatrist by profession, too chose to give up her job when she had her second child because she felt she was not able to do justice to her first, as she had to divide her time between him & work.

One might wonder what the big deal about this is? Women, particularly Indian women, routinely make such sacrifices without batting an eyelid. Fair enough. But the big deal - at least for me - is that it’s happened in my family, where every woman is brought up being told that she needs to be financially independent when she grows up. In fact, I don’t remember my parents or anyone else in my family ever telling me that choosing not to work when I grow up is an option too!

Let me just clarify, I don’t belong to a fascist family, in case you’re wondering :-) It’s just that since my grandmother downwards, every single woman in my family has been a working woman.

The interesting thing about my aunts is that all of them went to the US as students in the 1990s, without financial backing from their parents, which meant they had to struggle and survive on stipends for as long as it took them to complete their education, so they could have what they thought was a better life as compared to what they could have had in India in the 1990s. And they reached a point in life when, just like that, they gave it all up!! It was not an easy decision for them at all, as they all admit, but one they NEEDED to and WANTED to make. It was a big step for them and had many implications not only on their financial standing but also on their psyches, but they took that step nonetheless. And that really made me sit up & think.

I’m still undecided on what I would end up doing if & when I do have a family. Would I keep working as I am currently…or go part-time…or quit working completely? While on the one hand, I do think it’s important that kids get quality time from at least one parent (which one of the two it should be is a matter of endless debate :-), on the other hand I also know that I would be miserable if I had to depend on someone else for money. I’m interested in seeing which way I swing and how long I can sustain it.

Point is….you should never say ‘Never’ in life!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Noble Initiative & On To Other Things...

Finally, India Inc. has come together to the aid of terror martyrs' families. One knows that any kind of financial compensation cannot make up for the loss of a loved one, but the harsh reality is that we need money to survive.

Some of Mumbai’s young industrialists have set up a fund of Rs 2 Crores for the families of the security personnel who died in combat. The families of 14 policemen, NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan & Marine Commando Gajendra Singh will get Rs 25,000 per month for the next 5 years. They are also evaluating the option of giving out Rs 10,000-15,000 per month for a longer duration, as opposed to Rs 25,000 per month for 5 years. This aid, in my opinion, is much better than the measly one-time compensation the government gives to the families of the deceased, as it is drawn out over a period of time, and the amount is substantial.

Most of these industrialists have refused to divulge their identities, which is so refreshing to hear. I was touched by what one of them had to say on the issue: “This is only a gesture to try and give something back to those who laid down their lives for this city, this country. This is a salute to our security agencies and reassure them that if, God forbid, anything happens to them while they are performing their duty, the people of this country will look after their families."

In a separate initiative, Mr Ratan Tata is setting up a new trust solely to help the victims of the terror attack under the flagship of the Indian Hotels Company, the company that owns the Taj. This financial aid will not be restricted to the families of staff & guests who got injured or lost their lives inside the Taj but will be available to anyone affected by the attacks, be it at CST, Leopold, Cama Hospital or Trident Hotel. Such is the character of Mr Ratan Tata. The man makes us respect him all over again - again & again.

Rebuilding the Taj is being estimated to cost him Rs 500 Crore but he’s not being stingy about helping the victims of the attack. Would like to see a similar initiative coming out of the Oberoi-Trident, if not for everyone who got injured/lost their lives during the attack but at least for their staff & guests who were victims. Also waiting to see if the Ambani brothers come up with any such initiative. In my mind, they definitely should. But I haven’t heard any noise from that quarter.

I’ve decided that this is going to be my last post on the attack. Unless I have something very significant to say. I need to bury this issue now, with all my respect to those who lost their lives – guests & staff of the two hotels, residents of Nariman House, people who lost their lives at CST, Cama Hospital & Leopold – and prayers for their families. Just because I’m putting this issue to rest does not mean I’m going to forget it. Not anytime soon. Probably not ever. Even though the terror attack did not affect me directly, it did strike a city very close to my heart. But the gloom has lingered for quite a while now, and I just realized it’s only 15 days to Christmas – the time of the year I wait for all year (apart from my birthday, ofcourse :)

So I need some HAPPY & CHEER. It’s time for Christmas, everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Arms & The Media

The media has been criticized for telecasting live the operations at the Taj, Oberoi & Nariman House. Barkha Dutt has responded by writing an extensive piece defending the role of media & applauding them on the way they gallantly covered the attack, the threat to their lives notwithstanding.

In addition, Rajdeep Sardesai has been quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t buy the logic that television coverage compromised security and the rescue operations. Everybody wanted to know how the events were unfolding. It was extremely tense. And, the security forces were dealing with fidayeens. They (fidayeens) wouldn’t time their actions by watching television. That’s a ridiculous thing to even suggest.”

While I do give credit to the media for reporting from the site of the siege with death staring them in the face, I think they should have acted more responsibly given what was going on. I agree terrorists would not have been watching television while inside the hotels, but anyone with even half a brain would know that people from their organization would have been following the news & would most probably be relaying it to the terrorists. As has now been proved, the terrorists were each carrying a cell phone & were in constant touch with both their Lashkar commanders in Pakistan & in India. And I am pretty sure they were constantly being updated on NSG’s moves!!

Had the media exercised some restraint, maybe - just maybe - the operation might have gotten over sooner & a few more lives would have been spared. After all, knowledge of the positions & plans of the NSG with the terrorists would definitely have put the NSG at a disadvantage, maybe even have cost them a few lives.

Rajdeep Sardesai’s reasoning above is demented at best. And Barkha Dutt’s piece is clearly an attempt to save her butt. Sample this : “In the 72 hours that we stood on reporting duty, not once were we asked to move further away. We often delayed live telecasting of images that we thought were sensitive so as to not compromise the ongoing operation. Not once, were we asked by anyone in authority, to switch our cameras off, or withhold images. When we did so, it was entirely our own assessment that perhaps it was safest to do so. Across the world, and as happened in the US after 9/11, there are daily, centralized briefings by officials to avoid any inadvertent confusion that media coverage may throw up. Not so in Mumbai. There was no central point of contact or information for journalists who were often left to their own devices to hunt down news that they felt had to be conveyed to their country. No do's and don'ts were provided by officials. While we understand that this situation was new for everyone involved, and so the government could not have been expected to have a full plan for media coverage, surely the same latitude should be shown to us?”

