Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cleanse the roots to grow a Saner Tree

Dear Readers,

Wish you all a very happy Holiday Season. Enjoy the season :)

This year 2012 was predicted as dooms year as the Mayan Calendar ended by 21st, 2012. However, that turned out to be false. Many disbelieved, while many believed and many did both. I fear it would end before it was supposed to as it is quite evident how much we abuse our planet. Sharing this heart touching video about our planet. You will get to know where we are heading in the name of development. HOME

With the series of incidents taking place around us, I often start thinking how we are so stubborn and emotionless to many things that happen around us. We never stand up and question the wrong. Even when of one of us dare to do so, the rest of us hardly support that one voice. Better late than never...After the Delhi issue, there were severe protests to bring out stern laws to punish the culprits. While it is commendable that many women took to streets to voice their support for a girl who has undergone worst torture, I wonder why is that they turn out be violent. Of course, the government's lagged response and no affirmation on any of the protesters' demands is something that triggers violence. But, in my opinion, violence sidelines the main issue rather than doing any good for the actual demand.

There are thousands of crimes happening in the country against women. I don't think capital punishment alone would change everything. Every time something as such happens, and we have take to streets and remind our leaders for assertive action and does that solve the problem. Not really and not completely. Gandhiji said India gets real freedom only when a woman can walk fearlessly in the midnight hour. Forget about the midnight hour, mid-day hour is also not safe currently. Right from the 3yr old child to a 55yr old female, none of the women are exceptional when it comes to abuse. If the laws only were stringent, can we assume that solves everything? If women are not safe in their own homes, one can imagine how it would be outside the abode. This is not just about the laws, rules and regulations. It’s all about the mindset that we have been soaked in for ages.

From centuries ago till today's age many mothers start preaching their daughters do's and dont's more than they do this with their sons. Daughters were always taught to be cautious while sons are allowed to wander at their wish. So, if a women is alone, she is considered not safe as she might encounter any danger most probably by a man. I don't think any mother preaches her son how to behave with a girl. Forget the gender, at least teach your son to respect humanity as a women is also a human. Frankly, this will never be discussed considering it was inherently known to the son by birth or may be considered as a taboo. I don't understand this entire concept of preaching the females only. It’s okay to give cautions to the females but not at all okay to curtail her liberty. But, when a disgusting incident happen, we talk a lot about the capital punishments and castrations within the family with no taboos, but why can't we teach our males to be sensitive towards women. 

Before thinking of the capital punishments and change of rules and laws and going on streets and shouting slogans, all the mothers of young sons, please sit down with your own son and discuss the problem. Not just the mothers but the fathers please do not show your male dominant ego at your wife and portray yourself as a hero because you can control a woman. Beware that your son idealizes you first before he gets out and learns something else from the society. So, please be careful on what you say and what you do before blaming any outsider. And, of course our stereotyped society which have been light years away from a ‘change’ in thought process. Our society keeps blaming /sympathizing the women more than the men who have been responsible for it. The men, no matter whatever nonsense they do, it all fades away in few days and they enjoy all the rights and freedom that they had earlier. But, the women have to hide in burrows, cover their faces, and forget to live. Most of us say it aloud, that woman has no life after rape/abuse but we never say a man has no life. This is the most critical problem why a man tends to show his strength/ego/masculinity on a woman. If it was the reverse, I don't think any male would dare to resort to any abuse. Because, he can get away with it easily, he doesn't care to commit a crime. We talk about imprisoning, castrating, amputating, but we never talk about evicting them from the society and social living. 

Agitations, protests, blame games and any other violence will not do any good unless we first change our mindset. Let women live their lives with as much as liberty that men get to and take the attitude out which is considering women are weak or should be sympathized or can be taken for granted as and when needed. 

At the same time, please exclude the sane men from the list of abuses that we woman folk give. And now don’t ask whose so sane among the men, it might be your own father, brother, husband, acquaintance etc.,

Because the problem has gone too far, I opine the cleansing mission should also start from the roots. Start preaching your sons at home first that before she is a woman she is a human and she deserves every right that you deserve. The next step should be protesting for stringent laws.

Wishing at least the next gen will witness a safer and saner society!!



Monday, December 3, 2012

FDI in India - My perspective

Hi All,

It’s been 28years since the tragedy of Bhopal Gas, but the victim families have been fighting for justice till date. They were still agitating for basic needs like safe drinking water...isn't it the least that any government can do to pacify the people for their 2 decade long suffering??? What kind of system are we in?? Wake up Chauhanji as you near the election year.

