Monday, July 24, 2006

City of Dreams - Episode Drei!

Sheer Melody...
I could go on and on about the wonderful time we spent during the training sessions at I-flex. However the way it culminated was something I regard as very special. It was the penultimate day of the non-technical training sessions. About 4 in the evening and everyone was looking restive, almost willing the clock to reach the magical 5 p.m. mark signaling freedom from the closed confines of the room. Just then one of my friends requested him to sing the special song. He agreed. He sang ‘Annie’s Song’. I was not acquainted with this talent of his and just looked on with awe. The person who had made the request was already making gestures of obeisance with his hands.
I consider myself to be a person who has a taste for (what I consider to be) good music. So I was dumbfounded when I realized I failed to have an iota of knowledge about this song. I have always rued the fact that I cannot sing and hence respect people who are blessed with the gift of melody in their voices. And here he was, just another fresh trainee like the rest of us. And yet at that moment he was at a plane that few among the rest of us could hope to reach.
To readers who were not present there this narration may seem a tad hyperbolized. However I have since heard the original version of the song and to this date I maintain that I have never been as captivated as I was on that day.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Watered Down!

The skies were attempting to crush the earth! Yes, that is precisely how the atmosphere was as I stepped out of home this morning. The envelope of clouds was so dark that there was no semblance of morning. An ominous reddish tinge all over the sky added to the effect. And the air was still, hot, humid and oppressive. And then suddenly it all came apart. And cascades of water poured down. I managed to keep myself slightly protected using an umbrella. However the elements had a counter to that. A vicious wind got into the foray and nearly blew the umbrella off. Riding on this wind, the rain changed direction to an almost incredible semi horizontal angle such that I had to hold the umbrella in front of me in order to avoid getting wet! The arrival of the bus saved me from a thorough drenching though I was already uncomfortably damp. And the air conditioner was working overtime, adding to my miseries.
Such were the circumstances in which my mind drifted back to my other encounters with the rain. Back in Pune the rains had a sadistic streak and tended to second-guess me. So the skies usually opened up when I departed from home and ensured I had my second ablution for the day. And just as I arrived close to my destination, voila! Blue skies and a bright sun mocking me. No wonder people speculated about whether I had driven my bike into the river or something!
Mumbai rains are, well Mumbai rains! They need to be experienced. One might be in possession of the latest in umbrellas and other rain gear, but these stand an ice cubes chance in hell against the fury of the rain. It literally pours down with savage vigor, as if trying to clean up the physique and the mind of the city and its people. And it keeps pouring for days on end with tenacious zeal. Soon roads resemble rivers and there is absolutely no way one can avoid stepping into the swirling copious mass. And let there be no illusion about whether the rain cools the climate. Simply because it doesn’t. So it usually means one is always in a ‘wet’ state of existence, either due to the rain or ones own perspiration in the extreme heat and humidity.
So am I at the mercy of the elements? It certainly seems like it for now. However as Guns n Roses crooned… ‘Nothing lasts forever…Even cold November (July?) Rain’

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Will We Ever...?

The Provocation: 19-year-old Israeli soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit captured by Palestinian militants.
The Politician Spoke Thus: "The simplest thing really is to release the soldier, stop the rocket fire and then things will return to normal. The goal of the operation is simply to stop the terrorism" - Justice Minister Haim Ramon.
The Response: Israel launched an attack on the Gaza strip on the 28th. The attack was a determined effort using heavy artillery and even airstrikes. And while they were at it the mission was expanded to retaliate against the rocket attacks from Gaza. The support for the offensive in the ministry is admirable. Read the detailed report here.

The Provocation: Eight synchronized blasts rock packed suburban trains. About 150 killed and scores injured.
The Politician Spoke Thus: "Terrorism has increased under the UPA" - BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad
"Life and security of citizens cannot be held to ransom by a few fanatics, whoever they be. I hope that people would maintain calm, vigil and see that peace was not disturbed in any manner." - CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan.
The Response: We know who the ‘few fanatics’ were, in fact they proudly claim it already. But we dont seem to be doing anything about it. And the people did not disturb the peace in the first place!! So why are people told to maintain calm as if they were the guilty ones? It is the man on the street who helped the people affected while the politicians spent endless fruitless hours in meetings. And things have already boiled down to petty political squabbles. So we sit twiddling our thumbs.

What is the use of millions of dollars worth of sophisticated military equipment if they don’t protect the taxpayer who pays for them? Or are the lives of hundreds of Indians not worth that of a single Israeli?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Human(e) No More…

MUMBAI, 11th of July 2006

History repeats itself with unfailing regularity. And we humans just watch helplessly. Or are we the cause of this? We certainly are. The most intelligent species on this planet is slowly but surely taking itself and all others toward a quick nemesis. We spare no efforts in making our planet inhospitable beyond repair. Perhaps in the near future there won’t be a part of the earth left worth fighting for. Maybe that’s when the mayhem will end.
May the almighty be with the citizens of Mumbai today. And for the perpetrators of this mindless violence. ‘Beware of the anger of a patient man’ Nothing can defeat the collective will of a billion people. Small wonder then that a few hours after the previous blasts, a hoarding at the site read. ‘They Suck, We Rock!!’

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

She Drove a Bus...

She was qualified to be a nurse. She had the degree. Most of her family members were either nurses or doctors, in some way related to the medical profession. And of course it would have paid better. And yet she drove a bus. For two simple reasons. She loved to drive and meet people! What could be better than to get paid to indulge in ones passions? Hats off to her. Many ‘exalted’ individuals don’t manage to get anywhere close to this.
Doing what one likes is Freedom,
Liking what one does is Happiness…