Thursday, December 22, 2011

Paintings - 2

Second Part of the series - Set of Graphical Paintings 


Presenting some of my paintings. I have been struck with water colour paintings for a while. I am trying to create my own style and body of work.

First Attempt at Landscape 
An experiement to create a pixellated sunrise
Detail of the Flower
An impromput experiement with Curves and Straight Lines

Friday, October 14, 2011

Googled and facebooked

This is a two part series of observations of two of the most popular websites of today’s times.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are we Infra-structured?

‘Shortage of homes’ was the tagline of one of the news article that hit my eye the other day. 2.3 million houses in the next five years are required for the ever increasing population to ‘accommodate’ themselves. This number was mentioned for top seven cities mapped in India considering the rate of urbanization and development. As expected such a huge housing demand was estimated to fall short by only 1.3 million units for the five year term. A good publicity stunt for the builders perhaps!!!

          The mid range housing demand is the driver of this requirement. But the question is- Is the pricing true to be called a ‘mid-range’ housing demand? When one questions the demand supply ratio, one must also look into the product and its rate ratio. Staggering house rates, increasing bank loan rates and rising inflation lead to a panic situation in the populace. Some deem to run away from this massive attack of the housing prices whilst many other wait for lowering of the property rates to fall, which is a distant dream. When the country debates about the rate to be fixed for people below poverty line, there should also be a clear picture for the housing demand supply strategy. With migration and urbanization being the biggest transformational measures in the development or de-development of a particular city, the infrastructure should match up with the estimated users. 

          Merely providing wide roads in the newer developments and overlooking the heart of the city is the trend of governance. But the passage of commuters through the soul of the city is ignored. Burdening the narrow lanes of the old city is a common picture in most of the cities.Rampant abuse of the existing infrastructure leads to chaos and confusion in the city itself. Proper lining of resources and upgrading the existing infrastructure to meet the current and future requirements should be the norm.

          Advent of mega industries like Information Technology, seen as boon to many is also a curse in manier ways. For example the case of Bangalore - Once a beautiful green city is now a hot destination to the ‘Silicon Valley’ and it’s after effects. What was perceived as an attractive destination for settling few years back is now reconsidered for a packing up businesses to other cities. Now the IT hub is also getting associated with crumbling infrastructure and associated woes. IT majors are relocating their Indian operations to other lucrative options like Gurgaon , Noida, Cochin, Mysore. With IT operations comes a heavy demand for housing, infrastructural needs and allied services but it might also lead to a state of utter commotion and disarray, if not met sensibly.

          What happens or is happening to one major IT hub should be a lesson in disguise to other cities where they must plan the entry of a giant in accordance with the existing resources and future plan of infrastructure. Water needs, electricity needs, sewage and other aspects of infrastructural wants need to be taken care of. Setting up a seat for a large giant is rather easy than feeding him the necessary and long lasting food is essential to make sure the giant’s seat is comfortable in the fabric of the city. 

          Creating diversified economic bases in terms of mix of industries, health care, institutions and financial services could be an appropriate option of securing a prosperous advent of progress of a city. While doing so, it is inevitable that the charm of the prevalent city is in threat. Policies and strategies to divert these could lead to a holistic approach.  

          Also the initial debate of providing ‘housing’ in the near future- the sad infrastructural encroachment on the natural resources like hills, rivers is disturbing. It is sad to see the hills being covered with shanty structures and infrastructural lines running all across them. It brings in a picture of two sides of the same coin to us. One face of the coin shows city with a lucrative and upscale entrants which needs constant up gradation whilst the other side of coin shows these malpractices of infrastructural exploitation in the form of sprawling slums all over. These have all the infrastructural pleasures, a city can have. Being lured by the political ambitions, they command a substantial sprawl.

Such scenarios create a rather unhealthy kind of image of a city. What a city aspires to be at the initial, eventually gets lost in the process. Being true to most of the cities in India, it needs to be altered at an emergency level. Coming up with ‘infrastructure bonds’ is not the solution – rather creating ‘bonds with infrastructure’ should be the order of the day. Mess,chaos and confusion on the street sometimes questions – Are we infra-structured?   

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fuel - Handle me with care

          Food, shelter and water are the three basic necessities which are required in life as they say. But with the current scenario, there is one more thing that has become a necessity sheerly for its usability…this is means of transport. Be it public transport, or own vehicle – it has become one of the ingredients of ‘basic’ life. And it is because of me that this basic necessity dwells upon. I am the driver of this essential.