She further goes on to say, “Should there be an emergency code of dos and donts for the coverage of such crises? We in the media would welcome a framework for sensitive events and are happy to contribute to its construction. But it is important to understand that in the absence of any instructions on site and in the absence of any such framework we broke NO rules.”

I think her entire argument of “we broke NO rules because there were none” is simply an attempt to prevent any legal action against the media from any quarter. Our system isn’t even equipped to handle terror (after all, our police went to counter the terrorists who were armed with AK-47s & grenades with lathis!!) How can the government be expected to have a list of do’s & don’t’s for the media, and expected to brief the media on what they should & shouldn’t do on an everyday basis, given what was going on inside the hotels & Nariman House??

Secondly, guidelines or no guidelines, there is something called ‘morality’, ‘ethics’, ‘conscience’. Self-censorship is something which the media MUST exercise in situations like this, and especially when national security is at stake.

Barkha Dutt’s argument about delaying live telecasting of images is feeble as well. Very few will argue that a terrorist who has details of the offensive the forces are planning against him, the direction they are coming from etc., though delayed, is much better equipped to battle the forces than one who has no information whatsoever on the strategy of the forces or the direction of their approach!!

Halfway through the live telecast, the journalists also started saying things like "without giving away too much detail, we will tell you that…". But did they have to give away any detail at all to the terrorists?? Updates on the situation would have been enough. There was no need for the entire country to watch live what was going on at the Taj. I mean, we were in no way involved with the operations. There was no reason we needed to watch it live!

Talking of updates, the ticker at the bottom of the screen was often misleading. One instant, it would say ‘Operation over at the Taj. The other instant it would read, “2 terrorists still inside the Taj’. Or ‘No more hostages left inside the Taj’, followed by ’15 hostages still trapped inside Taj’. How ridiculous!!

The journalists, in the face of criticism, are going around saying “We showed live coverage because people wanted to know! The country wanted to know! The country has a right to know! You cannot deny them right to information!” etc. etc. To my mind, this is all crap. We are only too familiar with how journalists abuse the rights they enjoy in a democratic country. They use their ‘PRESS’ pass to gain access to anything & everything, where as the truth is they will go to any extent, break any barrier, just so they can grab more eyeballs & jack up their TRP ratings.

There is something called self-censorship which the media completely lacks today. Their favorite pastime is to invoke the ‘Freedom of the Press’ clause, which they are doing in this situation as well. But nothing – absolutely nothing – is more important than national security. I sincerely hope the courts in India understand & appreciate this, and issue a writ designating the IB Ministry to formulate a Code of Conduct for the media that they must abide by at all times.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Some more random (or not so random) thoughts

Simi Garewal needs to be yanked out of her Breach Candy illusion & plunged into reality. How can the woman make such blatantly ignorant & inflammable statements on national television, such as there being Pakistani flags everywhere in slums across Bombay & the idea of carpet-bombing Pakistan, at a time when the country is already on tenterhooks?

The Pakistani flags she referred to are religious flags of Muslims, and carpet-bombing an entire nation certainly isn’t the optimal solution a democracy should seek. I hope, on hindsight, she understands the gravity & enormity of what she callously uttered on ‘We the People’ on NDTV.


I think politicians not only in India but even in Pakistan have lost it after the Mumbai attacks. Everyone’s running around making nonsensical statements. Take the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, for example. First he says that even if the terror attack was carried out by Pakistan-based terror organizations, they are non-state actors so the Government can't do much about it.

How can one make a statement like that?

Even if they are non-state actors, it is Pakistan’s responsibility to get rid of them for the simple reason that they are thriving on Pakistani soil. Other countries certainly can’t go rushing into Pakistan bombing them, can they? The crackdown has to come from the Pakistani government.

Then he insists he got a call from the Foreign Minister of India threatening military action again Pakistan. Jesus! Hasn’t he been in politics long enough to know that any call from a Government Official/Minister of one country to another follows a protocol, which includes activating the foreign affairs ministry & embassies of both countries? The Minister of a country does not randomly pick up his cell phone & dial the number of a Minister of another country! Definitely not to make calls to threaten military action against the other country for whatever reason! And this joker not only believes the call was genuine, he even mobilized his country’s militia to respond if an attack happens!! Isn’t that worrying?

Really…who makes such jokers the Prime Minister??!!!


SRK was on NDTV saying that the scariest aspect of the terror strike was that the terrorists came through the sea & could simply disembark & enter Mumbai. Come to think of it, that is actually scary. Who would’ve thought they could come by boats into Bombay! SRK too lives by the sea, and the terrorists could very well have disembarked at Bandstand instead of Badhwar Park and bombed the daylights out of ‘Mannat’. That would’ve been a big enough story too! He’s lucky they had other plans!


I can’t believe there was a debate going on between political parties in Maharashtra on whether a Dalit or a Maratha should become the next CM of the state. These @^%&*$# politicians can’t think beyond caste & ethnicity even in times of a national crisis!! Why don't terrorists annihilate them I wonder. Maybe because they too know no one will give a rat's ass in India if politicians die.


Raj Thackerey finally emerged from his hideout to thank the security personnel who rescued Mumbai. I don’t even want to waste words on that man. But I read a funny poster held by one of the silent protestors at the Gateway of India which said “Missing : Raj Thackerey. Find him and win 5 Vada Paos!!” It’s befitting to him.


In all the rage that engulfs us, we also need to be calm & rational. I see a lot of dangerous sentiments flying around. People are criticizing an entire community for the act of a handful of fanatics, and that is just so dangerous for our country. Communal violence within India is what the terrorists want; we can’t give it to them. People need to be careful of what they say. Everyone’s calling it Islamic terrorism. That’s the same as calling the demolition of the Babri Masjid Hindu Terrorism. How true is that? How many Hindus sympathized with & supported the demolition of the Babri Masjid? That was the action of a handful of Hindu fanatics, just like terrorism is today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Want