Amongst the 13 Prime Minister's that our country had throned, Dr.Manmohan Singh is undoubtedly the highly educated politician. He had held the posts of economic advisor, reserve bank governor and finance ministry very effectively and handled the economic crisis in a best possible way for which he had won great accolades throughout the world. But a PM's chair is never a cake walk even for the man who had witnessed decades of political reforms. He has been criticized for the lack of strength in decision making, inability to curb scams and scandals, lack of active & independent strategies etc; But, when he tried to reinvent himself by making a stern decision, perhaps more as an economist rather than a prime minister, we oppose him. When as an economist, his reforms were able to successfully lead us out of economic crisis in 1991, why not now?? His decision to lift the cap on FDI was opposed by all the opposition parties and the parties within the UPA too.
Allowing the FDI in India has turned out to be another reason for the political parties to fight. The argument that says FDI is going to ruin the small scale businesses in India is more of a myth. I have a very valid point to mention here. According to me, FDI will not ruin but improve many sectors of the economy. The first and foremost is the investments that these foreign retailers make in our country, secondly the farmers will be benefited by selling their harvest directly to these foreign retailers unlike the current selling procedures which are of least help. The norms that’s these foreign retailers set for a product to qualify their requirements will give a better quality product to the consumer. This perhaps could create a competition for a better quality item at an appropriate price.
For example, the Walmart which stands top consistently in the Forbes listings because majority of the products sold by Walmart are relative to the quality and pricing. The price in Walmart is comparatively less than other retails, but the quality is never compromised. The fact that Walmart purchases most of its products from China can also be sidelined in our case. Our government can set regulations on purchase & manufacturing policies to curb this practice. Once regulations are set, as per the demand, there is a good possibility of increase in manufacturing units. All of which will contribute to more employment opportunities.
In the USA, where giant retails have been ruling the roost since decades, there are complains that this system is killing small scale farmers. This is fairly true because US market system does not have good no.of corner shops. Even in remote places its unlikely to find corner shops. This is a difficult scenario for both farmers and the customers as well. For every small thing that you need, you have to make a trip to the huge retail stores sparing half a day in buying a small list of stuff that you need without diverting to the things that you don't need. Probably Americans are very much used to these retails that it isn't an issue to not have a corner shop at every street corner. 
But, in the UK there were many corner shops, almost at the end of every street corner just like in India. Many grocery shops, meat shops, fast food shops that co-exist with the big retails in the high streets. Also there are street side veggie grocers who sell small harvests on a day to day basis. And, the retails have set up express shops which are like the corner shops at high streets. But, everybody have their own market. Irony is that, in spite of so many attractive offers the giant retails make, the fresh grocer who sells on a day to day basis gives a tough competition.
Our market system is more or less similar to the UK market. We have many retailers, street side vendors, super markets and we have 1.2 billion people to be catered for. So, the advent of FDI in India will not kill small businesses but will open a new door for those deprived farmers and will serve the middle class better. On the otherhand, space is a big concern for these giant retails, so they cannot set up a store in every street corner. Hence the small business that you see will remain more or less the same and may be better if they compete in quality and price. Bad business strategies will also be knocked off. All this works well, provided proper regulations are set in terms of the purchasing & manufacturing policies. Otherwise, the already declining economy may have to face disasters.  
In my opinion allowing foreign retail will bring revenue, jobs and apparently some good reforms in the country. Our local markets will be cautious regarding the prices and quality will be better. Not the FMCG alone, but clothing and furniture will also face a challenge to enhance their produce and supply at a reasonable pricing. This is almost like a reverse reform these business owners crave for quality, the look to buy the best from their sources while demanding for a reasonable pricing and the sources will demand their manufacturers to give a reasonable product for the price paid, thereby the manufacturer gets an alert. This entire process will act like a cycle and goes back hitting the government in due course of time to bring strong reforms in economic policies, price change etc., This may not be an overnight success. Any policy for that matter needs to taste some bitter experiences before shaping up into a model. This is certainly a reform with a vision by the man whoz known as a master mind in economic reforms. It’s just that the political parties are smartly trying to woo the voter against this or too dumbly opposing a great change. 



Saturday, November 24, 2012

26/11...A Remembrance

Hi Readers,

Wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! For all those lovely friends who have immensely supported and made my stay a memorable one in America, I shall always be grateful for your love. I miss shopping in this season. Especially the Black Friday sale...I don't know why its prefixed black, it should be called a colorful Friday indeed... at least for shopaholics like me. Galleria Mall Houston, was almost like weekend home to me.  Only a fellow shopaholic can understand what I crib about.

26/11..what reminds us is the worst ever massacre that happened after the 1993 bombing fiasco in Mumbai. My heart goes out for all those victim families. What horrifying marks it would have left in those victims who have witnessed it and struggle to get out of the tragedy till date. I still remember the day...I was at the office( in America) and my colleague who was an avid news watcher rushed to me reporting that Mumbai was burning...I was shocked to hear the news. To my dismay, the visuals of the burning Taj hotel were displayed in news websites. The initial news that came out seemed a bizarre  Only after few hours, its understood that it was  another terrorist attack and hundreds of people were killed and injured. The next day, all of my office folk came rushing to my desk asking about the attacks. They were all worried whether it was going to be another 9/11 tragedy. By then., the exact no.of casualties was also not known. It was very disturbing...the entire day seemed gloomy although I was miles away from Mumbai and none of my relations were there. But, as a fellow human, it struck me. My colleagues who were all non Indians had great concern about this incident. Lot of them recollected the 9/11 tragedy.
Renovated Taj Hotel, Mumbai
When facts came out after a while ago, and the video was released with the prime criminal Kasab's confession, my heart moaned for the victims again. And many questions pondered in my mind.They were all absolutely innocent and had nothing to do with those conflicts. Killings would never do a least favour to those terrorist organisations who planned this massacre. What do they expect out of some random crowd in some random corner of the country being bombed or shot?? Will that bring any sort of relief to their so called "ideals" in the name of Islam?. Its a shame that they use Islam and defame the entire Islamic community with these atrocities. In fact they are not Islamic and do not belong to any race on the planet...because even the wild kill only when they are hungry. These nameless and shameless beasts kill for the pleasure of it and attribute a useless motive to their acts.
Kasab who was one of the attackers, confessed that he was psychically incepted to carry the act of violence, he was exploited of his poor economic situation and he was a mere killer robot for the operators.  While this could be partly true..therez an irony in this confession. If they were very well incepted to kill, they could have been well inducted to hide the truth in order to camouflage the secrets of the actual source. So his confessions cannot be completely true according to me. Most of the time, we only concentrate the face of the violence as we often ignore the sources which instigate this behind. Its more important to curb the sources and of course punishing the criminal is also necessary.
When Kasab was hanged couple of days ago, there were people who have opposed his hanging..that he was a mere killer machine and hanging him would not suffice anything. I want to say that, let him be a machine or a tool, he has to be terminated/disabled for the destruction that has been done. If not for those humane people who plead for mercy to him, but at least for those victim families, hanging him was totally justifying. After the innumerable trails and errors and wasting lot of time and money on this mere machine, our government had finally executed the punishment which I opine is very late yet a must. 
The martyrs who have lost their lives fighting this violence need a special mention here. They have not only saved the citizens lives but protected a nation's security from being ceased by 2 nameless folks who were on a killing spree. In spite of the cold reaction from the government towards the martyr's families, we the people will be always grateful for their bravery.
As always, there has been a war of words between the two nations following these attacks. How can we attribute the crime to the entire nation when few individuals were responsible. In that case, we have to blame our nationals too who have housed those terrorists and helped them execute their task. And we have to blame our security system for not keeping proper vigilance at those susceptible ports through which these terrorists entered. Also the over excited media which filmed the incident and telecasted it live giving an access to the operators and criminals to escape and execute better. 
After 4 years of the violence, we still cannot forget the mayhem. Perhaps it will dawdle around for many more years to come. Although we have not waged a war to destroy the entire nation, we also have not curbed the sources in its entirety too.
May the souls of the victims who lost their lives rest in peace and may those victims who sustained injuries come out of the trauma soon. Lets hope and wish such tragedies never happen in future not just to our nation but to any other nation in the world. Let there peace and harmony!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Come back or Stay back

Hello Readers,

I hope your Diwali was celebrated with brightness and happiness. For my readers from the North, Wish you all a very happy new year.                                     
Its National Book Week my friends. Celebrate by picking up a good book that you have been longing to read and get engrossed. Most of you have an answer at the tip of your lip, that you are too busy to read or too bored about reading but as you know books are real good friends and I bet you will love reading once you start. 

Coming back or staying back??? Which one will you vote. No confusions, its all about residing abroad or returning home. I know this is the most trickiest question although it seems simple in words. Most of them have the confusion not essentially from the day, they arrive at a foreign land but when they start getting used to the place.
Like a famous Bollywood song goes "Ghar aaja Pardesi tera Des bulayi re" which means your 'motherland beckons you, come back'....this could have worked magically a decade ago but not any more. It was once an emotional rendition now its melodrama. Its a fact that many people who reside abroad love the motherland more than people residing here. However, the question is does the love bring them back??? Not really! It doesn't always work. Forget about the land, the nostalgia, the patriotism etc; but above and beyond all of these, for the two lovely people out here, how many want to come back? I know I sound like hypocrite. Let me clarify. When I was staying out of the country, I was also very confused about coming back. My career was a priority then, I assumed that I cannot survive happily here. I had many arguments with my parents who always wanted me to come back. The confusion was existing even after coming back...I never thought I would be happy with my decision. This is the problem with many people like me who were staying far away from home.
Wondering why am I writing about something that I myself didn't believe at one point? Well, I read an article recently written by geriatric expert whose daily dealings were with the elders, most of them all by themselves with no or least help from their children staying abroad. He mentioned this is the worst situation for any parent who have spent all their life in giving the best to their children. And when they need a helping hand, their children are out of reach. These parents cannot leave their motherland and end up living their last years in a foreign country. However, this is quite contrary to the elders from Gujarati communities. I have seen and known lot of Gujarati families(including elders) making home there with no qualms. But, this seldom happens with south Indian families.
While elders have hard time leaving the country, how about those youngsters who have made an attempt to come and stay back? Family friends of mine who have come back to stay with their parents after some 12 years of staying abroad, struggled to settle down in spite of so much advancements in lifestyle here. Be it with work or school for kids, they had hard time soaking in. Now, they are returning to their second home after trying for about 3 years to stay back. This happened with few other friends I know. God only knows, if this will happen to me as well. The question here is: why is that we are not able to settle down in the place that was home to us from the day we arrived in this world?? Is it the organised living that attracts the most or the ease of living?? According to me, our country's biggest disadvantage has been the struggle for basic needs. Our system is never reformed to function in an organised way. Daily dealings are not easy, they have to be struggled for, to be competed for and sometimes have to wait forever for them to happen.
Although there are drastic advancements in lifestyles, strong influences of the west among the urban crowds, it is still difficult to survive here for a person who has spent substantial amount of years abroad. Things seem much complicated, people seem narrow minded, and life seems messy around here for most of the returning folk. And of course, the reason to crave for motherland has also been diminishing. Gone are the days when people used to miss mother land be it the temples, the food, the culture and films, coz almost every nook in countries like USA, UK & Australia have Indian hubs. So, people hardly miss anything except for the "dharthi ka khushboo", "mitti ki shaan" (dramatic elements) :D
On a serious note, its hypothetical to decide who have to compromise...the elders or youngsters. While the elders want to spend a peaceful nostalgic life in the last few years of their journey, the youngsters have millions of miles to go.

And herez the interesting part, lets see if this seems hypothetical only to me or many others.

I want you readers to choose one of the option, please leave your response in the comment box.
a.) Coming Home 
b.) Staying back 
c.) Undecided. 



Saturday, November 10, 2012

English Vinglish

Hi Pals,

Some people are so energetic and inspiring that their energy is very contagious and your spirits also get elevated. I got to meet one such person recently and believe me, hez like a mobile encyclopedia, a knowledge bank indeed. You ask him and hez got it. I should really thank my lovely hubby for arranging a meet with that wonderful person. Inspired and totally fired up to do something exciting in life!!!


If my title says it all that this post is going to be another film appreciation notes, you are mistaken. I just borrowed the title, but the content is going to be different, not entirely, but certainly to an extent. 
For people who live in big cities & metros, especially who live in urban communities this has become very normal...almost a part of life. Wondering what I mean??? I meant English. Yes, a language most spoken around the world and is used as the biggest communication tool as well. So it definitely deserves to be a part of our life. The British have really outdone everyone else in the world in this aspect. They spread their culture through their language to the nooks and corners of the world.  