          I have come a long way in seeing the way I have been used time and again for this essentiality of the humans. Centuries earlier when man invented the wheel, he was considered as an offender then, but when one looks back, this invention was a huge progression for mankind, who tried to dwell in unknown territory. But the invention of wheel was triggered with the use of me which acted as a catalyst for the boom in the automobile industry. 

          Though I come from a lineage that is into providing service for the mankind,it has been a long and treacherous journey. My ancestors were always living a life of pride because it was y pricing that depended the countries economy, politics and technology. My forefathers gained a respectable place in the society. This happened because of the rise of automobile industry all over the world. Currently, I command almost 90% vehicular needs all over. A rise in my prices leads to the rise in all usable non usable commodities, thus affecting inflation at large.

          Though on one side, I am boasting with pride for the kind of importance showered upon me worldwide, internally I am very saddened at the kind of situation mother earth is going through the saddening usage of me. My heart reaches out to the millions of money spending mechanisms and practices which are followed all over. These humans said to be brilliant and rational, use me in rather inhumane and harsh practices sometimes. Manier practices involving me enhance wastage of me. I suffer because of utter wasteage some humans create with their thinking and practices. Given a stage, I would like to bring forth the way humans can handle me.

          At a country level, there needs to be stringent policy decisions regarding the usage at mass level and allotment of me categorically. Countries advocating sensible use of me should unite and create awareness amongst other countries which do not respect my consumption. My counterparts from petroleum producing nations are boasting in pride for the amount of fuel storage they have, but they should sincerely understand that I am a non renewable source of energy and I need to be handled with sense. Wars are fought for the want of me, and I am the biggest sufferer to see innocent killings done for me.

          At the state level, there needs to be healthy distribution of me and my equivalents should be of top priority. Extensive calculations based on each state’s population and usage needs to be figured out to arrive at proper number for my distribution network.  Encouraging means of mass transport and public transport is the major decision which the state government needs to encourage.  
I see lot of buses unnecessarily plying without much human traffic. All of this saddens me because it is me who is burning.

          At city level, is where I see utmost waste consumption of me. Some concentrated efforts to save me will lead the entire mankind with heaps of goodness. Here I recall one song that touched me on one of my journeys…it was the legendary Michael Jackson and the lyrics goes like ‘I am asking the man in the mirror, I am asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been ever clearer. If you want the world a better place, just look at yourself and make the change’. It applies to all the human beings who use me. Using public transport more often, car pooling, creating monthly expenditure for the use of me, encouraging cycling, work from home options, using the vehicle only when required than driving without need are some of the advices I would like to give to my end user.
Companies should encourage employees to work from home for jobs that does not require physical presence of the employee. In the world where technology is at breath taking pace, such options are definitely viable to support. Controlling my use is controlling my pricing thereby affecting inflation.

          Creating awareness in villagers, in children and advocating the disadvantages of using me irrationally will lead me to a better tomorrow. Creating a hoax picture of misuse of me and its probable illeffects should be imbibed amongst the people, to help me survive longer. Hoardings, ads in all mass media communications needs to be flashed. I believe human beings act faster when they are shown pictures of emergency.

It is upon the minds and actions of the human beings to help me live longer. They enjoy at the expense of burning me. No one likes extinction, I am no different. I want to live as longer as I can. As my life is dependent on you- humans, please Handle me with care.  

PS - This post is a part of a blogging competition. This competition is to generate ideas to beat the fuel hikes. 
There is a link to the sponsorers ad,fiat,300x250,fl,max 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ride called Life

          There has been innumerable occasions where we are stuck up with different ideas and thoughts which keep lingering into one’s mind for long. It is these thoughts and ideas that shape our perspective towards many things in life and create this vision to look at things from ‘one’s perspective’. These ideas can strike you anywhere – in loo, in garden, whilst watering plants or while doing any activity not related to that particular thought.

          I have spent most of my life in my city moving on the bike and it is but obvious for me to spend some time churning out ideas whilst moving. One such thought which lingered in my mind for long was – is there any similarity with the way a bike is  designed and operated vis-à-vis our life. Can there be a traceable relationship between my bike and life. The answer left me pondering over the thought for longer and my mind ran parallel in search for this.

          The several parts of the bike can have a direct or indirect reference to either parts of our body or the way we look at life. The work of an engine can be similar to the functioning of our body. Being the core for the functioning of the bike, it can be related to the core of the human body. An effective and a well maintained engine ensures that the ‘vehicle’ lasts longer and in a stable manner.
A trigger is required in life to perform several duties and this is acquired by the spark plug which is bestowed with a similar function. Igniting the engine or the core is the main function of the spark plug upon which the engine performs its the duty. Does our brain work in a similar fashion?
The assembly of the accelerator, handle and brake work in tandem as drivers of our life, steering the way we move ahead and decelerate ourselves whenever  required. The mechanism and the function of these have a direct relation with our outlook towards life, the way we maneuver our thoughts, actions in different situations and control ourselves in different walks of life.  
Our moments of happiness, fun and happy times are the shock absorbers of our life and the more we fill our life with these- the more we are able to absorb the hard times in life well.
The luxuries and pleasures that we indulge in our life are the cushion of our bike, seating on which we can ride.
The fuel storage is the information bank i.e the memory bank we carry with ourselves which proves the silage for our day to day activities.   
Tyres come in direct contact with the road surface thereby creating wear and tear of it. These experiences are built with the kind of situations life offers.  
Exhausts are the part of the assembly which throws out unwanted things out of our life. Be it bad experiences, memories, feeling etc. It is the cleaner of our system.

But the ride on the bike makes it an interesting simile with life. The parts of the overall assembly needs to be maintained well to keep them moving the way they should be. One must enjoy the ride of the life striking a balance between the lovely visuals along the ride as well as steering well between the traffic and potholes of life.
Whatever the road, enjoying the journey of life and creating a joy ride is the key to ‘ride called life’.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Colourfully black and white

'What would you like to see in glorious colour', was one of the question I read somewhere. It was the tagline for a blogging competition asking the readers to suggest things that are black and white and ones which they would like to see in colour. Intrigued and puzzled – my mind tried to visualize all the ‘possible’ black and white’ things that exist in the world. I even googled on the net to find out what all black and white things that existed. I came across some animals like zebras, elephants, dolphins, penguins which are blessed with black and white colour, whilst other animals have been assigned a different colour for each one. Images of the yin yang too flashed on the screen. Also some images of beautiful black and white photography with landscapes and portraits made their presence felt.

Glancing through all the images, I tried to figure out which one of these would look great in colour. Recollecting all the good old movies, I tried to scratch my head to remember all the amazing movies being made in black and white. From Satyajit Ray to Billy Wilder’s films – a long list of memorable classics ran through my mind. My imaginative mind started looking at most of these in its colourful avatars. I couldn’t definitively stumble upon one movie which I could single out to be made in colour.

I realized one fact in my process of this research that – each colour is unique and has its own associative value. The way each thing has its own definite value and characteristic – it should  not be replaced with anything else. As being original has a charm of its own – a remixed version doesn’t always garner attention.

Emphasizing on this realization I questioned myself – how would a multi colour stripped zebra will look like? How will a red and white dolphin seem while swimming ,a chess board has its identity because of the use of two colours. Will a colourful version of black and white classic like ‘Chalti ka naam gadi’ create any difference? The answer was a strict no. I realized that as much as each thing has its definitive value – each colour too has its purpose. Why do we need to add colour to every thing black or white? Why can’t it have its own appeal? I believe all the black and white things do have their own magic which makes them stand apart from the colourful counterparts. Because of this fact, there are attempts to make colourful objects seem black and white.

Photographers purposely shoot some objects in black and white, most of the cameras come with a black and white mode. Being black and white shouldn’t be considered passé, it is sometimes the ‘in-thing’. Our printers too come up with ‘black and white’ versions, to ‘save colour’.

A right colour at right time in right proportion makes the difference. Instead of saying black and white – one should say its colourfully black and white.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Games limited

          "What does Sameer do in the summer vacation" was my question to my friend, inquiring him about his son’s plans for the vacation? Without any hesitation he replied , "he plays video games on his play station all day. That’s what most of the kids do", was his justification for the same. This answer took me aback for a while. 80 days of vacation and most of today’s children spend at home fiddling with these mechanical gadgets. The only fun they get is by hitting a virtual enemy, winning a virtual car race, building up some castles and battlegrounds as part of some gaming exercises on these devices.

          Pondering upon this issue – I tried to compare the nature of games existed earlier than the ones prevalent today. I tried to enquire whether the social set up and the civilization pattern is leading to such a kind of habit amongst the kids. Nuclear family structure and a busy lifestyle takes a toll on the children unknowingly. The charm of a ‘summer vacation’ seems to have faded now. Earlier, the summer vacations were synonymous with a visit to a village, hometown of either of the parents, playing the fields, mud, water, binging on food, sleep and more. Hanging out with the ‘gang’, playing gully cricket, being together most of the time was the norm. This social structure is truly changing amongst the kids nowadays.

          Now, the summer vacations are eagerly awaited to spend maximum time either in front of cartoon network, on video games and on computer games. The vacations are marred by these laze inducing technologies. The ‘summer classes’ are thronged by crowds in such large numbers that one has to really crave out space for yourself to understand the ‘teachings’ of the classes. The ever popular swimming pools during summers are swarmed by more people than the water can take probably.

          A certain tintin, tinkle, champak, chitra katha which were the lifeline of the avid vacation readers don’t have a place in the book shelves now. They are being replaced by the ‘Ben10s’, ‘Doremons’ and many more broadcasted on the idiot box. Earlier, there were no Play Stations, MP3, Nintendo's, I-Pods, Video games, Cable TV channels, DVD's, Home Cinema, Home Computers,Laptops, 
Chat-rooms, Internet, etc but still there was a strong connect. There were much ‘real’ moments of enjoyment than being dependent on these gadgets to give us leisurely pleasure.

          The aspect of the city development and the social structuring too is responsible for germination of such a culture amongst the kids. The open spaces in the city which were earlier playgrounds for the kids are getting fast replaced by townships and housing schemes, the kids have no other place than a club / sports class to go and ‘play’ in a real sense. The spaces in the townships are earmarked not to let the gully cricket make its presence felt. Nuclear family set up is also responsible for isolating kids from the ‘fun in group’ charm. Due to these aspects the parents,who have realized this take special efforts to ‘create’ an appeal for their child’s summer vacations.

          I relived the ‘real’ fun in street games when I happened to see some kids having a ball of a time on the streets – all engrossed in their game of cricket into their own ‘created’ stadium. There is a great amount of fun to absorb oneself on these ‘imaginatively created’ pitches, stumps, boundaries etc. Games like pakda pakdi, lappa chappi, gilori, gotya, dhaba aispais, langadi, vitti dandu and many more do not feature on the list of ‘to-do’ list of the kids these days whilst playing. ‘Jasti- chi-majority’, ‘time- please’ and other lingo used while playing no more are heard.

          Changing times have brought in virtual fun rather than constructive leisure for the kids. Going by the current rapid techno-gratification of the kids, there is certainly a ‘virtual’ scene of being ‘games limited’. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A festival called world cup win

A lot has been said, shown and discussed about the historic world cup win against a mighty opponent last Saturday. The moment’s, energy and enthusiasm is still afresh in manier minds. But a lot more needs to be said about what one crucial win has done to the entire nation.

This sport has done something to the nation what no government of sixty four independent years has done to the country. It has become a language which holds together the country.  The Indian captain has done something which none of our political heros could achieve. He has brought back a genuine, simple and purest of smiles back to the millions of Indians across the world. He brought back the feeling of being proud of an Indian and made all those eyes watching that win a sense of utter delight which no other event than 1983 win brought. Our hearts were filled with tears and hearts with love for the game. The Indian team not only brought the cup to the country but also kept the excitement, anticipation and were true to the expectations of all cricket fans.  

Rightly quoted by one of the politicians that this victory has brought in a new dimension to the Indian perspective. A statement that India shouldn’t be taken lightly on the world map and we can prove when needed. Indians needed a real reason to celebrate, to dance on streets, to play the dhols, music and simply dance without any inhibitions. It needed to come to the streets without the fear of a terrorist attack, without an impending political intention. The sight of the Indian tricolor flying high on many hands is etched in our minds.The men in blue gave us all reason to celebrate with utmost valor. The entire country is basking in the glory which 11 players on green field brought to the nation.

Recent major outings of Indian cricket on the International arena have gained mass public following. The famous T20 world cup win, number one test team and many more victories in the recent past have made us Indians proud of their achievements. But a much anticipated world cup win was the icing on the cake. Enjoyment met many forms of expressions. Pool of cars on street, people dancing on top of the cars, water baths on many, hi-fives all around, hugs to strangers, dhols, music flowing through the air took the kind of expressions after a famous Indian triumph. It was dreamlike! This just means to show what cricket means to us and how powerful it is a tool to bridge the gap between people of different communities, sects etc. No one was cheering for the players of their states, regions ; they were cheering for India- which mattered.

The 15 players made us patriotic one more time, they made us fanatical one more time, they made us self-important one more time. Such thoughts of self beliefs and patriotism rarely come these days, other than a surprise terrorist attack or a bomb scare. Mr Dhoni, captured the hearts of millions and like Kapil Dev did in 1983, gave us a reason to celebrate. He gave the current generation chance to feel the magic- which a ‘world cup win’ can give. 
He gave the reason for the people of current era to be proud to live and to see the historic moment. Replays of that famous six to get the winning runs, his look on the face watching that ball soar into the stands, his antics with the willow meant just one gesture- we are the champions. This moment is going to be played time and again in the minds of us.

Conquering one massive opponent after another, this Indian team ultimately conquered the highest honour of world cricket. Thanks guys for installing and awakening the hidden patriotism in the hearts of Indians. Lets find ourselves more reasons to be patriotic and celebrate India more often, other than cricket. Lets us look for more moments to celebrate like this one gave us. Let us look at more festivals like this one was – ‘A festival called world cup win’.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cricketing expressions and superstitions

Cricket - the religion of India, the binding factor of patriotism and the pulse of millions altogether. Be it whatever form of Cricket, it generates utmost amount of discussions, views, comments on various aspect of this sport in India. Not to mention that it is this mania that halts several working systems in the country. With growing number of population, the fan base for the game has increased manifolds. Other than a terrorist attack on the country, it is the only major factor that unites the spirits of Indians nowadays.

So with it being the way of life, will it be short of any form of expressions and superstitions? Each match featuring India is nothing short of varying forms of expressions being belted out. A look at any cricket loving family, group of friends or cricketing communities are always filled with the paramount expressive best. Agony, sadness, cheer. Laughter, tears, smile, respect, honor, vigor, zeal – name the feeling and it shall bring on its face during an intense cricket match. Deserted streets, empty shops and public places are all witness to a rather ‘big’ event for the country.

When a cricket match is being played, more often than not, it happens that all the billion people play together. Especially in a gala event like the world cup, eyes are glued to each and every moment telecasted of the cricketing field. Days featuring Indias match are earmarked in the calendar as ‘not to-do’ lists. Appointments, schedules, meetings are fixed accordingly. Flurry of vehicles to go home early and watch as much broadcast of the competition as possible becomes the order of the day. One thing is for sure, India can’t miss on all of this.
When such an intensity rules the roost, it is inevitable that the Indians are not at their expressive best. A superb cricketing drive is jointly applauded by all, as well as a major mistake brings in all the negative expressions. A parallel commentary by the viewers to the live broadcast happens for all the moves of the captain as well as shots selected by the players. Billions of minds work together knowingly- unknowingly for the 11 players on field. Sadness on loosing Sachin’s wicket is the most common of feeling what rules the heart of people. Pain of losing a match is bad mouthed by many. Mistakes made by players are expressed loudly and harshly.

But what takes the cake from all of this is the smile after winning an intense match. This smile is truly genuine, from the heart and just means one thing…we did it. This expression doesn’t need any other words, as each one understands what the other similar smile is saying.
Best is the form of expressions post any match. Debates ranging from hours to joy/agony that lingers for long in the game loving minds. Everyone who loves the game becomes a critique in himself and analyses the game played or the one coming ahead. Millions of views, remarks flow in the air either in the praise or displeasure of the team’s performance on a particular day. Ranging from the team selectors to individual performances, everything is commented upon. The technological advancements in broadcasting which captures each and every expression of the player on field adds to the discuss off the field. Sledging, reactions to situations are well debated off field.

With such a fan base to a cult sport in the country – there is indeed a parallel spiritual system that runs. It is called ‘cricketing supersitions’. It’s that time of the World Cup when die-hard fans would go any distance to keep their teams from losing. Indians being people with a thing for the irrational, one can expect them to do some crazy things when their team performs post the quarterfinal. The most common superstition amongst the cricket fans – when the team is doing well, one should not move and inch from whatever position he/she is. Crazy as it might sound, it does bring in the ‘goodluck’ the team requires at that particular moment. A thought that a minor movement might risk the formation and orientation of the planets from the constructive positions and might bring in bad luck for the team. This would in effect be true for their wellbeing post the match. Doing poojas, homas, special prayers to the gods to some real crazy stuff, is the trend amongst the superstitious folk.Following the herd, I too have my share of these supersitional beliefs that help me bring relief to my self seeing India perform well. Not everytime, does this work, but the over optimism of seeing a bright Indian performance never leaves the mind.  Sitting in a position for long, asking everyone not to move or say anything during the match, making sure all the things are placed in similar fashion as the last time India won a match and more.
Some of my friends too have their share of superstitions which are worth mentioning. Some friends of mine believe, them seeing a match makes the team under perform, so to avoid the tension and anticipation of the team’s performance they give up viewing the match. But the tension building up in such a situation is unimaginable. A clincher of a Indo Australia match yesterday gave rise to several such practices prevailing amongst my friends. Whilst the match yesterday, one good friend of mine got up to get something and Australia lost a wicket. This sheer excitement and joy of his movement made him stand still for the rest of the Aussie inning. At the end, it did pay as India won the match, but the point being that there are thousands of such still positions, statue like positions, anxious eyes and innumerable practices that act as blessing to the performers on the field.

Cricketers are no way behind in following these invisible beliefs. Innumerable articles and write ups boasts of the practices these players adopt to better their performances. Whilst it is understandable for the amount of pressure and expectations relied upon them- it is equally fascinating for the practices adopted by the fans for them. A mere emotion that their team should do well, takes them to unimaginable levels of practices and rituals which truly are captivating ‘Cricketing expressions and superstitions’. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A close look at death

             Death – the name itself brings in the feeling of sadness, loss, pain and feelings attached to negativity. It is one emotion that every human being fears the most. The mere mention of the word distances the person from himself for a moment. News of uncertain death of anyone touches the human heart and condolences and prayers for the near and dear ones of the casualty follow.

             What was thought of as a cricket match during the safety week in Lavasa yesterday proved to be an experience of terror for all. I was a close witness of an unfortunate event yesterday.

              As part of the celebrations for the ‘National Safety Week’ – Lavasa arranges a series of events to create awareness amongst its employees. The highlight of this event is the cricket tournament which features employees, contractors, laborers and everyone associated with Lavasa. I decided to take part in one of the teams and we were petted against the city management team from the company.

              A star cricketer and a good hitter of the cricketing ball- was the image that I carried of this City manager who batted after the fall of the first wicket of the opposition. His walk towards the pitch was very well cheered as everyone was in awe of this 55 year old man with a personality to die for. His tall and muscular demeanor was well admired by everyone who knew him.
               Being a wicket keeper myself – I observed this gentleman, his body language not being short of any well maintained sportsman. An unsuccessful stint with the bat, left us see his back after a few balls. The opposition team posted a decent enough total to be chased by us.

                Me along with my colleague friend were chosen to open the chase for our team. Whilst taking the walk, my eyes were on the gentleman who I thought was an inspiration to be on cricketing field at that age. He took guard behind the wickets and made sure of the field arrangements with the bowler and captain. His enthusiasm at that age was remarkable. The first over was bowled and I was at the batting end for the next over. The first ball of the second over missed my bat and went to the keeper on which Mr Muzumdar aptly collected it with his large hands. I had a brief sight of the ball in his hands. The bowler went to take his run up and I was gearing for the next ball. The ball left the clutches of the bowler’s hand, ran past me, was wide enough, and left me looking behind at the wicket keeper. That sight behind me left me gasped and shocked as I found that our city manager banged on the ground hard while collecting the ball. An initial reaction that he slipped instantly faded away when his body started shivering profusely. I ran towards him only to see him vibrating and creating weird sound – a horrific sound of a man in pain.

                The pool of people watching us play ran towards him, some asking for water in the hot afternoon, whilst some making sure the crowd is away from him to avoid suffocation. Shouts, confusion and chaos followed for the next three minutes as a zooming vehicle was seen towards the crowd. Mr Muzumdar was immediately shifted into the vehicle with flurry of people along with him to whiz to the nearest hospital.

                 We were all perplexed with this turn of events. The crowd that was cheering for the play 5 mins back was suddenly transformed into a stunned pool of witnesses. Announcement of cancellation of the days matches made us walk back towards our vehicles in anticipation of the health of Mr Muzumdar. Whispers and talks donning around the people present were varied. Some people opined it was a sun stroke while some confirmed it was a heart attack.

                 I along with my colleagues sat in the vehicle carrying us back to the office - stopped at a hotel on the way. I called up a friend, who works in a different department, to inform him about the incident. He was shocked to know about it. After 20 mins, I got a call back from him to tell me that the city manager is no more. These words, unfolded the series of events that I observered closely few minutes back. What followed was the empathy towards his family to bear a shock of a precious loss. Rest in peace , Mr Muzumdar!