  • I want accountability. I want the Government to stand up and take responsibility for what happened, and stop playing the blame game.
  • I want the Government to take concrete steps to prevent such attacks from happening again on Indian soil. I want to see tangible results – such as uprooting of all terrorist training camps from Pakistan & all terrorists wanted by India being brought to book – and I want timelines for these.
  • I want the Z-Class security cover of politicians to be taken away immediately.
  • I want the army to take over the country until the entire system is cleaned up. Like what happened in Punjab. Yes I know we’re a democracy but desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • I want Raj, Uddhav & Bal Thackerey put behind bars for good on a non-bailable warrant for playing divisive politics among the people of India.
  • I don’t want my countrymen to die cheaply, in bomb blasts or floods or terror attacks.
  • I want the Indian Government to stop all peace talks with Pakistan with immediate effect, until the Pakistan Government cooperates fully with India on the fight against terrorism – with tangible results.
  • I want more patrolling of our borders, land and sea.
  • I want tighter security measures at airports, railway stations, malls & theaters, and I want Indians to stop cribbing about standing in queues, getting their bags checked & getting frisked. We will have to give up some liberties to be safe, and that’s a choice we have to make.
  • I want apparatus like CCTV & metal detectors that actually work at these places.
  • I want the defense forces, the NSG & the police to be better equipped & better paid. I want our money – the taxpayer’s money – to go into bolstering these organizations & not to provide Z-Class security to useless rubbish piece of s*** politicians. The defense forces deserve much more than they have, and India deserves much better.
  • I want to hear no talk, absolutely none, of the “spirit of Mumbai”. The Spirit is dead, gone. It is now time for you loathsome politicians to swing into action, to payback the people of India for all the facilities they provide to you.
  • Let us not think that a change in Government will bring about an end to this mayhem. It is just the bad luck of the Congress party that it happens to be at the Center right now. The other governments have equally tarnished records with communal riots etc. to their name, and things would have been no different had another party been in power. The only way things will be different is if there are concrete steps taken to end terrorism against India.
  • Let us be united in this hour of tragedy. Let us not think about who is a Mumbaikar and who is not. Who is a North Indian, who is a South Indian & who is a Maratha. Who is Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Parsi. This is an attack on India and not on Mumbai. It is a coincidence that Mumbai happens to be the financial capital of India & a city visited by many foreign tourists. The same thing could very well have happened in Delhi or Bangalore or Kolkata. Let us understand that we have been done in as a nation, and let us stand together with Mumbai.
  • I want us not to go back to our daily lives pretending as if nothing happened. I want us to remember those 3 days of terror for a long long time. I want us to grieve for the people, both victims and security personnel who lost their lives. I want us to remember that our politicians have let us down like never before. I want us to remember and even respect the grit & determination of the terrorists, who were so convinced of their mission & so completely focused on their goal, however heinous it was, that they held hundreds of security personnel at bay for 3 whole days. Let us respect that, because if we don’t we will not be able to sustain our rage against the Government that has failed us. We will stop pressing for accountability from the Government. We will stop asking questions. We will stop demanding better homeland security. This furore will subside just as fast as it rose, and we will go back to being the lax, vulnerable people that we are.

Letter To Prime Minister

I got this forwarded letter in my mailbox from a Mumbai resident whose name I have withheld as I don't know if such a person exists, and if they do, I don't want them to be inundated with unwanted letters/mails/calls. The letter certainly drives a couple of points home...

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

I am a typical mouse from Mumbai. In the local train compartment which has a capacity of 100 persons, I travel with 500 more mice. Mice at least squeak but we don't even do that.
Today I heard your speech. In which you said 'NO BODY WOULD BE SPARED'. I would like to remind you that fourteen years have passed since the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai took place. Dawood was the main conspirator. Till today he is not caught. All our bolywood actors, our builders, our Gutka king meets him but your Government can not catch him. Reason is simple; all your ministers are hand in glove with him. If any attempt is made to catch him everybody will be exposed. Your statement 'NOBODY WOULD BE SPARED' is nothing but a cruel joke on the unfortunate people of India.

Enough is enough. After seeing the terrorist attack carried out by about a dozen young boys I realize that if the same thing continues, the day is not away when terrorists will attack by air, destroy our nuclear reactor and there will be one more Hiroshima.

We the people are left with only one mantra. Womb to Bomb to Tomb. You promised Mumbaikars a Shanghai; what you have given us is Jalianwala Baug.

Today only your home minister resigned. What took you so long to kick out this joker? Only reason was that he was loyal to the Gandhi family. Loyalty to Gandhi family is more important than blood of innocent people, isn't it?

I have been born and bought up in Mumbai for the last fifty eight years. Believe me corruption in Maharashtra is worse than that in Bihar. Look at all the politicians..Sharad Pawar, Chagan Bhujbal, Narayan Rane, Bal Thackray , Gopinath Munde, Raj Thackray, Vilasrao Deshmukh are all rolling in money. Vilasrao Deshmukh is one of the worst Chief Ministers I have seen. His only business is to increase the FSI every other day, make money and send it to Delhi so Congress can fight the next election. Now the clown has found a new way and will increase FSI for fisherman so they can build concrete houses right on the sea shore. Next time terrorists can comfortably live in those houses, enjoy the beauty of the sea and then attack Mumbai at their will.

Recently I had to purchase house in Mumbai. I met about two dozen builders. Everybody wanted about 30% in black. A common person like me knows this and with all your intelligence agencies & CBI you and your finance minister are not aware of it. Where does all the black money go? To the underworld isn't it? Our politicians take help of these goondas to vacate people by force. I myself was a victim of it. If you have time please come to me, I will tell you everything.

If this had been a land of fools, idiots, then I would not have ever cared to write this letter. Just see the tragedy..on one hand we are reaching the moon, people are so intelligent. And on the other side you politicians have converted nectar into deadly poison. I am everything.. Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Schedule caste, OBC, Muslim OBC, Christian Schedule caste, Creamy Schedule caste. Only what I am not is INDIAN. You politicians have raped every part of mother India by your policy of divide and rule.

Take the example of former president Abdul Kalam. Such an intelligent person, such a fine human being. You politicians didn't even spare him. Your party, along with opposition, joined hands, because politicians feels they are supreme and there is no place for good people.

Dear Mr Prime Minister you are one of the most intelligent people, most learned person. Just wake up, be a real SARDAR. First and foremost expose all selfish politicians. Ask Swiss banks to give names of all Indian account holders. Give reins of the CBI to an independent agency. Let them find the wolves among us. There will be political upheaval but that will be better than the dance of death which we are witnessing every day. Just give us an ambience where we can work honestly and without fear. Let there be rule of law. Everything else will be taken care of.

Choice is yours Mr. Prime Minister. Do you want to be led by one person or do you want to lead a nation of 100 Crore people?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Abyss

I can't f****** believe these f****** politicians we have!