Though many countries including America made English as their national language..we have resisted it. The fact that we have several different languages in our country did not allow English to creep into our cultures for quite long time. But,in recent times the influence has really gone overboard not essentially the Brit influence but the influence from the west(American) blew us out. Well, in the name of adopting western culture, we have literally erased all boundaries and went crazily ahead of the west in some aspects. One such is the language which is an integral part of any culture and can  hugely influence too. Our officially recognized 22 languages are struggling to weigh significantly with English these days. 
The western influence has also reduced the standards of English. Seems weird but true. The reason I said so was because, my grandfather was educated during the British reign, when the medium of instruction was English...He used some very sophisticated terminology, for which we need to go back to the dictionaries to find the meanings. The British standards were undoubtedly top notch. No offense to American English, but they have adopted an easier way of cutting short the words while speaking, pronouncing it differently, and writing an easy spelling too. Ease attracts the most, and that's what we are adopting these days. Thanks to the internet, which made this more easy and Microsoft word which corrects automatically to American spellings. While not only losing the original essence of English and adopting to the modified version, we are also losing our own language. 
The sad part is parents encouraging their kids to speak English even at home in recent times. When asked why at home, they say just to be more fluent. Well, I never spoke English at home with my parents (before and after my foreign stay) but I never really lost the fluency. The fact that loosing fluency when not in touch does happen with non mother tongue, but English is spoken everyday at school, college, office etc. Why would anyone loose fluency if not spoken at home??? This is no way a justified answer to ignore one's mother tongue. Its okay to broaden our horizons, embrace new cultures but need not ignore our own. I observe this happen in my apartment complex, many parents do not speak their mother tongue with their children. I am not sure, if they do this just in public or even at home. Even the toddlers are fed in English by the fancy parents. It appears like they take pride in speaking English. I can't help but leave a satirical smile at their stupidity. I pray that I shouldn't end up like that!
Just yesterday my teen cousin asked me which English do we speak...American or British? I said neither of them, we have an Indian version here with insertions like 'da's, 'ki's, 'na's and 'no's in unnecessary places. These words have officially crawled into the Indian version of English. In fact every region has its own touch called the MTI(mother tongue influence) to the language. Our so called most fluent English speakers also have this jargon. Probably, that's the tribute they think they can give to their mother tongue. How generous of them.. isn't it?. 
Going back to the film 'English Vinglish', when a homemaker can learn and speak English in a short time, why can't the kids whose primary medium of study is English excel in the same?? Simple fact ignored!!
Like every story, this one also has a flip side. That is, there are people who take too much pride in speaking their own language that they do not learn/speak English even when it is necessary. They superstitiously think that those who speak in English are too fake and fancy. 
Both these scenarios cannot be supported, English is certainly the most prominent language in the world today. Learning to read, write and speak properly is important. However, ignoring one's own identity and getting succumbed to something that is not own is not a positive move. One request I can make is that, please take pride in speaking your mother tongue. While learning to adore our culture, learn to appreciate others too. 



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wake up Sid

Hi Folks

I started a Facebook page and tried to connect this blog page to the page. Currently, experiencing some beginner's troubles, will get on the track soon. Join here Expressions on Facebook.
Isn't it very nice to be a reason for somebody's happiness by sharing some love, care and warmth? Give it a try, and experience the joy :) I did and I think it makes you feel wonderful.
For all the friends and my extended family members on the east coast of USA, prayers for your safety. May the hurricane subside soon with no big catastrophe.
A good night's sleep is a boon definitely. While sound sleeping is a boon, insomnia is really a curse. Yesterday it was the idiot box which accompanied my insomniac night. While surfing through the channels, I found that the hunt is on. Yes, the host says it so trying to lure the viewers every time a commercial break comes up.
Wondering what it was about? Okay, guys go gaga over this calendar, its like must have in the bachelor dorms. Yeah, you got the hint. Its the Kingfisher calendar. The girls with least covered hot skinny bodies, seducing expressions, bright blue locations...hmm what else does the guys need to drool. The UB emperor Vijay Mallya's one of the crazy extravagances is now passed on as a hierarchy to his young bratty son Siddartha Mallya, popularly known as Sid (he prefers to isolate his first name). As many of you know the calendar is not for public sale, its sent as a special complimentary to close /chosen acquaintances of the Mallya empire. So whats new about this? The reality show which popped up in the name of Kingfisher Calendar girl hunt just kick started yesterday for the year 2013. NDTV good times is airing this show. I heard this is not the first time they are doing this, but I gotto watch it only this time and perhaps I would not watch it again. Not because my sanity or dignity would be tarnished, but it such a grose show I ever saw.
With some 15 girls from different corners of the country and 1 from Serbia too who are desperate to shed their clothes off, and super model Lisa Hayden as one of the host, who literally struggled to put in some style while delivering her lines and the heir of the enormous wealth and huge debt of course, is the  other host. Yes, Sid is the other host. Its well known, that Mr.Vijay Mallya draws huge inspiration from the Billionaire 'virgin ' Richard Branson. And now his heir Sid has also started seeking some inspiration lessons from the BBC's reality shows I guess, hence he boarded the hosting wagon. Perhaps, Mr.Sid, if you were trying to ape Lord Sugar, he had put in some money over the voice overs for hosting his apprentice. You could have done to avoid defaming yourself. Of course, I understand, why would any guy want to lose a chance to drool at those girls who hardly sport any piece of cloth other than the 2 pieces through out. But, you still have a chance off the record. Sorry Sid, you sucked through out.
The contestants were supposed to walk on the ramp with a bikini obviously for the very first round and introduce themselves to Lisa and Official drooler Sid. Like actor Amrish Puri's famous line "Mugambo Kush Huwa", the contestants had to pacify Sid's catchy line..'impress me'. So its all about impressing him. After all, he funds the show, quite natural that he expects some obliging acts. And apart from drooling, he also warns, that 'he is going to be very mean'(who said you are not dude)
One of the contestant hails from a village, had brought her poor story on board receiving no signs of sympathy at least for the camera's sake from the judges. As I said, the  girls were so desperate, this contestant added some drama to her desperation saying that her village born parents will be so happy to see her shed the clothes. Yeah...Sure sign of development in the villages.
Another contestant had a humble story which she rendered in Hindi .I guess the editor was so insane to Lisa that he didn't chop her mean expression off in the processing suite. As soon as she started speaking in Hindi,  Lisa frowned giving a mean expression. Okay hot babe, we know you are not a complete desi, but that sleaziness was not needed from you. And the new host on the block...Sid, said he doesn't care about her language but only her body. How wacky are you dude. You better get some hosting lessons or limit your appearance on the show. That could be the saving grace for you and for viewers as well.
Another girl walked in and said she was from Serbia, and she admits that she also doesn't know to speak in English. Suddenly our super hosts realised the "Incredible Indian's duty" 'Athididevobhava' and gave so much warmth to the outsider. While the poor hindi speaking girl got some weird frowning expressions, the Serbian managed to get some good smiles. The super model was probably never trained to share some warmth for her contestants.
Okay moving on to the next round, I expected too much out of the round..., I thought at least for the second round, the girls would be allowed to cover some skin. Okay I understand airlines left a huge debt, but I don't think buying some clothes for skimpy clad girls will not ruin your bail out plans Sid. Then came the commercial break reminding me that this is the Kingfisher calendar hunt. What did I do, turned off the TV to get some piece of mind. I understood, a couple of crappy hosts can change the face of even the most expensive productions too. Wake up Sid, you don't fit the bill although you are the billionaire brat.
Lesson I learnt, its better to plug in an ipod rather than watching a late night show like this!!!.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Endorsing an Exquisite Flick

Hello All,

Wishing all the readers a very Happy Dussera!!! I hail from the Durga Ma's famous temple town, so Dussera  has always been a special festival for us. Visiting the temple at least once during the Navrathri days was mandatory and quite a feat because there was huge crowd always and it continues to be so even now. Dussera is symbolically celebrated for triumphant victory of good over evil and considered as the best time to start something! 


