Saturday, June 30, 2012

Of Comfort Zones, Racism and Lexie

Long time no see...

So yesterday was the last day at the second job. Now officially unemployed for one month. I am getting scared. The first of next month I will be in the US. So scary feeling..for someone like me who hasn't stayed away from home ever. It is going to be a tough task but I hope everything turns out alright. Second farewell in seven months. Don't feel good about it but it was my decision and had anticipated this thing..let's see how will this affect future plans. When I left my first job, I was a bit sad as I was attached to a lot of people there. I have self confidence issues and I always am very self deprecating. I always need validation from others :\ But yesterday, I actually felt good about myself. Because I actually proved something. I have never told this before. When I had given my interview for my second job, my would-be manager told me "Pankaj, you are that sort of a person who thinks from the heart without any logic. I don't see any good reason to hire you. You don't know anything! In this world, you have to step out of your comfort zone else you won't be able to survive here."  I had felt terrible after the interview and was sure he won't call me back. But he did and I thought maybe it was a stress interview. Now, after working with him for six months, I learnt that he is that sort of a person who you would never want to work with in your life ever! And yesterday, he came to me and said "It seems that you have been working with us for over a year or so. You have been a great asset for us. We are going to miss you a lot in the team. I was thinking for the past few days how will we manage without you and we are going to face a lot of problems without you. But you will be missed. And I am sure wherever you will go, you will do very well there." I felt so good after he said this. And then I told him, "In my interview, you told me to step out of your comfort zone and I hope I lived up to it." And then he said "Absolutely." I wanted to prove to him that I am not that bad as you think me to be and I did and I felt as if I achieved something. Then he said to come to office and we'll have lunch together. And I was thinking to myself, if I see you again, I will change my path but will never come to meet you again ;-) In the farewell mail, I actually wrote to prove my point : "I read this quote somewhere yesterday – ‘Life begins after your comfort zone’ and I am reminded of the lyrics of the song Yeh Zindagi Bhi from my one of my favourite movies – Luck By Chance 'Jo palko ke tale hai apne sapne leke chale... yeh keh do wo chale sambhal ke.. Na karna koi gile kaheen jo thokar aisi lage.. ke sapne toote.' So keep dreaming!"

Ya I know thora zyada ho gaya ;) Then I met and thanked all the friends in the team - J,B,J,A,N,D,U,S,P, M, D and S. D sent an SMS last night, and N and A actually wrote a very nice mail. It was one of the very few days when I felt good about myself else I am so I-am-such-a-loser-in-life sort of a person. I have to do a lot of things before I go. First and foremost, I have to join this course at Delhi Photography Club. For the past six months, I have been planning to do it. Everytime I miss the date and say to myself that next it is starting my 7 July to 29 July...4 classes on the weekend..very near to home..and if I am not able to it this time, I will never be able to do it..have to do this time pakka se..

And you know yesterday, A randomly remarked to stay away from Blacks in America. I was like, how racist you are :) And then we started discussing. And I remembered about the movie Fashion. In one scene, when Meghna is feeling a depressed, she goes to a pub and gets high. When she wakes up, she realized the horror of all horrors - she slept with a black man! She started cleaning herself. I think that was very racist on the part of Madhur Bandarkar! Infact, Raja Sen in his review of Fashion, has actually written 

Aiming at showing Priyanka Chopra’s fall from grace, the film takes her from having an affair with a married man, to taking to drink, to taking to soft drugs, then harder drugs. What then could possibly further her complete descent into hell? Well, the film shows her sleeping with a black man — and then scrubbing herself off because of how unclean she feels.


And while coming back, our very own Yo Yo! Honey Singh's song was playing on the radio! Brown Rang!

Koi kaam utte jave na rotti paani khave na 

gori gori kudiya nu koi muh laave na

kudiye ni tere brown rang ne 

munde patt te ni saare mere town de

I mean, whatever your views on Honey Singh, you can't call him racist! Talking of Fashion, I had some issues with the film but overall I liked it especially PC!

So, Lexie is dead :( I loved much I have written about her and Mark :( I watched last four episodes of Season 8 and each one is too brilliant and terrific! I will write more about it later. But I have to write about one scene. I know it is very girly but I loved it. She finally confessed her love to Mark! And she said the amazing lines:

I love you, and I have been trying not to say it.. I have been trying so hard to just mash it down and ignore it and not say it.. I’m so in love with you...and you’re in me.. it’s like you’re a disease.. it's like I am infected by Mark Sloan and I just can’t.. I can’t think about anything or anybody, and I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe, I can’t eat, and I love you.. I just I love you all the time, every minute of everyday.. and I love you!

I love it when she says you’re in me.. it’s like you’re a disease....
You have to watch this video!

