Showing posts from 2009

Christmas: The season of giving

Tis the season to be jolly... and to ponder whether you've been naughty or nice! Merry Christmas everyone. It's the time of the year when we're all looking forward to the dawn of a new day... the decorations are out and so is all the finery... with everyone making plans for a spectacular entry into the new year!

Christmas for me has always been the season of giving and joy... the season of Santa Claus, Christmas carols, gifts around the Christmas trees and Christmas dances, celebrations and loads of yummy, yummy food. It's also a time when family and friends come together. The feeling at this time of the year in the two weeks that lead into Christmas and new year is indescribable... it's warm and fuzzy yet exciting.. it's rushed and action-packed yet relaxed... it's time of reflection... yet a time to look forward for new beginnings!

At this time of the year, I cease to be Akshay... literally! I am Santa Claus... in my head and in my behaviour! It's now …

Movie Review: Khoya Khoya Chaand

It is just so refreshing to see a period film that is made with such glorious reverence and affection. Khoya Khoya Chand does its best to transport you to the golden era of Bollywood, among the archaic lights, melodramatic sets, divas and classic automobiles. The visual treatment of the story is stunning, and thanks to that a superbly chosen, we get the smell of the vintage greasepaint.

Perhaps, the in-jokes, at almost every step of the film, was lost to the audience. This is an unhesitatingly insider film, Bollywood reflecting on Bollywood, not marked by raw impressions or cynicism. This is a glossy, neatly crafted romance set against an era of cinema the director himself is clearly overwhelmed by. The tale is of a pretty young starlet Nikhat (Soha Ali Khan)--who has been more couched than cast, right from an abominably early age--and her compromise to break into the limelight by giving in to the reigning star Prem Kumar (Rajat Kapoor). Enter then Zafar (Shiney Ahuja)--the nascent scr…

Fare Game

Mumbai's cabbies are an institution unto themselves is a well-known fact. Sometimes their reasoning seems rooted in some parallel universe whose logic defies mere human understanding. Recently, when a friend alighted from the cab, a driver asked for Rs. 98. She happened to have a tariff card in her purse and pointed out that she owed only Rs. 89. Bristled with indignation at the implication that he had tried to rip her off, the cabbie said, "Madam, if I really wanted to cheat, why would I jack up the fare by only eight rupees? I would have asked for a thousand!"

Since my friend was in a hurry, she paid him Rs. 90 and desisted from pointing out two flaws in his argument. One, the argument was nine rupees, not eight and two, a cabbie would need exceptional luck to score that one-in-ten-million chance of finding a passenger foolish enough to cough up Rs. 1000 for a 10 kilometre ride. The cabbie failed to convince my friend that he had made a genuine mistake, but he did prov…

A scary ride

Recently, three young women on their way home to Goregaon mall felt it would be unsafe to walk the short stretch, considering that it was almost midnight and, incidentally, they were being followed by two men on a bike. They quickly stopped a rickshaw and asked the driver to take them home which was just at the end of the dark, lonely patch of road. The driver though developed cold feet at the idea.

He refused despite repeated assurances that several other autorickshaws are parked there for the night. The trio though managed to jump inside the rickshaw, unmindful of his protests, "How will I go back from there? What if someone murders me?" The only assurance which eventually gave him some strength came from one of the girls who offered to drop him back to the main road after he dropped the others home. Holding on to this promise, the driver reached the destination and perhaps also a realisation--the road was not as scary as he had imagined.

Remember, Not To Forget

Do you need more words reminding you yet again of 26/11? Hasn't enough been said? YES, I think you do and NO because I don't think enough has been said. Because, in this situation, I realise that it is extremely important to remember.. to never forget the courage and the sacrifice of our martyrs. It is this fact that alone that gave me the courage to pen down my thoughts today a year later.

The events of 26/11 and its after effects have been on my mind for weeks now, brought to the surface by varied comments and conversations and of course the media reporting. I was hesitant, unsure.. what right did I have to share my opinion and thoughts about the tragedy? I was just a mute spectator to the terror that unfolded across my city. I did remember.. I never forgot.. the impact it had on us.

I also realised that as a citizen of India and of Mumbai, it was also my responsibility to keep the memory alive... to remind us of the lessons we learnt over those fateful sixty hours but now ha…

Culture of Fear

I'm fairly certain that you must be following the news at least on a daily basis, if not on an hourly basis. At least, enough to be aware of the happenings last week; this guy called Loin (I don't think it's his real name, par saara sheher usse yehi naam se jaanta hain) didn't care for Sachin Tendulkar's statement about being "an Indian first", and he said in his own editorial column in a newspaper that he was offended by this kind of broad-minded thinking. Let us leave aside the fact that I cannot understand anyone being offended by anything Sachin could say. Apart from being a genuinely sincere guy, there are only a handful people who have as much as him to make our country proud. I don't think anyone would disagree with me if I were to him as an Indian hero.

But we're an open-minded society. We live in the world's largest democracy, where people are entitled to have their own opinions. The people agreed with Sachin, and they shouted this agr…

Movie Review: My Brother Nikhil

My Brother Nikhil boasts of a very unique theme as it is a story not only about an AIDS patient, but also because it delves into the subject of homosexuality, a still debated topic in our culture. The story of My Brother Nikhil unfolds in Goa between the years 1987 and 1994 and tells the story of Nikhil (Sanjay Suri). All the characters in the film introduce themselves to the viewers and narrate the story of the guy they all loved--Nikhil.

Navin Kapoor (Victor Bannerjee), who is Nikhil's father and coach is very proud of his son Nikhil's achievement, since he is a state-level swimming champion. Nikhil is a very adorable guy whom everybody loves and has also won a scholarship from the sports ministry. His life comprises of his family, including his mother Anita Kapoor (Lillette Dubey), his elder sister Anamika (Juhi Chawla), who is his closest pal and confidante, Leena Gomes (Dipannita Sharma), who wants to marry him and boyfriend Nigel (Purab Kohli).

The movie takes a turn when…

Namaste, Everyone?

On a recent nostalgia trip, I just couldn't help but be struck how gradually we lost our national identification mark--the ubiquitous Namaste. On a recent visit to a Japanese cultural programme, I just couldn't help but wonder for their immense respect towards everyone.

There is such charm and inherent grace in the gesture of Namaste that it made me feel quite nostalgic for the times when the Namaste (or the Namaskar) used to be the common way to greet family, friends and even strangers in India. Growing up, whenever we had guests at home, a Namaste was always the standard greeting. Even though as children, we never quite understood what it signified--the word in Sanskrit roughly transliterates as "I bow down to the divinity in you which is also within me"--in retrospect, it was the perfect salutation to bestow upon anyone.

Which is why it makes me so sad to see that we--the proud citizens of urban India--have jettisoned the Namaste in both our personal and professio…

Photographer in the city

A photographer from Delhi recently had a shocking experience while travelling from Churchgate to Bandra. As her cab waited at a traffic signal, her cellphone was snatched from her hand. She asked the cabbie to wait and started following the man in the narrow bylanes of Bandra, as it happens in the movies. As expected, the man managed to disappear.

Dejected, she headed back. The next morning, when she went to lodge a complaint at the Khar police station, she was pleasantly surprised by the treatment she got. The cop on duty turned out to be a lover of photography, who too had done a course at the J.J. School of Arts. After chatting with him for a while, she stepped out with a happy feeling, "The city is not so bad after all," she told one of my friends.

Harbour Darshan

It was the day when television channels were trying to desperately rhyme their breaking news headline with two words: lifeline and pipeline.

Last week, when a bridge fell on a Kalyan bound train, Central Railway passengers cursed their fate as the rare Thane train threatened to run till Kurla and then jump over to the Harbour Line and take them to Vashi, before returning to Thane. But the happy-go-lucky Dombivli bound crowd of aunties, young bankers and others who had met each other for the first time, chose to make the most of this 100 minute journey. They volunteered to share seats and hold bags, laughed at the crowd in the First Class compartment at 7 pm, tried hard to pronounce Ghansoli and even celebrated their rare view of the ''awesome'' Vashi station.