In India, entertainment has been limited to cinema & TV to many. Going out for a picnic, doing an adventurous hike, hanging out with friends is pretty much pertained to youngsters and college goers. Except for few communities from the metropolitans, the scenario hasn't changed. Art exhibitions, magic shows, literature, dance and music festivals etc don’t appeal to most of us. Hence cinema has occupied prominent position in entertainment arena. 
The influence of cinema has also been quite strong since decades. Our rituals and festivals also include cinema these days, be it the dialogues, the histrionics, or the music. When cinema has so much to do in our lives, don’t you think there should some responsibility and sensibility in the movie makers. But how many of them have that in mind while crafting their story line??? Imagine a cinema that would conquer all your senses, connects with you emotionally, and still entertains you...have you seen one lately??? I did!
I have been a great fan of director Balki's craft. I loved the cinematography brilliance in his films, and the subtle portraying of the characters. Nothing is overdone, no dramatic scenes yet connects with you so emotionally. Music was also soothing and relates so much with the storyline. After all, it was the maestro's magic! When his wife Gowri Shinde came up with her film, I wasn't surprised but expected that she would have taken up some lessons from her husband, in other words, her cinema would be Balki influenced!!! However, my assumptions were proved to be incorrect after watching the film ‘English Vinglish’. Very few debut directors have the finesse in storytelling; at least most of them tumble at screen playing their characters even though they are very good script writers. I think she has done exceptionally well, that you never miss the continuity in the story. As I mentioned, Balki’s films have excelled in cinematography aspects, the same applies to Gowri’s as well. NYC has been the most picturesque location for filming, but the excellence lies in capturing the soul of the city and was rightly done.
Coming to the storytelling aspect, her choice of lead protagonist is one of the keys to her success. I wouldn't say nobody else could pull off that role like the eternal actress Sridevi, but this being her comeback film is one of the best advantages why the director could succeed. The same strategy, I think worked for a film like Cheenikum too. If not Amitabh, somebody else could also do the role, but films like that need a combination of a crowd puller and an exceptional actor. Here Gowri Shinde had loyally followed her husband’s footsteps.
Coming to the responsible and sensible factor that I mentioned…the film had certainly justified that aspect too by giving 3 very best solutions for the biggest of today’s problems in families.
Problem 1 - The insecurities and the behaviour problems which draw a divide between the teens & parents. Shashi’s (Sridevi) teen daughter’s adamant behaviour hurting her sensitiveness is very well conceived in all the scenes. Neither the mother turns out too dramatic unlike many nor does the eldest in the family (grani) emote furiously. Instead the grani shrugs off saying its very common problem with teens.
Solution – As subtle as the problem was portrayed, so was the solution coming as an answer that was put in a wisest way possible. It was Shashi expressing her feelings in English, which she learnt with determination after being humiliated by her own husband and teen daughter. The solution not being shown as a retort but a simple wise way of making people realize what was their mistake.
Problem 2 – Imbalance in marital relation often misunderstood as infidelity leading to divorce and break ups. Shashi’s husband was shown often occupied with his own world, masking his love with male ego, ignoring her for different reasons, bullying her weakness and taking pride in doing so, not considering her feelings as important as his etc., Time and again this is misunderstood as infidelity and leads to break ups.
Solution – Clearing the confusion airs about this kinda attitude from the spouse, especially when the two have travelled quite a long time together. It is important to bring back the balance. The answer came from the loyal and wise housewife Shashi explaining how a marriage should survive in difficult times. Again, no drama in this process but puts across her lines with austerity ‘that at least one of the two should stand up and take charge of the situation to bring back the harmony instead of vying more and more because that phase is temporary and could be resolved’. Marriages which fall apart for silly reasons have big lesson to learn from the speech that Shashi delivers to her niece. Most of the times, it is confusion that leads to break ups. 
Problem 3 – Another common phase in a man or woman’s life which is not generally spoken out in our society considering it as a taboo. Post marriage, for a man or woman, at a certain point of time there would be an attraction from the outside world. There is nothing to disagree. When Shashi was proposed by her co learner in the class, she takes it in a very positive way although shocked for a second. She answers him that she is happy that somebody makes her feel good about herself.
Solution – Being liked by somebody is no way a grave sin; let it be even after marriage. But, knowing where to draw a line is where your dignity lies. As Shashi says that she feels happy that somebody appreciates her beauty and cooking skill while her own family ignores. Well aware with Shashi’s  family issues, when her niece overhears the proposal, she encourages that it is okay to go otherwise…Shashi again strikes back with a crystal clear answer that she is need of respect and not love. Hence she rejects the proposal with poise, grace and clarity. It is very easy to fall for an outsider when your own relation is in a turbulent phase. But having the clarity between the myths and reality at that stage is very much important. The fact that her family ignores her is real, but doesn't love her is a myth! She is very much aware of that which many of them are not in real lives.

All these truths have been perfectly interwoven with the script not sidetracking the main storyline. And of course, Sridevi is one big aspect why you are glued to your seats, she has sheer magic and charm in her performance! On a lighter note, what an idiot would he be if he ignores a wife as beautiful as Sridevi ;). Kudos to the new captain(Gowri Shinde) on the block for the exquisite work she has done!!!



Friday, October 12, 2012

Big Fat Indian Wedding 'Waste'

Hello All,

Its been quite a while that I wrote a post. I  have been to Hyderabad last week, and I must say the COP11, Biodiversity Conference had brought in so much glamour to the city. New roads laid, medians got new planters, nights illuminating with garland of lights...what not! And I got a chance to visit the art hub Silparamam only to find that it has got its glory back :) So, if you have plans to visit Hyderabad some time soon, you better pre pone it to witness the glory, while it may not last long coz the rioters are always on their toes to spoil the city!

Read an article in TOI today, although this newspaper is not part of my morning ritual. Deviating a little from the main topic...TOI was never my favourite and cannot possibly be in future. I am The HINDU devotee, call me an oldie or too classy....I cannot change this for anything except when the newpaper wallah does some mismatch like he did today. My Coffee was craving for its partner! Anyways let me not engross you more with my obsessions. 

Moving on, the article in TOI presented some survey which said Rs.339 crores worth of food/per year is wasted at the weddings only in the City of Bangalore. Ever since Bangalore municipal authorities woke up and took up an operation mission im'possible called segregating the waste and cleaning up the city...surveys regarding the waste have been popping up frequently. The figure in the TOI survey was really overwhelming to me. It was almost equal to a budget of small scale state welfare programme. Needless to dig in to the reasons why so much food is wasted, as most of us are the witnesses of this dump.

I have written a post on the Big Fat Indian Wedding which was much about the money that is spent of weddings. And food is a major part of the spillage. Its a status quo to serve innumerable varieties of food at weddings, most of which turns out in the dump yard after a few hours of the grand buffet/serving. The hosts of the wedding are very well aware of this fact yet they find it irresistible to avoid this wastage. Keeping aside the worth of wasted food, imagine the whopping amounts invested to bring in several varieties of food from all different corners of the country.The food offered at weddings is too much that often people end up eating very little.The first look and feel and flavours of the food may excite the taste buds, but the tummies can never grow big just to accommodate a flamboyant wedding buffet.  While we put in so many efforts to bring in a zillion varieties of food, not many of us give a thought about the food that will not be consumed or wasted. At least do we make any arrangements to send them out to distribute for those hundreds of street side destitute??? I don't think so that happens. When I attended a wedding in a village few months back, the homeless and beggars were allowed to eat after all the guests/hosts were done. That way not wasting any food. How often that happens in a city??? Not even once I believe. I don't know if there is an organisation like City Harvest in our country except for the child line number which collects waste food...not sure how effective this is...though I requested the servers at my wedding to call and send the excess food, at least am pardonable that way may be :P

Apart from the food, what about the litter and scrap of those disposable serving plates and cutlery??? How much that accounts for?? Most of which is not biodegradable. So big fat weddings can turn out to be potential health hazards too! Forget weddings, now every event is celebrated in a big grand way...hence endless waste and so much pollution.

Can we really do something about this??? why not? 
I would say, its better to opt for a hotel based venue where food is not prepared in excess and the choice of items is minimal rather than choosing a private convention centre and spilling enormous amount of money to waste food. 
Instead of going for 100 different items, choosing the best few items will actually work even better.
Dedicating some extra time to send the excess food for those hungry people would be much better just as we dedicate time to arrange for lunch/dinner. 
We should resolute to pay for food that is consumed not for the food that gushes out in the gutters. 
And make a habit of not wasting food, be it at a wedding or at home. We have a well known Hindu saying "Annam ParaBrahma Swaroopam" which means that food is godly. So do not waste food!!!



Monday, September 17, 2012

Crazy Paparazzi


Belated Happy Engineer's Day!!! Not writing a special post as I have already written one and feel there is no need to write an update as the scenario did not change yet except for the zillion graduates coming out every year and waiting to find work. Can we expect any change??? Fingers crossed!
Read that post here


The word Paparazzi means candid photographers in Italian. But the celebrities define this term as unacceptable annoyance (source: wiki). When it comes to candid photography, the awesome captures of the candid moments seem as wonderful work of art, but some turn out quite embarrassing, if it stops at that embarrassment door stop, it should be okay. But, the craze and over curiousness over candid pictures have literally erased the boundaries of dignity and composure in the media groups that they barge into private spaces and start shutter'bugging'.
The west has been prone to this kinda journalism since decades, while we are yet to witness such shortly may be! I read some where that the whole process of this paparazzi is sometimes scripted. There are celebrities who gets paid to get married, have babies, get divorced, n allow his/her most private photographs published.This may not effect the outsider/readers except for the curiosity factor about whats happening inside their favourite/short-lived celebrity's private life.
This over curiosity sometimes may cost a person's life. Just as in the case of Princess Diana who was chased by the French Paparazzi. When she try to flee them is when she met with a crazy accident. Though a princess, doesn't she have a right to chose her private moments? She was literally chased to death. Recently, Prince Harry's nude photographs were a rage in the internet for the last two weeks and the royal family had to shun their heads away after this incident. Before, the royals could relax and this news reached all corners of the world, the next set of paparazzi pics were out  with Duchess Kate's hot body on the cover.

Always the shutter bag's favourite Kate has been the most photographed woman, her trendy fashion sense being reason one, her beautiful dimple smile reason two, the added glamour, reason three and ladylove of the Royal Prince being another reason. She was constantly followed, her every dress and accessory was noticed, discussed and analysed, in short she was under the media scrutiny 24x7. But, the crazy paparazzi stepped ahead, banished the ethics and dignity standards and entered her private space. It seemed that she cannot even strip in front of her husband too coz that costed her a paparazzi bomb. Their holiday spot as said by the magazine's editor 'was very open and public to the road beside where the cars drive by and hence they got hold of them in their cozy moments'. Well, why would a Prince and Princess enjoy a vacation by the motorway side guest house and even if they did why would Kate strip in such an open to paparazzi place??
May be she isn't aware that these crazy photographers can zoom her from anywhere and who knows even the satellites can take her nude pictures and publish to google earth though she enjoys a bath in her own open to sky pool.  Or, she could be a wardrobe malfunction victim (a term ab'used' by the media to publish photographs when these celebrity woman ignore to watch their dress flying away or slipping out or what ever it may be).  How ridiculous does all this seem. Therez literally no private moment for these hot celebrities. One can't simply strike this off by saying that's the price of being a top notch celebrity. They are after all human and need a life of their own. Lets see what will the Royal family do about this.
Poor Kate, she should have realised that these paparazzi are like evil spirits who can haunt her in most secured and secluded spaces too. Kate baby, you need to watch out your surroundings unfortunately even while making love to your Prince. "Yes, watch out Kate".