R R Patil is at it again with another insensitive, almost barbaric remark : "Woh 5000 maarne aaye the, humne 200 mein nipta liya".

Another one, Mukhtar Naqvi, BJP Vice President saying, "Lipstick powder lagane wali mahilaayen terrorism ke baare mein kya janengi jo woh politicians ko gaali de rahi hain", about women who turned up at Marine Drive for the candle-light vigil & were protesting against the politicians.

Vilasrao Deshmukh is defending his decision to take RGV along on an official tour of the Taj by saying that RGV is no terrorist or militant, and lots of people went to see the site of tragedy, and so did he. But Mr Deshmukh, "lots of people" did not go inside the Taj on a guided tour. Why should RGV?? Who the hell is he?? Is he a concerned official? No! A security personnel? No! An intelligence official? Definitely not. The media?? Or was there some circus or belly-dancing show happening inside the Taj??

Why the f*** should we not curse the good-for-nothing politicians? What are they doing for us? Their Z-Class security, which I learnt today consists of 100 NSG Commandoes per politician (can you believe that??) is paid for by us, the tax payers of this country. It is your f****** job to ensure our security, and if you can't do that, why should we pay for yours?

To say that my blood is boiling is an understatement.

The only shame is to have none

Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, went on an official tour of the Taj along with Ram Gopal Varma & Ritesh Deshmukh. Deputy Chief Minister said on national television that “In a big city, small incidents like this keep happening. One should not call it a failure of intelligence.” Obviously he thinks his job description is limited to moral policing of dance bars in Mumbai. Shivraj Patil was quoted as saying, “Thankfully, the terrorists did not kill too many foreigners.” Obviously, the death of 160 Indians (apart from the 22 tourists) was not enough to make his blood curdle. His insensitivity was evident even after the Delhi blasts in September, when he needed to go home & change his outfit before he could mobilize the armed forces because he is used to changing his outfits 4 times a day!!! Thank God he’s gone! L K Advani couldn’t attend the all-party meet called by Manmohan Singh on Saturday because he was busy campaigning for the elections in Rajasthan & it wouldn’t have been possible for him to leave midway, national security be damned!!

Let’s face it…we are being governed by a bunch of selfish idiots who are concerned only about their vote banks. They do not care for the lives of Indians as long as they have power.

On the other hand, IB & RAW claim to have issued repeated advisories to the Navy, warning them of the Indian seas being infiltrated by terrorists, the latest coming on Nov 18th stating that “a ship full of dangerous cargo has left Karachi & may be headed towards Gujarat”. Check this out as per NDTV’s reports :

“In March 2008, intelligence agencies had warned the Maharashtra government that the Gateway of India and Oberoi Trident hotel were potential targets. Sources said that it was revealed by Fahim Ansari who was arrested in Lucknow.

Later in August, intelligence agencies warned the crime branch that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was training 500 to 600 terrorists for attacks through sea. Agencies said that the terrorists would be disguised as fishermen. They also mentioned that two West Asians recced Goa and Mumbai for two whole months.

On August 21, the Fishermen Union complained to police that illegal permissions were issued to 800 Gujarati trawlers. Majority of the crewmen were Bangladeshis. The Union feared that RDX was being trafficked through those trawlers.

Then in September, the Maharashtra state police was again warned of potential attacks on the Taj and Oberoi Trident hotels. Agencies also mentioned that terrorists were doing recces of the targets. Following that, a month later, intelligence agencies warned of a sea-borne attack and said an Indian, unmarked vessel might be used.

Finally, on November 18, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) again issued a warning to the Coast Guard, Navy and Maharashtra Police that the Taj and Oberoi were potential targets.Naval intercepts revealed "chatter" on the sea and RAW said that the attack was being planned by the Lashkar-e-Toiba's naval wing”

Why were these warnings repeatedly ignored by the Government of Maharashtra & by India’s usually efficient and well-regarded Navy? The attacks cannot be called “unfortunate” or an intelligence failure. There was sufficient intelligence about it, alright. These attacks were a direct result of the Government’s negligence, callousness & apathy towards the plight of citizens in the face of terror. This Government should be charged for large-scale manslaughter & those accountable should be penalized as per the Constitution of India. Nothing less should suffice.

PS: By the way, I want to know where Raj Thackrey is now? Probably cowering inside his house somewhere. Whatever happened to his zeal to protect the interests of his "marathi manoos"? I am sure he has no answers...because he can only wreak havoc when he's dealing with a powerless enemy, like the North Indians in Mumbai...because most of the men from NSG who stepped up bravely to rescue the hostages in "his" Mumbai were non-Marathis. Imagine if they had refused to do so. I shudder to think of what would have happened in Bombay.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Speechless & Numb

It just got over. Mumbai bled while the nation watched agape in horror.

There have been myriad emotions within me over the past three days….anxiousness for the lives of hundreds of people who were taken hostage, immense grief for the brave policemen, NSG & MARCOS who lost their lives saving that of people they did not even know, and rage at the government for not acting on the intelligence they had about the Indian seas being infiltrated & the terrorists arriving to India by boat.

There’s a lot I want to write but I’m so exhausted from following the events over the course of the past three days, and from the rise & ebb of emotions that I’ve gone through along with the rest of the people in Mumbai, that I’ll make do with this bit for now:

I salute the commitment, the bravery & the courage of the police officers who lost their lives saving the people of Mumbai - ATS Chief Mr Hemant Karkare, Additional CP Ashok Kamte, Senior Inspector Vijay Salaskar & the 11 other policemen whose names we will never know. I cannot even beging to say how proud I am of the people of my country & of being a citizen of India. I get goosebumps and tears in my eyes thinking about their courage & the sacrifice these brave people made for their country, without worrying for their own lives even once. I’m proud of my uncle, a very very close friend’s dad who went in to the Oberoi after the terrorist attack started, to answer the call of duty. I am sure he did not hesitate once before going in, and knowing him, I never had a doubt that he would be one of the last people to leave the premises, only after ensuring safe passage of the guests at the hotel. So while I was in touch with my friend constantly about his return, I never once asked her why he wasn’t coming out when hostages were being rescued in groups.