The sight of his trembling body, the bizarre sound coming from him, his eyes all white and shivers – for me this experience surely was a close look at death.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Night to remember

           Posters flashed all over the city, banners announced his arrival, all routes of reaching to the public via media were flooded with one day…11th Feb…when Bryan Adams was set to perform live in Pune. An unusual and iconic concert to flaunt. Pune boasted of hosting ‘ The Legend’ and also had the rare opportunity to kick off his series of Asian concerts with this one in the city.

          After initial apprehension for the pricing of the tickets, to landing amidst the flurry of people on the entrance gate, it was all in the mind. A lifetime opportunity to listen and see perform one of the biggest international talents….Bryan Adams.

          First two hours were marred by sheer disappointment as we were thrown open to plethora of activities unfolding on the stage. Watching the technicians at work, some stupid introductory compering by radio jockeys to some disappointing ramp walk by models, the show started with a boo from all. The band to open for the legend was a total anticlimax, with the music taking the piece of the cake rather than the vocals and the song lyrics. Nonetheless, what followed after this mess made sure that we forgot all this nuance. I was cursing for we left our office early to make sure we get a good spot to view. And what was happening in front of us was utter rubbish. Me and my friends prayed that Bryan show should make up for this.

          7.45pm, it was announced that ‘Here is Bryan Adams’ and all the lights went off, everyones eyes were set on the stage and the screen to see their hero come on stage. He took half an hour to come on stage and did he rock….well, mightily, in deed

          He simply came on stage and started with the music with the apt opening of a concert, ‘I need somebody, somebody like you’ as a gesture to appreciate the presence of thousands of people in front of him. The crowd went made and shouted to the core to listen his first song. The fact that here is the moment to see the legendary guitarist perform in front of you is one of its kind. This one followed by Somebody, one night love affair. ‘Here I am’ marked the enthusiasm of the crowd trigger to the hilt, whilst the stage displayed its true colours in reds, blues, greens, yellows, all flashing. After this one, he introduced himself to the crowd saying, my name is Bryan, well…does he need an introduction?

          ‘Can’t stop this think we started' was an fitting song in the middle of the concert supported amiably with the eclectic guitar , amazing vocals and lights all around. The stage was throwing pictures of all the band members performing, and it was treat to watch. Adams, got louder rightly responded by the crowd.

          ‘Lets make a night to remember’ followed, a song which for me, is a benchmark for romance. It sent chills into me, as I have been listening to this song for hundreds of times, and to see it live sent waves across me. It was sheer delight to see the aging rockstar perform with utmost zeal and valor. I was thoroughly enjoying the way he expressed himself whilst singing this one. Sure this man is one romantic. This song was well responded by the audience as he muted himself for a while to let the audience since parts of it. Loved it!

          The youthful '18 till I die’ made the crowd shout to the top of the voices, whilst I was struggling to listen to the original voice. Then came the song, which everyone waited for. ‘Summer of 69’, I expected he will keep this one for lasts, but was a surprise to hear so soon. This song catapulted the fervor of the audience as it was their voice more than his that ran all round. Bryan adams knowing the popularity of this one, rightly muted himself to let the audience sing for him.
In the midst of his performace, Adams at one point motioned towards a lit room on one of the towers in the background, and yelled, “Dear sir, hello do come down and join us. I have a spare ticket here.” 
The lead guitarist, Keith Scott performed amazingly with the guitar with some unusual sounds with the strings and some small gigs like rotating the guitar around his neck, on which Bryan adams asked him, ‘how do you do it, tell me’. Keith replied ‘ I don’t know’.

The only thing I want’ , ‘All for you’ created that mass shouting amongst the crowd, while songs like ‘Everything I do’ garnered the interest of all those romantics present. It was a speechless moment for me, for the song which I have been humming and listening and rerunning for thousands of times was being performed live in front of me. It was a moment to cherish forever. The song 'Please Forgive me' put forth his nostalgic face in front and he said ‘ Please forgive me’ to the crowd after the song. 'Cuts like a knife', charged the spirits with crowd humming the songs one after another.  

            Then came the moment of enjoyment when Bryan asked the crowd if anyone knew the lyrics of his song ‘ Baby’, one girl was chosen amongst the pool of hands raised. The lucky girl got a chance to sing along the star in front of the mammoth crowd.

            5 minutes to 10 and Bryan Adams took his bow with his band and left the stage. Disappointed that the show got over so soon, we started moving towards the exit and to our dismay (or cheer), he came back on to the stage to perform for some more time. He said, lets sing some more songs. And we were sad that we lost our prized spot to see him, but nonetheless enjoyed the next 3-4 songs he sang.