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Freedom Exploited


How many you like the Amul ads with the latest updates?? Don't you find them sensible and interesting...I never find one controversial ad from them till date. The founder of Amul India, Padmabushan Varghese Kurien, famously known as father of white revolution has passed away last week who steered the country to be largest milk producer in the world. Salutes to this stalwart and may his soul rest in peace. For the first time Amul baby sheds tears in the ad.

Above I mentioned that Amul India ads have always been sensible and sometimes satirical illustratives on the current affairs. But do we encourage if they step out of the line and go on a rampage doing negative satirical ads???
If you noticed the cartoons which were done by Aseem Trivedi, in verge of protesting corruption in the country, one thing is evident that they are definitely derogatory to a country's solidarity symbols. I don't see a point in doing such cartoons. If you are an anti-corruption crusader in the country, it means that you are concerned about the country and indeed you are a patriot. No patriot would ever depict his own country's national emblems and monuments in a derogatory way and say that is a way of protest and claims that shouldn't be opposed or stopped. How come they shouldn't be opposed when it is encouraging the rampage of exploiting freedom. If not stopped at this point, will this not be an example for those who are already involved/involving in similar acts. 

I personally detest this sort of so called freedom of speech, there is certainly a limit to exercise freedom be it involving an individual or an emblem.It seems very hypocritical to me. 
When a fatwa was issued on Vandemataram, we protested saying that national songs can't be attributed to a particular religion/caste based allegations. So how come we can attribute current political scenario to it.
During the freedom struggle, when British insulted our national flag, we fought against them. When our own fellow Indian insults our national emblem to criticize the country's political systems, we protest that he should not be charged any sedition charges?? 
I opine he is definitely entitled to charges based what he cartoonized....(he may not be a national threat as the ruling party said, which I think was blown out of proportion statement). While the anti corruption crusaders say when the most corrupt leaders/bureaucrats can escape punishment and use law & order to their advantage, why should a political critic be arrested and be charged on sedition. So this indirectly means...those crusaders are very hypocritical. If you crusaders can exploit the freedom and should still be allowed to, why not those in power who will exercise and exploit their freedom to a larger extent. So where is the difference between the two? And what is meaning of the anti corruption agitation??
Does the national emblem or the parliament building represent only those illegitimate people??? What about  the great history and solidarity of the emblem, what about those great leaders who also were part of this country and what about those current crusaders who are still part of the country fighting against many odds and working for the welfare. So insulting the emblem indirectly insults all those true leaders too. 

 Be it small or big, limitless freedom of speech or writing is a mistake, let it come from a common man or chief minister. We cannot support that sort of activity. 



Friday, September 7, 2012

Recipe Trails & Random lines


My title might be confusing to the regular visitors of my blog, wondering whether I changed the genre of my blog??? Honestly, my blog is genreless according to me. I never specialized or focussed on one area in my writings. Everything was random. To not have a genre is good or bad???, I don't know but one has to pay the price of not having many followers. Does it bother me??? I never really thought of ! Anyways I can say that my blog is kinda jack of all trades n master of none. So I keep writing whatever inspires me, sometimes my own experiences and sometimes my expressions that I want to vent out. 

Coming to today's post...well I am never a great cook nor a worst cook. I can say I am just a good cook. What inspires me to cook???...the same that which inspires me to eat!!! Cooking is definitely an art. Arts generally are stress busters to me. Cooking is one of them that all of us can practise. My cooking experiments have begun at a very early age, but were fruitful only when I was out of country. Being away from home taught me real cooking.

What/Who helped me??? Cook books...not had one, Mom's instructions over the phone..hmm not really, Blogs...not exactly. But yeah videos done by some cooking enthusiasts and some chefs of course. I always thought food bloggers are mostly housewives with ample of time in hand and hence they spend their time in making tasty recipes and take time to post them on their web pages. My assumptions were put to shame by a food blogger named Sala Kannan., who is a working women, an avid traveller, a photographer and a foodie. Her page veggie belly was just introduced to me today and am already inspired very much by her recipes. Me having some time in hand, thought to serve my foodie hubby a yummy lunch and tried one of her recipe called...Paella style spiced tomato rice. Was it just that??? Well, I added my bit to it by serving a hot cream of veg soup alongside the rice dish. How did it turn out??? ...dig in to know

 I am not posting the details of the recipe here but you can find the original recipe details at Veggie Belly page. I can't take the credits expect for the photographs.

 The process of the recipe is so simple that even amateur cooks can attempt and make it a success. I wouldn't say that its very new but I find it quite refreshing as I was also taking few photographs of the process.

What I did as a side is, the Knorr veg soup with bread crumbs. I always keep a stock of Knorr soup packets in my pantry and fresh bread of course. To make bread crumbs I tried a rustic way of grilling them in oven and breaking them with free hand. But, I guess you can cut them into proper cubes and then toast/girll which will give an even shape.

Finally the Paella style spiced Tomato rice and Veg soup topped with some oregano is ready.
My husband and I enjoyed the lunch. Thanks to Sala Kannan for inspiring!!!
Are you inspired??? Why don't you try one.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Too Many Homes To Live!!!

