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Showing posts from November, 2009

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…