I am appalled at the complete lack of political leadership throughout this entire event. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra is uncannily never in Mumbai whenever such attacks take place. He always “rushes” to Mumbai after the attack has taken place & hundreds of people have been killed. Even when he’s back in town, there’s no sound or sight of him. The leadership at the Center has also let all of us Indians down. The truth is clear & simple, and it’s out there for all to see: the Government of India is not serious about cracking down on terrorism. Indian lives are just not that important for them. The most they can do is make lame speeches about how “this has been the worst attack on India in many years”. Thank you very much Mr Pranab Mukherjee, we knew that without you having to tell us. Or narcissictic speeches such as that made by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who cannot complete one sentence without saying “I did this…& I did that…” Or a completely insipid one made by the Prime Minister of India. Really, men, are you even aware of what is happening in our country?? I agree with Shobha De all the way when she called the politicians a bunch of incompetent nincompoops, asked them to stay out of Bombay & suggested that their security covers should be withdrawn completely. After all, it is the people of India who pay for their Z-Category security, and if our own security within our own country isn’t guaranteed – which, by the way, is the f****** JOB of the Government – what the hell are we paying for??

I do not want to hear any politician or the Government of Maharashtra/India talking about the “spirit of Mumbai”. That is a convenient phrase they have found to absolve themselves of all responsibility.

Look at the efficiency with which the United States has handled terror since 9/11. There hasn’t been a single terror attack on American soil since then. US Intelligence has foiled a number of plans to attack the US & other sites across the world. What does our government do? They wait for the terrorists to strike, then they condemn the blasts, praise the “spirit of the people”, make some rubbish noise about how they will not bow down to terror & teach the terrorists a lesson & how the blasts make us even stronger (bleh!!), make hollow promises about cracking down on terrorism & go back to screwing each other & the country. Really, I’ve had it with their nonsense & so has the country!!!

I do not want the leadership of the incompetent, imbecile politicians who cannot guarantee our safety within our own country. Rather, give me the leadership of brave men like Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte & Vijay Salaskar. That way, atleast I can go to bed knowing I am in safe hands, and that when I wake up tomorrow morning, the people I know and love and care for, will still be there.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Not What I Signed Up For

It’s one of those weekends one can do without.

I was very happy when I went in to work yesterday morning. Friday syndrome, you know. Until I opened my mailbox. There was a mail from my client sitting pretty in my inbox, asking us to make a presentation to him & his team on Monday. We hadn’t even started work on the presentation! That meant working late on Friday as well as having to work today (Saturday). Bleh.

But it was okay b/c I had Sunday to look forward to. Had made some very nice plans with a friend. Was really truly excited about it. This afternoon the bomb dropped. My friend is stuck in Jammu, where he was travelling for work, and he can’t get back before tomorrow night. As if a working Saturday wasn’t enough to ruin my weekend, there went my Sunday plans too! I’m totally disgusted…I mean, how much more crappy can it get??

Told you, it’s one of those weekends one can do without. I certainly can.

'Ash' You Like It

Apparently Aishwarya Rai was supposed to do 'Dostana'!! Aren't we glad she didn't?? She would've ruined not only the movie but even the GORGEOUS clothes designed by Manish Malhotra...if she fit into them, that is!

Her reason for not doing the movie : "It was supposed to be our first film after our wedding, in which I would have ended up with another hero (Bobby Deol). I felt it would not give the right message."

Errrr....What message did she want to give out? That she's married to Abhishek Bachchan and not to anyone else? I think the entire world & their dead ancestors know that by now, thanks to Abhishek Bachchan's appearance as her arm-candy at innumerable events/functions since their wedding.

Really...there's a reason I keep insisting that Aishwarya Rai is D-U-M-B. She just proves it over & over again.

Actually, one of my friends said something really funny about her the other day. She said, since her marriage, she's been seen in public more often with Amitabh Bachchan than with her husband. Come to think of it, that's so true!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008



Watched it today with a bunch of friends. I generally have issues with movies that use homose*uality as comic relief. 'Dostana' does that too, but the humor in the movie is so over-powering, I decided to just let go of my hang-ups & flow with the tide. Afterall, they were just acting gay for Chrissake! Once you take that in your stride, the movie is what you'd call "full time-pass" or complete paisa vasool!!

The first 10 minutes of the movie are ridiculously outrageous! They're only about John Abraham's abs & his butt. There's so much of Johnny boy on display that you completely forget Shilpa Shetty in her item song.

John Abraham comes out of the sea in Speedos, pulls his shorts up his butt, is shown walking around in his underwear which is halfway down his butt. And all this isn't subtle. It's right in your face as the camera follows his butt!! I mean, he has a nice butt & all but come on, that' was just ridiculous! We're not exactly a bunch of 16-year olds here, are we?

Even the climax was ridiculous! I don't even want to write about it. See it to believe it.

Apart from a few inconsistencies, such as Abhishek Bachchan saying he had to drink Pudin Hara after eating the food Priyanka Chopra had cooked for him (in Miami), and Bobby Deol, who is the Editor-In-Chief of the fashion magazine 'Verve' sporting a Fast Track watch, the movie was hilarious!!

The entire gay act between Abhishek Bachchan & John Abraham (must watch the scene where AB narrates the fabricated story of how he & John met and fell in love, the guy has done his research on gay mannerisms well) was over-dramatic but very well done without being vulgar or cheap.

PC has done well what she was required to do, i.e., 80% look hot & 20% act. Man, her outfits are just so H-O-T. I mean, I would've paid 250 bucs just to ogle at her outfits in the movie! Me and this friend of mine were salivating over her clothes & shoes throughout the movie. And did I mention, SHE IS THIN.

I can't usually stand Kirron Kher. Over-the-top seems to be her USP. She's played an over-the-top Punjabi mom in this movie too, and her ultimate scene in the movie, where she finally accepts her son Abhishek & John to be a gay couple, welcomes John into the family but doesn't know whether to refer to him as her 'son-in-law' or 'daughter-in-law' is outrageously funny!! She even takes off her golden bangles that she had saved for her 'daughter-in-law' and gives them to John. Lol!!!

Boman Irani as M (short for Murali, if you please), the gay editor of 'Verve' is adorable. Wonder how the man manages to win over the audiences' hearts time after time after time.

Another part of the movie I liked was that men (John Abraham in this case) has been 'objectified' or made an object of se*ual attraction just as much as women. About time, I say! Way to go, K Jo!