Hi All,

Monsoon continues, as I type down my post the rain drops pitter patter on my window panes. How many of us get to experience of sitting the window side when it rains with a coffee mug or a good book or gaze at a beautiful sight outside??? All those pleasures might be simple yet they are lovable...enjoy the simplest pleasures of life :)

 "For the Global Bengalurian"
                                           "Your Dream is just a touch away"        
                                                                                               "Welcome to the Land of Prosperity"
  "Charms is what we build"
                            "10 mins from Airport, 5mins from Main road"
                                                                               "Adjacent to Tech park..walkable to work place"       
    "Futuristic Homes, Realistic Prices"  

Ufff....give me a break! so many tag lines, not cheesy definitely interesting, but how many??? Open the newspaper and you find a zillion ads from property developers in and around Bangalore. Should be the case with other cities too. So many developments scare the hell out of me coz I hate to imagine Bangalore as just another concrete jungle. Already most part of Bangalore has become so. Imagine, as newcomer if I am feeling so bad for a green city, how would the natives feel? Don't they blame it all on the migrants??? 
The interesting part or the fact of the matter is that, migrants are not the big reason for so many increasing developments. It’s that Real Estate/Development Company’s greed, and rich people's wealth that has enormously contributed to the concrete jungle. If you can't agree with me, there was an article in the newspaper about the  municipal statistical survey results done in Bangalore a month ago...which concluded that more than 30% of the new developments/homes were unoccupied. Not because of the unfinished works or misc reasons, but because most of those are a second home of the owner. This means, those homes were brought for the sake of an investment. And they were not rented out coz the owners are not in mood to earn on their second or third investment. Or another case is that, the owners are NRIs, so this would just be another investment in homeland. They are in no mood to come back and use the house nor they are in mood to rent it out to somebody they never saw and get into troubles. Then one might wonder why a house in India??? Just for the sake of it. Yes, they have it and they buy it. And the developer hunts for such buyers, woos with fancy tempting ad lines, super attractive offers etc. etc.; The common man who really wants to buy a home will either plan to rent it out to pay off his loans or stay in. But this is not the case with those more than 30% homes. 
Is this not contributing to more and more constructions without the actual need for all of them? This does not justify the demand-supply theory in any way. Perceiving this scenario in an economist’s stand point will say when any industry exceeds the production i.e supply more than what the market demands, it is definitely heading towards a decline. I work in this industry; I hate to see it decline. But, how will we stop this??? who will educate the developers??? Don’t they have a market research team or economists who analyses the pros and cons of the industry???
It is quite serious, but I don’t know how many of the construction/development companies give it a thought.
2008 American recession which had ripple effects all over the world, had several reasons out of which mortgaging was one of the huge reasons. Mortgage industry had also supplied more than what was required and hence, the drastic decline and a complete mishap. Do we really want to witness another here???
How can we avoid??? A simple three options…
1.) Don’t buy homes just for the investment sake, at least not in a Metro. There are many other investment options. Go for Gold instead!!!
2.) NRIs, if you never have the intention to come back, don’t invest here on homes…remember you are contributing to the ruins of a beautiful landscape!
3.) Developers…pleaseeeeeee stop being too greedy. 
Choose your option!

 <--------------------------You prefer this???


How awful it would be to live in this clustered concrete jungle?

Or this??? ----------------------> 

How beautiful a city would be if we can wake up to a sight of beautiful landscape or if we can gaze the marshes from an office window???



Monday, August 20, 2012

I have an have a problem???

Hello Readers,

Have you had the pleasure of having the roasted corn which is done on the coal stove??? The desi way of roasting the corn by the street vendors in a cold monsoon season is the best. Love this season for enjoying this corn!!! If you never tried,....just rush out when it pours down, get a rain shower n grab a corn will know what I mean :) 


I got an Accent, so what?? How does that matter to you?? and Why does it bother you? coz you did not have one??? I am so fed up with all those comments that I get to see or hear about foreign accents. I can't figure out why people assume that those foreign accents are all fake. On what basis could anyone determine what a real or fake accent is like? For that matter even the English accent that you learn at school should be fake coz it’s learnt.

When you stay away from your native place and make a living out in a different country. It’s quite normal that you pick up that area's accent. Some people might be quick to adopt and some may take some time or some might completely restrain themselves. It varies from person to person. "Accents seem to remain relatively malleable until a person's early twenties, after which a person's accent seems to become more entrenched" (Courtesy: Wiki) Moreover, an accent will give a better access to the regional people; also sometimes will get you acquainted very quickly. So I personally do not see any damage catching up the local accents. How come people make nasty comments to those who have a foreign accent? And it gets worse if  you bring back the accent to your native country? Hmm,… people start fussing about your new accent, more often when its American or British. 

Recently I stumbled upon a blog post where the author asked on an opinion poll on why people bring back fake accents...the comments poured down giving out a zillion reasons...some said coz they were insecure, some said coz they wanted to show off that they have been to a foreign country, some said coz they think fake accents attracts attention, some said coz they don’t want to be recognized as desi anymore....ufff it went on n on n on. Well, I say that they themselves should pose the question “what if I am put up in an alien country for a while and how would it effect my communication”.

A recent example that pops up in my mind is that of an actress in south Indian films, Lakshmi Manchu.  She has had the American accent from the beginning for which she was badly criticized. Recently she gave an affirmative answer about her accent, that she picked up the accent as she has been acting in Hollywood,  where she doesn’t want to be chosen for just another Indian chic role but grab proper characters…which would be possible if she had a proper American accent so that she wouldn't be classified as an outsider. And she learnt it over the years to shape her career. What’s wrong if she brings back that accent, would it damage your eardrums? When we can bear with drastic vocabulary/grammatical mistakes and getaway giving an excuse that English need not be perfect as it’s not our mother tongue, why can’t we tolerate a foreign accent. 

I do have an example of my own experience of what is the advantage of picking up the accent. My communication used to be very precise to the point in the beginning when I started working in America. Initially I was sceptical about my skills, the confidence levels were also wavering. As I started picking up the accent following conversations, indulging, understanding and localizing…I could foray quickly into their zone. (PS: I didn’t work in IT sector where you see a lot of desi crowd, my work place hardly had desis) I could see the boost up in my confidence levels and later, my boss always chose me to accompany him for all the meetings & project discussions. As personally developing a liking for learning different accents, I continued this habit of trying to localize whenever I move to a new place. When I moved to London, I tried learning British accent, which kinda helped me communicate better. Now I still have a lot of influence from those accents I learnt. That even happens with my mother tongue, I like to speak other regional accents with friends from other regions. 

So, I would conclude saying that all foreign accents are not fake, over the years one just tend to localize and that might continue if one develops a liking or might fade away in some time when lost touch.