I have to write about so many things and will write soon more often at least this month.

Dialogue of the Day:

"People can surprise you. You get so used to thinking of them one way, stuck in their roles. They are what they are. Then they do something that shows you there's all this depth and dimension that you never knew existed." - Modern Family

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lexie..This Was Not Meant To Be...

Oh Lexie..this was not meant to be.. 

"You can't die, because we're supposed to end up together. We are meant to be." - Mark

What all happened to everybody...Still numbed after the episode..God, please give us all a painless death...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Of AC, Accidents of Birth and People Leaving...


It was not really a good week..yesterday morning, when I woke up, I saw rashes all over the body and was feeling very uncomfortable. At first, I thought, an allergic reaction had taken place but I was feeling very giddy as well. I thought it will go away slowly, but at night, the rashes spread like anything. So, went to a doctor and he said it is a textbook case of viral :( When he told to lay down, I immediately told him.."no injections please"..I am still so afraid of injections :/ And he said no injections..just check up..Gave a course of 3-4 medicines..Now feeling somewhat ok..a total waste of weekend..And it is so hot these days..I never used to feel hot or cold earlier, ever since I have started working, have got so used to AC that I find it so suffocating to sit at home on weekends without AC. The body has got so used to AC every time that sitting without it, is stifling..not good..not good at all :(

This week, J sent me an email

Also, I saw Dil Chahta Hai again today - thought the guy who drives the speedboat carrying "Deepa" looked just like you :)

See the pic, I think you'll agree :D

Inline image 1

I just started laughing at this...Hahaha! And I think it is true...the guy does look a bit like me..So, I combined the above two pics to make a single one..Deepa Pose + Driver = Photo Below :)

And today, I saw this mind numbing documentary by Sutapa De on NDTV - India Matters. De is a fabulous documentary maker, she has made a number of hard hitting documentaries before. Today, she talks about the world of manual scavengers in India. It is so sad that even in this age, we have a whole community of people carrying people's shit. I mean we talk about 'Oh Shit' so casually, and just think of the person who is actually forced to do this work. And such is our hypocrisy, that we do not allow these people to enter temples because they are impure. My dear fellow Indian, a person who carries someone else's shit with his own bare hands, is more pure than you actually think as he is the one who sets aside all his feelings just to do his work. Then how can you blame him for being impure? And you call them 'bhangi'? Remember if he doesn't clean your dry toilet, it is you who will have no place to shit! Such a thankless job it is. You know Sidin Vadukut had written a tweet sometime back - I don't get people being proud about genetic accidents like religion. He says how being proud about something which you really have no control on is so foolish. Now extend the argument further. Everywhere people say, "Proud to be an Indian", "Proud to be a Punjabi". What is so proud about these two? These are just accidents of births..have you actually achieved something? You just got lucky as he says by genetic accident! And these same people say such obnoxious things about Rahul Gandhi being the heir apparent of the Congress party. Yes, Congress does promote dynastic culture but when you are so proud of being an accidental Indian by birth, then how can you blame someone else if he just got lucky and took birth as a scion? Isn't it hypocrisy on our part? But I digress as always, I want to say that just count yourself lucky (and not proud) if you are born in a decent family in India. There are people who are much worse than you and they cannot do anything about it just because they didn't get as lucky as you are. The children of manual scavengers are forced to follow the same profession as their parents because it is hereditary. Don't they have a right to a better life? A dignified living? It is utter pathos...

Do watch the documentary here.

Hmm..for the last two three weeks, I have cleaned up my Facebook account, meaning I have deleted about 35-40 people from my 'Friends' list. I mean those people, who you have never really spoken more than once in your life and still get to see their updates and they get to see mine..I deleted them..and you wont' believe when I deleted one such person, I bump into him the very next day in the office basement. How funny is that? I am sure he wouldn't have noticed  though ;-)

And yesterday, it was J's farewell in office. I mean there are so many people leaving and going everywhere, I have to make a list of people to keep track. Last week, I had met T, after three years as he is going to Lucknow. So, J in his farewell mail, wrote about everybody in the team and he also wrote about me :-

Pankaj: One of the most genuine people I have ever met. You don’t know your worth, but the day you’ll realize it, you will see how the world changes around you. You have taken a great step and I hope by the next time I see you, you are what you deserve to be.