"It looks better than an airport," the most vocal of the aunties remarked and everyone followed it up with praises for the "lighting" , "highway" and the "lack of people" . O…

Minimum City

We like to think of Mumbai as Maximum City--a city bursting with people, heart, smarts, all that. Not on every count, I learnt this quite recently. A work-worn employee of a PR firm located in Tardeo was heading back home to Mazgaon last week when cabbie after aggravating cabbie refused him a ride. He walked the length of the road right up to Mumbai Central station, where cabbies are usually quite accomodating. He was refused by at least six. Then, almost like a dream, a stranger on a motorbike slowed down and asked him if he required a lift.

The PR executive jumped on before the rider reconsidered, and the two rolled forward. He was silently congratulating himself on his luck, and congratulating this city for the goodness and open-heartedness of its people, when they reached the said destination, and the PR executive unsaddled with a grateful heart... only to have that kind Mumbaikar ask him for the cab fare he'd have coughed ip had he taken a taxi instead.

Grumbling, and having …

Beat Seat

Rush hour travel hasn't been the same ever since the new the MRVC--Siemens local trains started rolling on city tracks. Passengers routinely grumble about the total absence of leg room between rows of seats that makes the compartment appear more packed than they actually are, poor seating alignment, and completely wrong placement of overhead fans that carry the promise of a migraine attack. Now, there is an added depressant in the already depressing trains--mounds of garbage under the ergonomically challenged seats. I have occasionally wondered why the older, sturdier locals continue to be a lot more cleaner. Last week, the reason revealed itself in a second-class general compartment. A woman passenger who'd just boarded the train looked under every empty seat and announced, "I decide on a seat based on the amount of trash underneath. After these new trains came in, we just cannot throw our chips packets and orange peels out of the window. Unlike the older trains, the win…

The Wonder Years

Old school and college ties can be very, very strong. After all, why shouldn't they be strong? Schools and colleges are the places where most of us began to discover ourselves with the help of teachers and our place in the world. It's one place that aside from our families at home firmly established our values, our ideas of how life should be lived and our concept of what a good education is.

Schools are also the place where we made the first good friends of our lives, where we indulged in masti and mischief, where we learned how much we are capable of achieving as well as our limitations as individuals. In other words, schools were the places where we grew up in front of our teachers. Since our schools occupy most of our lives before we become responsible, grown up people, it's also the place that made some very strong memories.

Nostalgia is surely a big factor in old school ties, especially at a time when you bump into a classmate and you cannot really recall his/her name…

Festival of noise

Sitting with friends and family, celebrating Diwali by watching movies and indulging in gossip sessions. Still, it's the family being together that matters. Deepavali is a big deal in my house, and I feel that we often lose sight of what's really important in all of this. People go nuts with buying new stuff, playing cards and gambling away huge sums of money... they spend tens of thousands of rupees on crackers, which have always infuriated me.

I always used to hate the noisy crackers because they would terrify me since childhood. I remember my mother telling me how I cried everytime someone burst a noisy cracker when I was a baby. I remember how my grandmother dreads the Deepavali time due to the noise outside that would go on all night. I was very particular about using the silent crackers, the kind that light up, but don't explode.

Then I got older and realised that even though I wasn't making a racker, I was still polluting the air horribly. The morning after Dee…

Season's greetings

It's finally here... that wonderful time of the year when we polish ourselves and our houses, put on our finery, participate in various rituals, gift (willingly for a change!!) and just come together to celebrate. It's Deepavali and I, for once, am truly excited.

It's a festival that has always had a special meaning to me and it comes with so many shiny, happy memories. This year, I'm spending it with my family and a few relatives from Delhi, which is a real treat! Because of work and the art venture commitments, I couldn't spend it with my family last year, but this time around, I made sure that no matter what happened, I would be here in Bombay, to celebrate it with them.

Diwali has certain traditions and rituals that you follow as a family and at my house, the responsibility is divided between all the members of the family that are present in the city. As far as I can remember, my mum gave me th responsibility of distributing the sweets and savouries to all the …

Beggars and tears

Logically speaking, it's not easy for a man to lose his wallet in the ladies compartment of a local train. But a thin, frail man from Pune knows that rationality is a rare resource in today's times. That's why, everyday, this man enters the ladies compartments of Dombivli locals in the afternoons and immediately starts searching the floor. He looks everywhere, under the seats, on window sills, negotiating his way through the crowd of freshly curious women.

After five minutes of nautanki and this desperate exercise, he excites sympathy and interest. "What are you looking for?" A tall woman asks. "Didi, I've lost all my money and have nowhere to go," he croaks in Marathi, almost on the verge of tears and continues his routine. "Please let her not fall for it," prays another woman passenger not very far away. She is familiar with this beggar's moves, but before she could warn the lady, the damage was done. Hydraulic force prevails over log…

Who Needs Bandstand when you have BEST?

It will take a while before the moral police get to this, but it turns out on rainy days, there is a greater dearth of places for idle youth of Mumbai to hang out. Some days ago, four twenty something boys were seen chit-chatting in an empty BEST bus as it stood parked at the bus depot. When the bus finally started, the youth promptly got off---and then got on to the next empty bus waiting to take off.

Considering that most buses in the city of Mumbai enjoy an average of 20 minutes parking time before they are ready to hit the roads once again, these youngsters have a good thing going. It's free, it's clean, and there's no police snooping around. Now, what if all those displaced from the seafronts of Mumbai knew this....

Change for a change

It was so terribly hot and I started feeling like I am in a huge sauna. Thankfully, it rained and today I am feeling cold. Since none of my clothes are dry, I have had to manage wearing a flimsy white vest. Fed up of studying I turn to the Internet to update my blog and then head to the living room to catch up on the developing stories. Breaking news is that Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Karnataka are reeling through flash floods and it's expected to get worse. Worried, I head out to the window to soak in some cool air and sip a hot cup of tea. Oh my God, I just cannot believe what I just saw.

A huge wave---40 feet, no 5o feet, God no, it's at least 60 feet--is coming straight at me. I run out of the room, down the passage, out of the door, but it's too late. The wave pounds me, I'm drowning, gasping for air.. I wake up shivering. I look around and sigh with relief! It was just a Godforsaken dream! But it felt so real, I run towards the window to double check. Phew! I…

Personal Space, what's that?

If you thought the stunts in Khatron Ke Khiladi was scary, my friend dares you to take a bus ride from Mumbai to Khed. Blame it on the shoe-string budget travel or his talent for inviting third-degree torture, but a recent trekking trip to the Konkan side of Maharashtra was punctuated by a run-ins with ''interesting'' bus conductors.

His first destination, Mahad, a city in the Raigad district, is only accessible by road. Having already experienced the "ups and downs'' in the life of an ST bus earlier, he took a ''private tempo'' option from Karjat, the nearest town in the Raigad district. Now we've heard of private transport guys overloading their vehicles, but there needs to be regulation on this, for the sake of human rights. He was hauled in at the back of a 'Trax', a 10-seater van, far from vintage. Before he could say, ''thamba'' (Stop in Marathi), he found himself sharing space with someone else's suitca…

Trying to make sense of life

I am sick of writing exams. I am tired of living life as though it is a rat race and I am stressed and above all, I am scared to think of my results. I hope you are better than I am! God, it's been a rough couple of weeks. I keep waiting for this run of luck to break, but apparently things are coming to a head in my life. Sometimes, I feel life has to get really hard, in order for one to take a stock, to look at what's wrong, and what needs to change. I think I'm in one of those phases.

Coming to think of it, didn't I write months ago about Good Morning Sunshine with a few of my favourite things? As I sheepishly remember writing, the return of Saturn tends to make things harder for you before things get easier, in order to push you into the changes you need to make. Ha! Apparently Saturn wasn't going to let me forget the ordeal and torture I underwent with Maths.

I apologize if I am sounding cryptic; it's just that I am not in the frame of mind to write a happy…

It's you who matters

For as far back as I can remember, my parents inculcated the fact that there is no substitute for hardwork and it's something that I tried to bring to everything that I have done. But.... I realised very early on in my life, hardwork does not necessarily guarantee recognition and appreciation. Which is why, I am so nervous before writing everything over here and any other activity I am a part of.

In the week before my results, I am always breathless with anticipation about the response my marks will evoke from my parents and my performance in the exams. When feedback starts pouring in the form of criticism and positive responses, it can be euphoric or heartbreaking. Well because I have been blessed and I am fortunate enough, especially over the past week, to have been flooded by warm, loving and appreciative mails for raising my voice against corruption in a debate. I must add that I am humbled and overjoyed at the same time.

Enriched and much more with the outpouring messages on…

Movie Review: Mumbai Meri Jaan

Mumbai Meri Jaan is a movie I had seen in the theatre (despite of the Censor Board rating it as an ''A'' movie). I wanted to review this movie long back but somewhere I never got the time to do it. As they say, better late than never. Mumbai Meri Jaan is a movie about the serial bombings of suburban trains in Mumbai of 2006 which is a nightmarish incidents the nation would never forget. Mumbaikars still get gooseflesh recalling the ghastly incident. Mumbai Meri Jaan recreates the incident on celluloid, but it is not terrorism per se. It talks about the aftermath of this tragedy and how the lives of five people, not remotely connected or associated with one another, gets affected in the process.

Mumbai Meri Jaan is more of an emotional journey. Five varied stories unveil in those two hours and each story manages to make a statement. Nishikant Kamat's first Hindi venture is one of those films that don't deviate from the core issue. It is not foolproof in terms of…

Movie Review: Titli

Rituparno Ghosh has directed some great Bengali movies and he is one of the best directors among the young parallel movie directors. Rituparno is peerless when it comes to scripting complex screenplays. I must admit that he handles stories with multiple characters beautifully. Many of his movies are women-oriented and many of his movies have won the National Award. On the recommendation of a friend, I watched the Bengali movie "Titli" on Youtube.

The story of Titli develops around the evolution of Titli from a girl into womanhood, through the breaking of the crush. The story is set in Darjeeling and the dense jungles of Duars in North Bengal, covered in dense morning fog, the sunshine playing hide-and-seek, Buddhist monastries, the famous Darjeeling toy train, interleaved with poetry and music, create the romantic ambience underpinning this film.

Titli (Konkona Sen Sharma), is a 17 year old girl who has a teenage crush on a Bollywood superstar Rohit Roy (Mithun Chakraborty),…

Daivathinte Khat

We have our exams going on and yesterday, while I was just going through the English textbook, I came across this poem which is published in our book. Personally, I hate poems and I know my limitation that I can never write a poem.

As you woke up this morning,

I watched you and hoped you would talk to me,

even if it was just a few words,

asking my opinion or thanking me for

something good that happened in your life yesterday--

but I noticed you were too busy

trying to find the right outfit to put on

and wear to work.

I waited again

When you ran around the house getting ready

I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello,

but you were just too busy.

At one point you had to wait for fifteen minutes

with nothing to do except sit in a chair.

Then I saw you spring to your feet.

I thought you wanted to talk to me

but you ran to the phone and called a friend

to get the latest gossip

I watched as you went to work

and I waited patiently all day long.

With all your activities

I guess you w…


Is it just me or has friendship taken a beating these days? When we were younger, every action and every decision was taken as a collective, a gang of best friends standing by each other through thick and thin, exploring and experimenting together because we had each other for support. We were much more gullible in the days and hardly ever stopped to ponder our actions, but we always knew that whether it was the chaotic corridors of school or the loud and robust canteens in college, there was a camaraderie that was constant.

Flash forward to twenty years later and the very foundation of friendship has taken on a whole other facade. You can wake up tomorrow and find seven or eight new friend requests on popular social networking sites like Orkut or Facebook; distant friends, friends of friends, and most of the time, completely random strangers. You may accept or reject them, but you cannot ignore the reality of this very scary social predicament; where did all the ''good friend…

Movie Review: Luck By Chance

One has often heard, read and seen (on screen) the positive and negative sides of Bollywood. It would be erroneous to state that Zoya Akhtar's 'Luck By Chance' does a ''pol-khol" of the glamorous industry. Let me put it this way: the film mirrors the behind-the-scenes drama and manoeuvring exactly the way it occurs in showbiz. Watching Luck By Chance is like experiencing Bollywood first-hand.

If you're remotely associated with Bollywood, if you know how things work in Bollywood, you'd laud and applaud, laugh and smile, identity and understand and at times, empathize and sympathize with the characters in Luck By Chance. Zoya Akhtar's take on an industry that attracts millions of hopefuls year after year is bang on target. Almost three decades ago, Hrishikesh Mukherjee had made Guddi that depicted a star-struck teenager Jaya Bhaduri's obsession for a top star Dharmendra. Along with the core issue, the film highlighted the behind-the-scenes hardw…

Agla Station: Ghatkopar

Just last week, I was waiting at Sion station for my usual Thane train to take me to Mulund since I had to pick up a few things. I usually observe around when I am waiting for my train. So, a hapless victim fell prey to the over-enthusiastic Bombay's local train commuters. Our hero wanted to get down at Sion, but as luck and trains would have it, he boarded a fast train that did not halt at Sion. He panicked when he realized that the train did not stop at Sion and Kurla. On seeing his plight, a sympathetic co-passenger came to his rescue.

It seemed that he had been commuting by the 05:10 Asangaon Fast for the past six years and had noticed that the train always slowed down just before the train entered Sion station and crawled at a snail's pace while passing through. The co-passenger told the man to jump out of the running train as it slowed down and that with a little bit of fleet-footedness, he would make it safely. However, knowing the man's inexperience, he added some w…

The 4:30 Ladies Special

It has been months since I posted something under the label of 'Commuter Tales'. My sister was telling me to delete all the tales because she did not find them interesting enough. I told fine, not a problem and promised to be a little more observant and update this section as and when something interesting comes up.

On Friday, I observed that the BEST has now introduced a few exclusive 'Ladies Special' buses from Wadala to Marol. Since the stop for this Ladies Special happens to be at the place where I board my bus to come home from college, I couldn't help laughing. The route number of the bus is 22 Ltd. and it goes on towards the western suburbs. It had a board saying that the bus was a 'Ladies Special' along with the number and destination.

It so happened that a man with an umbrella ran to catch the bus and heaved a sigh of relief when he got in. It was after much elbowing, pushing and swearing that he got in only to be told calmly by the conductor to al…

Pulling our legspace

A lot of furore has been created over Mr. Shashi Tharoor's ''cattle class'' remark on Twitter. The furore created made me wonder do those strange people who usually travel in business class--but may not be travelling in this category for a while now--really think that the people who fly economy are angry by a wisecracking Minister of State with trendy sideburns calling economy class 'cattle class? The poor dearies must be so sweet--and silly--to think that us cattle classers would mind.

Heck, that's what all those people travelling in economy class call economy class: cattle class. To think that those travelling within the relatively crammed confines of an economy class ticket (and the 'cramminess' of the confines does depend on the airline one is flying) have no idea of the relative luxury of flying business class is to be downright patriotism.

Mr. Shashi Tharoor responded to a question by a certain Kanchan Gupta on his Twitter page that read, &quo…

Movie Review: Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi

Some things can never change and never will. One may have a very modern outlook towards life, but most of us continue to be very traditional at heart. Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi is rich in emotions and mirrors the traditions and culture with utmost simplicity and understanding. Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi is a simple story of sacrifice that aims at pulling your heart strings. Every Rajshri film works because of the storyline and strong emotions and so, Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi follows the tradition.

Of course, a story like this one in this film may seem regressive to the multiplex audiences of metros, but the fact remains that cinema is all about narrating stories and Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi has a strong story to tell. Besides, there are ample moments in this film that strike a chord that touch the core of your heart that make you moist-eyed.

Chandni (Isha Koppikar) belongs to a middle class family, living in one of the tiny bylanes of Bhopal. She lives with her father and younger siblings--Anuj and Sandhya. Cha…

Movie Review: The Bong Connection

The word "Bong" maybe politically incorrect slang for all things Bengali, in "The Bong Connection", the writer and director Anjan Dutta brews self-irony into a watchable, good-humoured satire. In two alternating stories, a young Indian musician from New York Andy Sen (Shayan Munshi) returns to Kolkata, while an ambitious young computer engineer Arpan Chatterjee (Parambrata Chatterjee) seizes his chance to take a big job in Houston.

The film says a lot about the new generation of Indians caught between their culture and pressure to work abroad. However, it takes Anjan Dutt a while to find his balance between dramatic narrative and broad comedy. Apu takes leave of his family and girlfriend Sheila (Raima Sen) and heads for the greener pastures of Texas. Sheila makes it clear that she prefers the young Kolkata, and they part on an uncertain note.

Meanwhile, Andy visits India for the first time and is welcomed into his grandfather's rambling old home. In contrast to…

My First Teacher

Memories of some people are etched in our minds and stay with us forever. Even after years, certain memories remain fresh and it feels as if the things happened just yesterday. I was in the first grade when we had a fair and an extraordinarily sweet teacher named Kiran Rane.

This happened during the lunch break. Since I was in a convent school that time, prayers used to be compulsory before eating. Hence my teacher recited the prayer, "God is good, God is great. Let us thank him for our food." After the prayers, we settled down to have our lunch. I remember it was bittergourds in a cream coloured, oval plastic tiffin box. It had a small partition so that the chapatis wouldn't soak up the liquid from the curry.

I hadn't started hating bittergourds back then. Now, I end up throwing up if I just whiff the smell of bittergourds. Suddenly, one of my classmates discovered a lizard under my desk. He made a loud announcement with all the gusto that could have put Archimedes,…

Friends Forever

Of the countless books I have read on the evolution of man, I've observed that most of them have agreed to the fact that 'Man is a social animal' . A need for love, affialiation and affection are the primary emotions that everyone craves for. Friends are undoubtedly a major part of one's social sphere. Strange enough the large spectrum of people we call friends are again categorised, like school friends, college friends, train friends, childhood friends etc.

What amazes me is that with each relationship we get a package of emotions attached ranging from love to hate. I had some amazing friends in my world who made my life worth living. Some friends act as your strength in difficult times, some are fun to hang out with while there are some who even treat you like use-and-throw tissues. Some even worse, who are possessive about you. It is with our friends that we let ourselves loose and take the plunge to reach higher heights of freedom.

Let it be a childish attempt at a…

A Tribute To Google

I was in the middle of a fight. My mother and I couldn't agree on who was Shahrukh Khan's first co-star? Was it Kajol or Juhi Chawla? "Google it," my sister intervened. Google led to the answer that it was neither of them but the late. Divya Bharati.
Yesterday, I couldn't remember how singer Sadhana Sargam looked like. "Google her," my friend told me. Even when I'd lost the recipe for Anjum Anand's steamed spinach and rice dumplings, my cooking buddy's answer to my question was simple, "Google it".
Two words. It's become as simple as that to find an answer to most of life's questions. Hit Google and you'll know the answer to everything under the sun. You could find out, for example, whether there is life after death, or why the sky is blue. Or Asin's age or even why your boyfriend is mean to you.
Google has answers to 'everything'. You don't need to go to a shrink anymore; the search engine can provide y…