Jul 29, 2011

When Harry Met Joanne - 2

Recap: Click on 'Recap' to Read When Harry Met Joanne Part-1.

"Listen. Consider me your friend. I know that you are going through a really tough phase. But it is important that you do not lose hope.” Harry was exhausting all of his convincing abilities.

“Harry. What? Yeah, Potter! How on earth do you think you know so much about me? You just mentioned my surname? Did not you?” Joanne said in a semi-shocked voice.

“How I know, is not important at the moment. You will know that yourself, before anyone else! But, I have come here to talk to you. So please, for heaven’s sake, lets try and add some value to this, otherwise worthless journey.” Harry was pleading, almost.

Joanne looked at Harry Potter. There was an urgency, gratitude and truthfulness in his green eyes. Suddenly, Joanne felt more assured, as if she could rely on him. After all, she was, indeed, not in the best frame of mind. She wanted to talk to somebody. How dearly has she missed her mother, all this while.

The train was now hissing through picturesque English countryside. Joanne noticed that the sun was battling hard against the clouds and the snow. The white world outside, now, had a pinch of warmth to it.

“Joanne, I know it’s a terrible feeling when you don’t have your mother by your side. I have no memory of my mother spending time with me, taking care of me, holding my hands when I needed support, comforting me when I was in pain. All I remember is that she loved me a lot. And she sacrificed herself for my sake. I am nothing but personification of her undying love.” Harry had mist in his eyes.

Joanne’s face turned paler with every word from Harry’s mouth. How did he know about her mother’s sad demise? How could he, so strongly, feel her agony? But this emotion of surprise was accompanied with further sense of assurance. She, now, wanted to talk.

“I have not talked to anyone about this before. But, yes, I miss my mother a lot. She was a very brave woman. 10 years, she fought with that awful disease. It was a pity to see her in so much of pain. And, all I could do was nothing. I blame myself for not being able to save her.” Joanne, finally, was talking.

“Why blame yourself? Your mother fought like a true warrior and you supported her throughout. You can not change destiny. Death is God’s prerogative. He takes away most of the good things from our lives, so that we can evolve better.”

"But, this is not entirely true! I could have saved my mother, had I had some money with me! A bankrupt, nearly non-existent daughter is all that my mother got. What’s the point of living such a life?"

"And, so you thought, why not end this life. Joanne,  you contemplated suicide, did not you?"

Joanne Rowling resembled a human body, freshly struck by lightning. As a spontaneous reaction, she adjusted her clothes, fearing Harry could see through them.


P.S. : This post is inspired by some 'real life events'. Fictional situations have been created as per literary convenience. 

Jul 28, 2011

And the Award Goes to...

Yes, I have this habit of reading and re-reading my own posts. At times, I pity the shit I produce at a gap of every four-five days  (Ok!sometimes its even 10 days). But more often than not, I pat my own back for writing at least 'some' good stuff. Yes, I  am a semi-narcissist.

While checking out readers' response to my terrorism-related post, I came across this comment from Mansi Kashyap which comprised a wonderful gesture. She presented me with the 'Best New Blogger Award'. Whats makes it special is not just the fact I received this award from a loyal reader of mine, but from a seasoned blogger and writer. This is first gesture of this kind that has come my way and I still have little knowledge about how the blogosphere functions, So, thanks Mansi for not just giving me the award but also guiding me thereafter. I begin with some words for you..

I and Mansi know each other from few months only. But the magic of reading and writing has helped us bond well. We became FB friends through one of our very good common friends Harsh, and since then its all been about 'likes' and 'comments'. She has a a great taste of music and her command over writing craft is impressive. And guess what, all  this  while she  was  reading my blog posts, FB notes and I was saying thank you, I had no clue that she is a blogger too! The fact that she is a prolific blogger, came to my knowledge, very recently. Stupid, yes I am!

Now, this award requires me to

1. Write a post displaying the award.
2. Write three good things about blogging.
3. Write three bad things about blogging.
4. Pass on this award to three new bloggers.