The show got over and the numbness in our legs was sensed as we walked towards our vehicles. The pain of standing for more than 5 hours was lost in the anticipation of a brilliant show. And certainly, the rockstar made sure that ‘It was a night to remember’. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nothing 'adarsh' about it

                        India- seen as a rising economy, developing nation and a country to look forward to by manier nations in the present era. But are the current episodes happening in and around the country creating a goody image of us?

                        Present times are the testing time for our country. Overall, it is exposed to various and difficult situations in all the corners of its existence. The perennial Kashmir issue dons the north, while Leh-Ladakh was grappling with floods, eastern story is bound with the frequent tibetian and Chinese attacks, the fear of Chinese encroachment into the country looms large. Political unrest down south surfaces its head from time and again, while the west is subjected to fear of attack or unrest.

                       Apart from the unrest, there is a heavy menace in the form of internal disturbances in the form of flurry of major scams hiting the nation. The cost the nation has to pay for hosting (or boasting) a commonwealth games is still impending on us. Advancements in the form of communication well also took its toll on exposing yet another scam which featured a certain ‘Raja’. As soon as that subsided, tabloids’ shocking revelation of news providers lobbying around crept in. Such incidents can question the moralities of the news providers at large.

                        Every month there is a certain price rise, either in petrol, milk, foodgrains and vegetables, thus raising the inflation rate. To top it all, there is uncertainty in the form of climate where we experience rainfall in non rainy seasons leading to the damage in crops. This has lead to the reducing number of agricultural fields. Villagers seek to the temptations of sacrificing their healthy agricultural land to the real estate seductions. Such a decrease in agricultural sector might lead India to a worrisome state in future. 

                         Internal conflicts in the form of Maoist attacks, internal violence amongst communities based on shallow political intentions are creating a vulnerable image of the nation. There is an ever impending sword of a terrorist attack at any time at any place now. All the major festivals, events are marred by heavy security and a possible threat from the fanatics. The charm of enjoying these festivals without any prenominations is fading away.

                         The episodes of political selfishness in the form of creating assets during the tenure, making the most of the chair, lobbying , corruption, vested interests have faltered the kind of leadership our country needs. One major contradictory statement comes from the lady who leads the Congress party urging all ‘old’ party workers to step down from their positions and curbing their greeds. She herself doesn’t apply being a sexagenarian.(60 plus).

With the certain air of ambiguity looming large over our country, there is a sense of ‘nothing adarsh about it’.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy second decade of the century

          Another new year, another set of new year wishes, another location for parties, music, dance, people. Another set of smses, forwards, mails and telephone calls to near and dear ones. Another remembrance of the year gone by and mental preparation to welcome the new one. Another chapter added to the book of life. But one needs to understand – with this another , where are we as human beings?

          Multitudes of smses and emails flow through the air carrying millions of wishes from some part of the world to another, during the New Year. Each and every message boasts of a new beginning to the year to follow and retrospection of the one gone by. Wishes change but the condition around us remain the same. People carry with them similar prejudice. The question here is – with the passing of years, do we really aspire to bring in a positive and healthy change around us?
Do we really abide to the values and principles set in or imbibed to us while we were young? With the passing of decades – the flair of these value sets are diminishing, giving rise to newer and superficial ways of living.

          In this new year, do we remind each other of those cultural degradation happening around us, of the value sets that are being ignored, of the sensible and skillful uses of the available resources around us. We embark on the new year resolutions, do we endorse greening our planet by our own small initiatives?
With the onset of the new decade – where do we as Indians stand as against 6.3 decades earlier?

          Things are changing rapidly in this era. Technological spread leads to constant change. With this change, the culture is also changing at if not similar but fast pace. What was considered as must before is considered as passé now. The set of values which one wants India to progress must be instilled in younger minds and efforts to make sure that those are being followed need to be generated. It is only the culture that India had (or has), that distinquishes us from the lot, lets preserve it for generation to come. Let us resolve to keep these cultures intact, let us resolve to spread the defined set of values and ethics to Manier people. Let us treasure our roots, our belief system. Lets trust each other, lets spread honesty once again, lets be better human beings with higher morals. Let’s not just merely wish happy new year, but spread a hope to cherish and evolve ways to retain our identity, culture, values, roots, keeping in mind the future aspirations. Let us not expand ourselves externally, but evolve internally

Happy second decade of the century