He was a bit angry with me because I didn't go to his lunch but I apologized to him. And in the evening also, I didn't go to the drinks session as I was stuck in the stupid shift but he told me to come for five minutes as he wants me to meet someone. I went and he introduced me to his friend and woah! she turned out to be from my school! Such a small place this world is..But I am going to miss him :(

And this week, it was also H's farewell party. I don't know when we are going to meet next but he told me a lot of things. He asked me to promise him that I will be happy or at least try to be. He said that do not go in to your shell and also think of people who are connected with you..for they also want to see you happy..And he said, that he will come and visit me..and to keep calling him and do not think too much. And he said, stay the way you are :(....He said a few other things as well.. He also messaged before leaving...Things are going to change...I am going to miss him but I am sure he will do well in life :) :) As they say, the only thing constant is change.. Everybody is leaving these's ok..everyone has some purpose which they want to achieve..haina? Yeh sab to chalta rehta hai...I wish everybody gets what they want in life or find what they are looking for....

Will write more later...

Dialogue of the Day:

Ek sahi aur ek galat raste mein se sahi ko chunna asaan hai, par do sahi raaston me se behtar chunna aur do galat raaston mein se munasiv, yehi humari zindagi ke faisle karte hain..

 - Zooni, Fanaa 

P.S. - So true! So true!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Of Finding Your 'Ehsaas'


I haven't watched any episodes of Grey's Anatomy for the last two-three weeks ever since the torrents have been blocked. However, its Facebook page posted this picture. Isn't it awesome? I love it..This reminds me when Monica said to Chandler, "Will you still love me if I get fat?"
I was just randomly searching for videos on YouTube and came across this gem - the climax of Wake Up Sid.
Aisha says:
"Jab main Mumbai ayi bahut clear the mere goals lekin ab jaanti hun ki goals paane ki khushi tabhi mehsoos hoti hai jab use kisi ke saath share kar sako..ab janti hun Mumbai sheher se jo mera ajeeb pyaar hai vo actually us dost ke liye hai..vo bhi mera apna ho gaya sheher se bhi zyada apna.. Mumbai jitni khoobsurat hai utni hi sakht bhi..apni manzil ke peeche daudte hue hamari nazar kai baaton se hat jaati hai ..isliye kuch der ke liye hi sahi..apni busy zindagi se kuch samay ke liye hi apni nazar hataiye aur us special ehsaas ko dhoondiye jo apke sheher..aapki zindagi ko..aapke liye aur bhi khoobsurat banata hai...kya pata aapko bhi ek humsafar mil jaye."

And as she says, apni busy zindagi se kuch samay ke liye hi apni nazar hataiye aur us special ehsaas ko dhoondiye..I seriously have been thinking of this but am unable to find anything :( .. People have a passion for a number of, music, read, food, dance, drink, talk, sports, photography, write, think, gadgets, technology, cars...I am indifferent to these things...When people talk about these things, I sit quietly..I seriously have nothing which I can say about myself...I watch movies but that too very selectively and not very often..then how will I find that special one :/ All weekends I just waste time at home..One has to cultivate these things since childhood..I will find one for myself soon.. :/
I was watching Indian Idol today and there were so many young people..17 years, 18 years...20 years..they come and say like it's their dream to be a singer..they have been learning music since 4-5 years.. and I am like how cool they least they have a passion. Indian Idol is an amazing concept. In a country like India, where, unless you have a godfather or a political connection, getting anything is very difficult, it gives hope to millions that they can reach the stars as well.  
And today was the French Open Women's Final. It was fantastic to see Monica Seles back after like ages. What a lady she is..reaching the top rank, being stabbed by a Steffi Graf fan, career coming to an end, suffering from depression and food addiction, losing father to cancer..and then making a comeback..what a story of courage and determination...I sometimes wonder how Steffi Graf would have felt..although she had no role in the stabbing, it was one of her mentally unstable fans who did this. It's a terrible thing...but after that Steffi Graf actually reached the top..what if the stabbing incident had not taken place..would she have reached such heights as she did? What if Monica had continued to dominate her? God really plays some cruel things with people...

And you know for the last few days, I have become so emotionally is like nothing can move me..It is as if I don't have any feelings.. It is a very weird feeling (metaphysics?)..And I don't want to write about we know when the going gets tough, it actually gets tough :/ But I try to be positive..I randomly told to A in office that humne na zaroor koi paap kiye honge pichle janam me, jo aisa hota hai hamare saath...and then she said..koi nahi, hum yeh sochte hain ki hamare paap kat rahe hain..isliye bhagwaan ka naam lekar  jhel lete hain.. :)

And Namita Bhandare wrote a very nice column in HT today about heroism. She says,
"We confuse achievement with heroism and we should ask what it is that we are celebrating. Is it success, celebrity, wealth or is it some inherent human quality that touches us? Does the current adulation of Viswanathan Anand, for instance, spring from our understanding of his game and genius, our respect for his innate decency or does it come from the fact that he’s brought us sporting glory? When we say that NR Narayana Murthy is our role model do we wish to emulate his bank balance or his philanthropy?  Society needs heroes because they tell us how to live, they give us something to aspire to and they bring us in contact with our core values. But perhaps we also need heroes to reassure ourselves that we are still capable of goodness, that we still have values we want to pass on to our children."