The movie might get its humor from homose*uality, but at one level it is also trying to make the Indian audience more open about the issue by taking a light-hearted look at it. And in a country where issues such as homose*uality are brushed under the carpet, this is one step in the right direction coming from one of the leading production houses in commercial Hindi cinema.

The only let down in the entire movie was Bobby Deol. Really, couldn't they find ANYONE else to play Priyanka Chopra's love interest? I mean, why him?? Anyone else...just about anyone...could've done!!

The soundtrack of the movie is upbeat & peppy. Apart from the 'Desi Girl' number, the other one I liked was 'I'll be alright'. It's a cute song on friendship.

My favorite part of the movie : Priyanka Chopra's outfits without a doubt. Can I have them please, Mr Malhotra? And while we're at it, can I also have her body to carry them off? :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ah, Saturday mornings!

There’s a lot that can be said about Saturday mornings. For instance, it’s the best morning of the entire goddamn week.

There is no melancholy that surrounds you when you wake up, like on a normal working day.

The puffy eyes, the feeling of heaviness in your head, the hoarseness in your voice, the lethargy as you drag yourself out of your bed and into your bathroom all magically disappear when you wake up on a Saturday morning. Instead you wake up with a smile on your face and a million plans for the day running inside your head & crashing against the walls of your brain. The feeling that you have two whole days lying ahead of you to chill, sleep, watch movies, read, go out for lunches & dinners, shop, hang out with friends is priceless.

Something like the Mastercard commercial….

Going to work Monday thru’ Friday : 1/4th of your month’s salary

The joy of “having” to do nothing over the weekend : PRICELESS

I woke up at 10 today, to a bright sunny winter-ish morning.

Don’t you just love the sun on a winter morning? It’s not beating down on you. It’s soft and filtered, yet strong enough to seep into your skin and give you a feeling of warmth. God, I love sunshine! Yup, that is what I am at the end of the day - a sunshine person.

I have a million errands to run today. I have a nasty cold due to the change of season. It’s not cold enough to sleep without the fan, neither warm enough to sleep with the fan on. You can’t take a cold shower, and you’re very likely to catch a cold if you step out of the bathroom after a hot shower. That is exactly what has happened with me but…BUT BUT BUT…I’m not going to let that ruin my Satuday. So…Carpe Diem, baby! Seize the day!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Works Like Magic!!

The idea for this post has been taken from the column of a blogger-columnist that I don’t really like, for most of her posts/columns are inconsequential and trashy. For once she has written on something of relevance and that is: RETAIL THERAPY.

What is retail therapy? Simply put, it is the act of purchasing things you like (clothes, shoes, bags, watches, sunglasses, gadgets, household stuff…could be anything!!) when you’re feeling low & coming back home having blown up a truck load of money but feeling deeply satiated. Ah!!

Retail therapy could, under certain situations, be better than a massage. You spend big bucks doing both, but at the end of a shopping binge you not only have added to your material possessions, you’ve also come back with something gorgeous to wear, carry around or even put up in your house. And yessir, retail therapy works not only for women but also for men. The only difference is that men indulge in it less often than women, which is obvious because they feel depressed less often than women because their solution to most emotional problems is to pretend there is no such problem, and voila! The problem disappears!!

The only flip side to retail therapy is a depleted bank account but the many pros more than compensate for it:

  1. The things we buy do not have a say in whether they like us or not. If we like them, we’re good to go!!
  2. Other women can eye them, covet them but they can’t have them!!
  3. They never complain of aches & pains when we want to go out.
  4. They don’t have the need to waste away in front of the television.
  5. They don’t get jealous of our other possessions, never ask us questions & never act possessive.
  6. And finally, they’re unconditionally devoted towards us. They never cheat on us. They’ll be our loyal companions until the day we decide to discard them or give them away!!

UPDATE : It sucks living in the East! I'm used to the late morning-breaks & late sunsets of the Bombay. I'm used to waking up at 6am, seeing it's still dark outside & going right back to bed, and to it being bright till 7-7.30 in the evening. In Calcutta, it's already bright at 5 in the morning & dark by 5 in the evening! This sucks!! Gives a whole new meaning to the 'sun rises in the east & sets in the west' phrase we learnt as kids!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Fashion did not surprise me. It kept me interested & engaged, yes, but it did not show me anything I didn’t already know about the fashion/modeling world thanks to my ex-roommates in Bombay who were in PR and were closely associated with the glamour industry, and by the sheer dint of having lived in Bombay where Bollywood & glamour are by default an integral part of everyone’s life.

Priyanka Chopra was definitely a revelation. The movie was about her, with support from other characters, and she made the most of it. She sunk her teeth into the role. At some places I felt her face lacked the attitude of a model (unlike Kangana Ranaut who had it down to the T) though she had the right body language.

Coming to Kangana Ranaut, I think she SERIOUSLY needs to work on her diction. Her Hindi is terrible!! She’s been around for a while, done quite a few movies…so it’s about time she took some Hindi speaking classes. I thought she rocked in the ramp walk scenes, where she’d switch from a drugged-out waste to a ramp model with the attitude that can freeze a million people on their spots, in a second!!

Mugdha Godse was good for a first-timer but I think she got slightly short-changed in terms of character development. There were a lot of things with her character that were left unexplained. For instance, why did she agree to marry a gay guy? He wanted the marriage for convenience but what was in it for her? What about HER needs from a life-partner? And not that he gave her the biggest break of her life. He made her the show-stopper for one of his shows, but that certainly couldn’t have overshadowed the life-long need for a companion who loves you truly?

Secondly, why was she okay with him not making her the show-stopper for the biggest show of his life at the fashion week given that she was his wife? She didn’t even purr about it, leave alone make an issue out of it.

Another issue I had with the movie was why Meghna’s father would encourage her to go back to the world of glamour after all the drama he did in the beginning? And especially after seeing that his girl came back from that world in ruins. The point that your family & a handful of true friends are the ones that stick by you through thick & thin could have been made in other ways too!

To Madhur Bhandarkar’s credit, the wardrobe malfunction scene was brilliantly done!

Overall, Fashion is a “realistic” movie with cinematic liberties taken in good measure, but I’m not complaining because every Madhur Bhandarkar movie need not be an expose. And it was heartening to see actors such as Harsh Chhaya & Samir Soni play the role of gay men with such aplomb and not shy away from it, unlike most Bollywood actors. Way to go, guys!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Name is Bond, James Bond. Or is it??

He no longer knows who he is, and neither do we.

The charming, suave, gadget-loving, cynical, not-one-to-hold-out-for-love, lady-killer British Secret Service Superspy is no more. He has been replaced by an agent who is mournful, bitten by love, trigger-happy & hardly exudes the charm that had all kinds of exotic women eating out of his hands. His jaw-dropping gadgets have been replaced by a GPRS-enabled Sony Ericsson cell phone, and he’s even forgotten how to say his name right (The name’s Bond, James Bond)!!!!!


So what is missing in Bond’s latest outing, ‘Quantum of Solace’?

For one, Bond himself. Apart from that, pretty much everything that made James Bond what he is.

He never asks for his ‘Shaken, Not Stirred’ martini. There’s a passing reference to it by the bar-tender serving him in one of the scenes, but it’s a different thing altogether to hear Bond himself say it with his trademark attitude. In Casino Royale, he replied “Do I Look Like I Care a Damn?” when asked how he’d like his martini prepared. That should’ve been a sign to understand that Bond was not going to be himself anymore.

Then there was no Moneypenny, the woman who is so consumed by Bond’s charm that she makes no secret of her desire for him.

There’s no Q either, the man who was the supplier of out-of-this-world gadgets (one of the main reasons people go to watch James Bond movies, well guys at least). I missed how he’d always tell Bond to take care of the gadget and bring it back, a joke of course because the gadget would get destroyed in the process of foiling the villain’s plans.

There was no unveiling of the James Bond cars – the Aston Martins, the Bentley, the Jaguar, the BMW, the Ford Mustang Convertible, the Carrerra etc. Instead we have a chase sequence between Bond in his Aston Martin & the villain in his Alfa Romeo, and by the end of the sequence, either cars aren’t recognizable anymore!

Bond doesn’t take orders from M in this movie. Instead he’s a ruthless rebel who will stop at nothing short of revenge for the death of Vesper Lynd, his love from Casino Royale. And in this quest of his, he will kill anything & everything that comes between him & the baddie. It seems he could kill with his bare hands, by sheer brute force. A far cry from the Bond we know, who would be suave even in his killings. Who would kill only when required, and when he did it, he’d do it in style.

The Bond movies would mostly end with the Bond Girl in his arms and M interrupting, which too didn’t happen in this movie. And of course, the cheesy female names were missing from the movie. The Honey, Kissy, Plenty, Alotta Fagina, Felicity Shagwell etc. were replaced by a Miss Fields whose first name (Strawberry) we don’t know until the credits roll at the end of the movie.

The half-Russian-half Columbian Bond-girl (Olga Kurylenko) & Bond, in spite of their crackling chemistry, hardly share anything physical except an isolated kiss, something that I think is a first for a Bond movie. I guess that could be explained by the fact that he’s not completely over his love for Vesper, but if I had to look at it from a guy’s point of view, I’d say “Really, what a waste!” But since I’m a girl, I’ll say “What a waste of Daniel Craig!!”

Finally, there’s nothing James Bond-ish about ‘Quantum of Solace’. It’s like any ordinary action movie where Bond could have been just an ordinary spy. The director, Mark Forster, seems to have forgotten completely that that’s what Bond is not – an ordinary spy. He’s James Bond, for Chrissakes! The Majesty’s Special Secret Service Agent. You can’t weigh him down with love & emotions. He’s the one with all the world’s charisma, cars, gadgets & girls. I don’t understand why anyone would hire the director of movies such as ‘Finding Neverland’ & ‘The Kite Runner’ to make a Bond film. These movies are as far removed from the genre of action movies as possible. Either Columbia Pictures had a momentary lapse of reason or Mark Forster did some damn good PR.

There are glimpses of the cheeky Bond though, like in the scene where he refuses to check into a modest hotel & heads instead to the poshest one in town. Or when he “casts his spell” on the woman officer who was sent to deport him back to England, thereby erasing all thoughts of deportation from her mind. Or the scene where Bond refers to M as “a friend who likes to believe she’s his mother”.

I hope that with this movie, all the James-Bond-in-love bullshit is done with, and Bond goes back to being his suave, charismatic self with a little help from a director who understands what the James Bond franchise is all about & why Bond fans go back to the theaters to watch his movies again & again & again.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

'He' Had A Dream

Ladies & Gentleman, It’s Barack Obama for America!!

I was going to write a post on my absolutely fabulous trip to Bombay last week, but I'm assuming the election of Barack Obama to the post of the President of the United States is a bigger defining moment in History & world politics, and therefore it should come first. My post on Bombay will just have to wait :)

Who would have thought that a Black, or a “person of color” as non-whites are referred to in politically correct terms, would become the President of a predominantly White America?

Obama won by a landslide. This signifies change, for sure. I guess Americans have been craving change for a while, and they’ve never desired it more desperately than now when their economy is battered & their country alienated courtesy George Bush’s ‘Shock-N-Awe’ military policy across the globe.

Obama’s election signifies progressiveness, but it also proves that skin color can only run so deep. Ultimately, it’s your vision for your country & its people, your beliefs and how steadfastly you stand by them, that will see you through.

This is indeed a historic moment for African-Americans in America. For centuries they were enslaved, segregated. There was a time not too long ago, when everything in America was segregated – schools, work places, public transport. There were separate schools for black & white kids. The ones for white kids had better infrastructure, of course. Offices were segregated along racial lines. Blacks sat in a different portion of the bus/train, usually at the back & were expected to give up their seats to Whites.

The Civil Rights Movement officially started in the mid-1950s with the Montgomery Bus Boycott when the Blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, led by Rosa Parks (who was asked to give up her seat to make room for a White passenger, decided that they would boycott the city buses until they could sit anywhere they wanted, instead of being relegated to the back when a white boarded. The Movement got its nationwide pioneer in the form of Martin Luther King Jr. who, through his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, galvanized the African-Americans of the entire nation to fight for their freedom. America to this day celebrates his birthday in January as a national holiday.

Unlike MLK Jr. however, Obama does not ride the wave of Black politics. He has been voted in as much by Whites as by Blacks. It’s his vision for America & the constructive role it can play in the world at a time of financial & political crises, that saw him at the hem of the country. In spite of considerable improvement in race relations across America, African-Americans still continue to live at the fringes of society, for a large part. But change seems to have finally caught up with the country.

Barack for America, I say.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Journey Home

So I did make it back home after an arduous train journey. Why arduous? I had a side upper berth (for those familiar with Indian trains) which is anyway smaller than the berths in the main section of the compartment. On top of that, I realized that my housekeeper had forgotten to put the chain with which one can tie one's luggage to the bottom of the seat (to protect against thefts) inside my bag. So I had to sleep with my bag next to me & anyone who's travelled by Indian trains knows how uncomfortable that can be. I cannot tell you how mad I was at her!!

The retarded attendant decided to keep the air-con on full blast all thru' the night & I became frozen mangsho (that's Bong for 'meat')!!!! On top of it all, the train reached Patna 5 hrs late. There's a reason I don't like travelling by train these days.

But it's been bliss since I've come home. I've been eating, sleeping, chatting with my parents & generally milling about the house doing nothing. Ah...bliss....

Ciao for now. More to come later...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Diwali!!!!!

So finally, it seems I’m on my way home for Diwali.

Actually, I shouldn’t really call Patna ‘home’ b/c I’ve been away from the place for soooooooo long (more than ten years now!) that I feel disconnected from the place. In fact, I used to feel more at home in Bombay & would yearn to get back as soon as I could whenever I used to travel. Except when I was going to Delhi where I have friends, friends & more friends that I have an absolute blast with!! What keeps me going back to Patna, apart from the fact that my parents live there, is the thought of being taken care of & chilling out for a few days without having a zillion things to do, places to be at etc.

Anyway, coming back to the context of this post….I had planned to take a train from Calcutta to Patna & fly on my wayback. Unfortunately, two days before my departure (tonight) students in Bihar went on a rampage to protest the violence against North Indians perpetrated by Raj Thackerey & his release from jail. For some inexplicable reason, they started burning trains en route to Patna, so all trains to & from Patna were cancelled over the past two days. Thankfully, just in time for my trip home, the trains have resumed.

The thought of not being able to make it back home for Diwali had depressed me a bit. Festivals are the times when I miss family the most. Not that we have extravagant celebrations on Diwali (the Hum Aapke Hain Kaun kinds….God, they were so over-the-top & fake!!), but I like to be with my family on the occasion. We light diyas/candles, cook good food & just generally meander about the house. Everyone around you is with family during Diwali & is so happy that it sucks if you’re not happy too!

Coming to the issue of Raj Thackerey, I cannot believe the man has caused such unrest in the country (yes, it’s not limited to Maharashtra alone anymore) and still keeps getting let-off from prison!! What I want to ask is: who gave him the right to take law in his hands & go around beating people up? Why is he such a hypocrite? Like there are no Maharashtrians living & working outside Maharashtra & outside India? Take Gujrat & Madhya Pradesh for example. These two states share their borders with Maharashtra & are teeming with Maharashtraisn. Going by his logic, they too are snatching away employment opportunities from locals & should be beaten up & sent back to Maharashtra!! How would he react then??

For one, I have always taken exception to the ‘Jai Maharashtra’ slogan that politicians & celebrities keep chanting at rallies & award functions. Since when has Maharashtra – or any state for that matter – has become bigger & more important than India? No wonder that it’s been 60+ years since independence & we’re still walking on crutches on our way to development. Development cannot and will not take place till we leave our narrow-mindedness behind and stop letting ‘self-proclaimed’ leaders divide us on the basis of ethnic lines.

Why is the government not able to keep him behind bars for good? Are they even interested? How can one individual get so much bigger than the law and the principles of democracy & freedom that this entire country is founded upon?? Even Mumbaikars are scared to go to out on the streets thinking of the rioting MNS supporters. Since when has it become acceptable that one man can cripple an entire city by fear, holding millions of people to ransom?

Hopefully, things will be better after Diwali. Not that I expect some miracle to happen…but we could all surely use some lovin’.

Happy Diwali everyone

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life is Miscellaneous

Status message of a fellow blogger on Facebook : Drona – Where Priyanka Chopra fights the villains armed with nothing but her cleavage

I found it hilarious & told the guy (you know who you are! ;-) that he should NEVER underestimate the power of cleavage!!


So, I need some help. I need to get initiated into the world of PINK FLOYD.

I haven’t heard much of Pink Floyd so naturally, I’m not a big fan. But everyone else around me seems to be. Friends, ex-boyfriend, people at work…Everyone. And they find it outlandish (used on purpose : notice the dictionary meaning “freakishly or grotesquely strange or odd, remote from civilized areas" : this is exactly what they think!!) that I’m not a Pink Floyd fan too. In fact, one of the girls in my team worships David Gilmore. She knows everything there is to know about him, probably even how many strands of hair he has on his chest if he has bothered to count them!!

Besides, I’ve always been more of a U2, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band person so Pink Floyd never really caught my radar. Now I need help on where to start…which of their songs should I listen to first? Any ideas?


There’s a new breakfast place that has opened up in Calcutta….a pancakes, waffles, crepes kind of place. Very nice dark wood interiors et al. It had the potential to be an awesome breakfast jaunt BUT….the owners just HAD to ruin it so…they’ve made it VEGETARIAN!!!!! No prizes for guessing who the owners would be. Definitely not Bongs or Punjabis.

What is this with Hollywood celebrities? Why are they so WEIRD?? I read somewhere today (I’m not going to disclose where b/c you guys will call me a trashy tabloid reader) that:
  1. David Duchovney (Fox Mulder, people!!) went to rehab for s*x addiction. Man! I wonder how one become a s*x addict? I mean, I know some things are addictive…like drugs, alcohol, Rock ‘n’ Roll…but how can addiction to a good thing be perceived to be bad to the extent that it requires rehab? Besides, what do they tell you when you’re in rehab for being a s*x addict?? “You should not think of s*x all the time. You should have less s*x.” What??
  2. Colin Firth took a playboy model to court because she threatened to leak a sex tape featuring the two of them. He got scared that his mother might see the tape & say that he reminds her of his father from certain angles!! What a thing to be worried about!!!!!
  3. Amy Winehouse, whose singing career was speculated to have crash-landed prematurely thanks to a drug addiction, blames the DEVIL for her drug habit!! So all ye folks who ever have/do fall prey to drugs, just blame the Devil for it. It’s never your fault :-)
  4. On another note, I feel kinda bad for Guy Ritchie (Madonna’s husband). The couple is getting divorced & out of their joint wealth of £300mn, only £20-30mn belong to him. The rest belongs to Madonna!!