No.1 I have done. Three good things about blogging...
  • Its my world. My own little baby, You like it.You are Welcome.You Dont like, You are most welcome
  • I feel connected and updated. I have a voice
  • You get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Friends do flatter you. But they do tell you in case you end up writing utter crap.
3 Bad things:
  • Addictive
  • Nothing else
  • Yeah,Nothing else
And I pass on the Award to:

You have to be no. 1: Aashayein. I mean do not know, if I can pass on the award to the same person who bestowed it on me. But I am learning tricks of blogging from you. Your blog is fantastic. The whole package is awesome. Yes, I am talking about you Mansi. :)

No.2-  Naman Kapur's Lebnoxical Way. A young 'could-have-been-engineer',is into some great stuff. Writing reviews for books and movies. He has a very sharp command over language. And his writing skill is developing each day. 

No.3- The only Hindi Blog That I follow Shekhar Suman's खामोश दिल की सुगबुगाहट. A Fellow Bihari. He is the master. He is ruling the charts. He is awesome. Check out the link to believe me. BTW ,he is not Movers and Shakers wala Shekhar Suman.

I will keep writing. And yes, awards, they will come. :)

I know you are waiting for When Harry Met Joanne-2! (wink)

Thank You Mansi! :-)

Jul 24, 2011

When Harry Met Joanne -1

She was pretty, if one ignored dark circles below the bluish eyes and the graying hair, which was neatly tied just below her shoulder. Her personality was totally unassuming, she was one of those several average looking women, whom you may not bother to give a second look. She occupied a window seat of the 4-hours delayed Manchester-London Mail.

Joanne was lost and irritated. Irritated because of the delayed journey and lost because she has always been like that. The freezing weather outside, made her mood worse. She looked at the window pane and white world outside. For a moment, she felt as if happiness and hope were sucked out of her soul.

“Hey, Can I sit here?”

A young man in his late teen, with twinkling green eyes, untidy black hair and a lightning bolt-shaped scar on his forehead was standing in front of Joanne. She just nodded and the 'man with the scar' enthusiastically took the seat in front of her.

 Hi, I am Harry. Harry Potter.” He stretched out his hand.

“I am Joanne.” She did not shake hands.

The frozen countryside flashed through train’s window. Mercury seemed to dip a notch further. Harry Potter took off his jacket and casually put it aside. A stick peeped out of one of its pockets.

“You look tensed. May I know why?”

“No, I am absolutely fine. And I am afraid; I don’t see any reason why shall I tell you, even if I am tensed.” Joanne shot back.

“Because, I can do Magic” Harry Winked.

Joanne passed a wry smile. She wondered why this young man was showing interest in her. She was not used to attention from opposite sex, she was never ‘hit’ upon, either in college or at workplace. Her slate was absolutely clean. And uninteresting.

After looking at her strange co-passenger for good ten seconds, she looked away. “See, I know what bothers you. But, this is not the way, you should deal with it.” Harry said with a bit of concern in his voice.

“Really! I don’t know who you are or what interests you in me. But I am seriously not interested in your magical stuff. I have lot many things in my life to deal with. And, this journey is surely not doing any good to me or my mood. So would please try and not bother me!” Joanne said with remarkable restrain in her voice.

"What a pity. The creator is not interested in the creation. Interesting." Harry murmured while looking away.

“I beg your pardon!”

"Ummm. Nothing. Joanne. I know its difficult for you to connect with me right now. But I am here to help you. To help a person, to whom I owe my existence and this entire bloody stardom."

"I am not getting a word of what you are saying. Either you are playing some prank or this obnoxious journey has damaged your grey cells!" Joanne was on verge of losing her cool.

"Look, I am ahead of your time. You will know ‘this’ me, may be, 20-22 years later.  But for the moment, I want to talk to you. I want to fix that one bit of ‘patchy’ past you had. I owe it you. I mean, I have been into memories of several people. But this time, I am inside your memory, Joanne Rowling, I want to see you happy."

"Are you Insane?"


Jul 15, 2011

The Usual Suspects

No, it can’t be destiny
It was never meant to be with me
No, it can’t be irony
You need a meaning for that to be

I am sixty-year young
And I bleed blue
But all this while
Blood has gained a red hue

Inflicted pain, the recurring remorse
I have taken it all in due course
My modesty is often outraged
And I feel like a bird who is caged

What shames me is not the pain
Nor does anyone’s loss or gain
The fact that we often take it in stride
A feeling that we could have better tried

Pointing fingers is all we do
Some throw a bomb, we flung a shoe
Why we fail to nail the issue
Grope in the dark to find the clue

Blame it on history or someone’s felony
Innocents die, all we express is agony
Malice is stretched out wide with deeper root
Leaves are green, that healthy red shoot

You shroud it with mystery, calls of whodunit
And Find heavy black bag with electric circuit
Wait till dogs bark or intelligence intercepts
Till then we can blame The Usual Suspects

Jul 14, 2011

Why Mumbai? Again and Again!

Five terror attacks in less than two decades. Since March 1993, Mumbai has periodically witnessed terror attacks. The immediate backdrop to the 1993 blasts was the demolition of the Babri Masjid and the riots in the city. Why is the city being targeted again and again?

Mumbai is a thickly populated city that has a large 'floating' population. People come in and go out of the city frequently. Making it very vulnerable to terror strikes.

Cities like Mumbai and Delhi will always be prime terror targets. Mumbai is India's financial capital. An attack in the city would shock the nation as well as attract global attention.

Due to high population density, the terrorists get their desired 'impact'. Number of casualties rises; even a low intensity blast can claim numerous lives.

As rightly put by a former official, "The population of the city makes it an easy target for the terrorists. The idea behind these kinds of terrorism is to spread fear. As such, the target of the terrorists is the average citizen, which is not difficult in Mumbai."

Also, the floating population in Mumbai is high, which makes policing a tough job. “It is difficult to put in place long-term safeguards in a city like Mumbai and the police have to rely largely on the network of informers and intelligence inputs,” she added.

But does this mean we will have to live with this 'reality'? Should we think, just like rains, Mumbai would have its share of annual terror attack?

I am too shocked and hurt to think of a solution.

Keep reading this section for more.

P.S.: Mumbai, famous of for its unshakable spirit, has already taken the attack in its stride. BEST buses and local trains are bustling with passengers, the overnight rain has washed away the blood, healed the wound. Perhaps.

(With Inputs from Hindustan Times)

Jul 12, 2011

What Makes Wimbledon Great?

Royalty does seem to be a ‘served in a platter’ kind of affair in modern times. But there are numerous responsibilities and traditions that come attached with a royal title. British Royal Family is undoubtedly the most sought after, well recognized and still the most respected of the all royal families across the world. The pride and belonging-ness that people associate with the Family was well on display during the historical wedding of Prince Williams and Kate Middleton. Some look at the Royal Family in awe, some with anger while most just admire this cherished tradition.

Wimbledon is one such glittering tradition and extraordinary sporting event that revels in Royal Patronage. It is not just one of the four Grand Slam Tournaments of tennis, but it also happens to be the most coveted, prestigious and, of course, the oldest of them all. The green grass cover, pleasant London afternoon and the general courteousness all around transport you into a very simple and uncomplicated world. In this era, when tennis has become increasingly professional, players have become loud (pun intended), their outfits louder and advertisers have made heavy inroads (just like any other sport), Wimbledon comes as a breathe of fresh air. It reminds you of one of those classic Hollywood musicals from the 60s.

Wimbledon is a purist’s last straw, that has managed to keep itself afloat despite gigantic changes all around. The very term ‘Lawn Tennis’ would have become redundant without Wimbledon’s grassy surface. It reminds us of the roots of tennis, grass, from where it all started. Add to it the strict dress code for competitors, the spectators feasting on strawberries and cream , and you have a perfect blend of modern sport and old values.

But all of the tradition may not be relevant in the modern times and All England Club got it right when it decided to present both Ladies and Gentlemen events winner with equal prize money. And if you thought absence of sponsor advertising around the courts indicated lack of popularity of the event amongst sponsors, then you are wrong. This also forms core of the 'Wimbledon tradition'. 

Oz and US Open (Hard Courts) test a player’s power and hitting prowess. French Open (Clay) tests a player’s resilience, both mental and physical. Wimbledon, on the other hand, celebrates craft and skill of a Tennis Player. So Pete Sampras resembled a romantic prose when he was on song. Federer displayed monk like calmness and skill of a meticulous potter. Novak, the latest Victor, was poise personified and elegant to the core in his conquest of the muscular Nadal, the most ‘unconventional’ winner of the Championships.

From Renshaw to Djokovic, the Wimbledon has always patronized players with greatest skills and acumen. If the 4 slams of Tennis were like 4 Houses of Hogwarts, Wimbledon would easily be Gryffindor, where courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve and chivalry are valued. Where history is not created rather it becomes a part of it. Its amazing to see how each year 'white' comes and conquers us all in this beautiful, colorful world. Few sporting events in this world match Wimbledon's impeccable 'repeat value' and immaculate 'prestige'. 

This Makes Wimbledon Great. All of this. And Much More.

P.S. Title of the Post is 'inspired' by Wimbledon's Official Timekeeper's ad campaign. 

Jul 3, 2011

My Life is an Open (Face)book

Life has always taught me to 'Shut Up'. So, I remain mum when I see someone getting ill treated. I do not raise my voice when I am unhappy with what my government is doing. I also remain tight lipped when I am upset with my friends and family. Needless to say, I switch to hibernation mode, when I have a nasty fight with my girlfriend.

But, this is not the case anymore. I am not spineless. Now, I have an opinion, I have an ass and I flaunt it. Shamelessly. You see, this world has two kinds of people. One who die without making any noise. And Others, who die trying to make some noise. I belong to the second category. So, right from shit schedule in the early morning to the late night good bye, everything is there on Facebook. It is a small little world of mine, where I feel happy, where I feel I 'belong'.

You can call me addicted or term me as a wannabe. But I do not have any regrets. I already had my share of regrets. Now, I 'share' my regrets and my friends 'like' it. Each like makes me feel better. A virtual euphoria shoes away the misery, just like wind sweeps dark clouds off the sky.

This world gives you ample reason to rejoice. And also there are occasions when you feel lonely, devastated, filthy and disgusted. One can not expect to have a support or a friend by his/her side on all of these occasions. Life is a long, tumultuous journey, which is often (and perhaps best) traveled alone. It is during those moments of jubilation and disappointment that you require a book, Facebook to be precise, by your side.

You just had an amazing dinner after long, tiring day at office. Put this as your status on Facebook, and you realize that the dinner gets yummier and the tiredness evaporates. You are furious with the way this government functions or a policeman asks you for a bribe. Vent out your anger on Facebook, you never know ripples may reach the echelons of rich and mighty. Remember, Egypt was liberated and Anna was made a hero, right here, on Facebook.


I was talking about my life. My life being an open (face)book.

कुछ समय बाद...

  • Just got my 'dream job'. Easily the happiest day of my life :-)
  • There is no better feeling than Gifting your parents a new car :-)
  • Hmmmphhh. Getting your family's consent for marrying the girl of your choice is a pain in ass. :O
  • Finally, Everyone has said 'yes'. :-)
  • is married <3
  • is soon going to be a Dad :D
  • Anxious. In Hospital. Stay tuned for updates :P
  • is a proud daddy of a sweet angel. :D
  • had a terrible fight with my wife over Angel's nappy changing schedule :X
Its a whole new world out there. You and your dreams. Your happiness, your sorrows. Some Likes, No Dislikes. It doubles your joy and divides your pain. A rare level-ground in this world of glorious contrasts. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is a 'Friend'.

If I had my way, I would call it Sir Facebook, Lord Facebook. Whatever. Call it Loner's Paradise. Social's Bliss. Again Whatever.

'Comment' and 'Share'.

Jul 2, 2011

Delhi Belly is Yummy Shit!

The punch-line of Delhi Belly says ‘Shit Happens’. Very True. Shit has been happening in the name of comedy for too long in Hindi Cinema. So, 'Masters of Laughathons' serve us with some rotten, run-of-the-mill ‘no-brainers’ in the name of comic flicks. We are supposed to leave our brains at home but carry our wallet to the theatre, pay heavily and watch ‘shit’ in the name of comedy. I won't take names here, but biggest of stars, some renowned directors and famed production houses have done this to us again and again. Only the timing of release differs. Some throw shit at you on occasion of Diwali, some prefer Summer Holidays while others wait till Christmas.

In this regard, Delhi Belly is a refreshing shit, I mean change. The film does not take its audiences for granted, there are no ‘forceful’ laugh riots here. Delhi Belly is a fine example of exemplary execution of situational comedy. My first hug goes to the writer of the film Akshat Verma, who has written a very smart yet bizarre script. The scenes, the situations and the characters infuse laughter spontaneously.

All the three male leads are in terrific form. But it is the debutant Kunal Roy Kapur (Playing Nitin), as a fat, farting, pottying photographer from Patna who steals the show. His exploits will contribute to legend of gross and you may well develop signs of nausea next time orange juice is served to you. Vir Das (Playing Arup) is a marvelous comedian. In fact, he is a master of situational comedy and this ensures that he does not have to break any sweat for making audiences laugh. And yes, there is Imran Khan (playing Tashi) who gets his shares of passionate smooches & 'erection' and in the process, makes you laugh. The two girls, the landlord and Vijay Raaz as the potty-receiving gangster play their part well. Vijay Raaz remains subdued (for a change) throughtout the movie, only to break into cuss spree towards the climax.   

The Director, Abhinay Deo, who made a rather lackluster debut with ‘Game’ early this year, leaves a massive impact with Delhi Belly. The way he executes funny sequences, maintains dignity while filming so-called bold scenes, is commendable. And yes, he along with the writer, deserves all the credit for sketching and portraying such ‘relatable’ characters who land up in unimaginable situations.

Ram Sampath’s music is the highpoint of Delhi Belly. Not a single song is second best or an 'also-ran'. Its tough to chose your favorite. For me, Switty edges past DK Bose by a whisker. Background score is compelling and songs have been very well fused in the scenes, which makes Delhi Belly a slim-trim film, length-wise.

Kudos to Censor Board, for passing this movie without any cuts. Yes, the film has been A-rated but that’s actually required but hardly a matter of concern for producers now a days. In fact, Delhi Belly is India’s first Wholesome Adult Entertainer. Abuses and cuss words fly thick and fast but they do not look vulgar. The entire narrative is so beautifully woven in the script that it leaves no scope for complains. Also, the film shocks you with its boldness at places. So, you gape in utter surprise when Kunal Roy Kapur gives a ‘delicate touch’ to a sex worker’s…well…bosoms. Imran Khan’s much publicized ‘erection scene’ also makes you sit upright in your seat. And yes, the concept of 'Blow Job' has been immortalized by Delhi Belly.

And lastly, let’s laud the man, Aamir Khan. You need lots of courage and conviction to back a project like Delhi Belly. His mind-blowing pelvic moves in ‘I Hate You Like I Love You’ culminate the proceedings on a high. He charms you with his antics and seems to be enjoying the golden phase of his career as producer.

 Delhi Belly is bold, intelligent and funny. It is one of those rare comic films that does not try to make you laugh. The decision is entirely left to you. 

Go, celebrate Hindi Cinema’s coming of age. You will find Mr. ROFL and Miss LMAO sitting next to you. Let Naysayers sulk!

Rating: **** (Excellent)

P.S.: I brought this quote from the film back home, “Your Ga**d is like Full Solar Eclipse”. (Vir Das to Kunal Roy Kapoor)