Loved it. Anyway, will write more later...have so many things to write.

Dialogue of the Day:

Tumhe aise kitne din yaad hai Roy, Your first job, pehla suit, pehli salary? Jab tumne ek ladki ko pehli baar chooa, pehli baar chooma? Jab pehli baar tumhara dil dhadka. 30 saal ki Zindagi mein aise kitne din hain jo tumhe yaad hain - 15 , 20 , 25, 30… 30 din hain na? 30 saal ki zindagi aur bas 30 din... baaki ke dino ka kya hua Roy?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Of Utter Pathos...

About two weeks back, The Hoot carried an interview with Sten Lindstrom, the Swedish police officer who carried out investigations in the Bofors case. He said that Amitabh Bachchan's name was implanted by the Indian investigators although he had no role in the Bofors kickbacks. This week, Newslaundry conducted an interview with Chitra Subramaniam, the journalist who actually broke the story in India. The fabulous Madhu Trehan conducted the interview with aplomb! Chitra has already written a book, India Is For Sale, on the controversy, but here again, she recounts some fascinating insights about the Bofors controversy. The brilliant team of Newslaundry has published a complete timeline of the Bofors case here (

Chitra says that at first she was shocked by the scandal. She said that she believed in the inherent goodness of Indians. She said that she couldn't believe that we could do such things. She says when the scandal broke out, Rajiv Gandhi said that neither he nor any of his family members were involved in any of the kickbacks. She says that the Swedish radio had said that Indians were involved..they hadn't taken any name. This to her was clinching evidence against Rajiv Gandhi! Then she says that the investigators were told that they can reveal Arun Nehru's name but not that of Quatrochhi. This Madhu says, according to her, is another clinching evidence of Rajiv's involvement as he was apparently very close to Q. Another fascinating insight that Chitra recounts is that Martin Ardbo's (MD of Bofors) diary had one statement - Met Gandhi trustee's lawyers. This was the first actual proof the Gandhi name being mentioned. She says there was too much pressure being put on The Hindu, and that she left the paper to join The Indian Express. N Ram was under pressure to stop the publications. Madhu says the problem was that The Hindu published on a piecemeal basis, this actually was very  frightening. Chitra says that she was actually scared for some time but then she had to do her job.

We all know of the allegations made against Barka Dutt during the Nira Radia scandal. N Ram had  criticized her role in The Hindu. Now he is talking of journalistic ethics. But what was his role during the Bofors scandal when Chitra says she was very sure that the reasons for the delay in publishing the investigations were not journalistic, and were surely political. The Columbia University had brought a list of 50 Best stories since 1915 and Bofors was one of them. In the list, the story credit was given to N.Ram. So does he have the right to speak about ethics. Such hypocrites they are! In fact, The Hindu was perhaps the only newspaper that had actually brought full page ads supporting A Raja's innocence in the 2G scandal. 

My favorite part of the interview is the one where she says about the shamelessness of it all. She says that it seemed that nobody had an interest in the case, and then Madhu says that it may be the other way round..that everybody had an interest in it, that is why no wanted to pursue the case. Chitra then recalls a line by MJ Akbar who had once written, "It is everybody's fault, hence it is nobody's fault." Madhu says that she now understands that why VP Singh didn't want to pursue the case after he won the elections as he had implanted Amitabh Bachchan's role but she fails to understand why the BJP didn't go after it? So it seems even the BJP had a role in the implants. Arun Jaitley might have had a role to play, because then the truth will be revealed. And the note that the CBI gave to Interpol is just mind boggling! Chitra says it was a scandal that actually tarred the image of all our institutions - Army, Judiciary and Executive and people say to her what is the point now. It is just 64 crores but she says it is about principles of being good..being ethical..and that is why she pursued the case. But the sad thing is that we may never know the truth! But kudos to Ms Subramaniam..clearly they don't make like her anymore.

Do watch the interview below. 

Hasn't the Congress party sytematically destoryed all our institutions ever since it came to power - the EC, the Army, the Judiciary, federalism and even the economy..Isn't it another scandal of gigantic proportions? But alas! no body cares. And the ever so controversial Aakar Patel actually writes here Why the Congress represents Indian values best ( I sometimes wonder how are we surviving as a nation...

Dialogue of the Day:
"Woh gutter ke liye jiye, aur gutter ke liye mare. Woh kaha karte the ki kisi desh ki unnati uske gutter se jani jati hai. Unhone apni sari jindgi gutter mein guzaar di."
 - Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron!