Monday, May 31, 2004

Mostly Harmless

Douglas Adams, and also Terry Pratchett, is whackily funny and quite hilarious. I'm reading Mostly Harmless the fifth book of the The Hitch Hiker's Guide to Galaxy 'trilogy'! Though quite not as good as the first three, this book also has its moments. A couple of them:

Everybody has their moment of great opportunity in life. If you happen to miss the one you care about, then everything else in life becomes eerily easy.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Cliched but true!

The single most important factor in any relationship is trust!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Feeling Proud

Blame it on too much time on my hand but I follow quite regularly a Pakistani newspaper, and for the past few days there has been effusive praise for Indian Polls and high drama following them in both the readers' letters and op-ed columns. A few excerpts, (hoping I don't get sued for reproducing these)

"India has a Muslim president (nominated to the post by a Hindu prime minister) while its new prime minister is a Sikh. In a country in which the majority belongs to the Hindu faith, this marks an extraordinary success for secularism."

"Mr Vajpayee, who belongs to the BJP (known for its extremist views in South Asia), accepted his defeat with good grace without taking shelter behind the excuse of rigging. In this way he proved the stability of democracy in India. It indicates not only the democratic spirit prevailing in that country, but also establishes an example of tolerance vital for the strength and sustainability of the democratic system."

"India has voted for secularism. A Christian woman of foreign birth having won the election lays down the robes of the highest elected position to a Sikh, who will be administered the solemn oath of office by a Muslim, in a country which is 85 per cent Hindu. Three cheers for secular India!"

I honestly cannot take pride in all these words of high praise as I didn't exercise my franchise in this huge electoral process which receives such admiration from our neighbours. But the state of our Politics is not too rosy to heave a sigh of relief. The idea of idealogy and ideals seems to have taken a backseat. How can NCP be part of the government and agree to Sonia Gandhi's candidature to Prime Minister's post when the idea of their very existence was to oppose it? Height of Hipocricy! And where is the sanctity of the people's verdict when JD(S) brought Congress back to power, which was 'rejected' by the populace? And the mercurial alliances the parties make and break, a la BJP-DMK and DMK-Congress at the drop of a hat? Just like mobile phone rates and David Beckham's (if u r gonna say hairstyle, sorry dood!) alleged affairs, party affiliations are subject to perpetual change.

But this makes me wonder if the conclusions drawn from the results are all too obvious. Disregarding the final tally of seats for a second, if we look at the vote share percent, BJP+ got 34.83% while Congress+ got 34.59% and others fill the remaining 27.14%. If just votes are counted, BJP, with help from some of the 'others', might have formed the government! In AP's assembly elections, despite the fatal beating it received from Congress, TDP got 37.33% against Congress's 38.25%. Doesn't that put all the sweeping conclusions -- like people outrightly rejecting BJP (or to be more general, Hindu Fundamentalism), or Sonia Gandhi winning the mandate for becoming PM, into perspective? Probably it is all, as some psephologist called, 'Electoral Maths', though I'd put my money on 'Sheer Cosmic Coincidence (SCC)'. I mean, how the hell did the Congress candidates manage to sneak ahead with that small margin in so many of the constituencies if not for the SCC?

Oh boy, I've shat shitloads and with an attention span that seems to be getting shorter and shorter, I can't remember what prompted me to blither ('write' is too high a word) thus. And to prepare myself for the next two years, I'm acknowledging my sources -- Loksabha figures taken from and AP assembly figures from Now, there. Phew!

Monday, May 24, 2004

Brother of Sonu Nigam!

This sunday, as I was walking back to the parking lot in the night to leave the office, a male voice singing came from beyond a rock and staircase. It sounded like someone singing in a small party with an accompanying orchestra. As I turned the corner, I was surprised to find just one guy with a guitar, sitting next to two (gorgeous!) ladies and a guy and singing in a just great voice! He was singing an old Hindi song, which I couldn't recognise, and as he increased the pitch at some points in the song, the whole place reverberated with his booming voice. The effect wouldn't have been any greater if he had used any kind of pseud speakers. Man, what a great, sweet voice he had! If not for the presence of an extra pair of a guy and girl, I would have assumed he is preparing the ground for a proposal! The setting, ambience and the chap's voice are so perfect, I can't see how a girl can resist it. Well, we waited for few songs (he infact sang a request), and moved on for our dinner as it was getting quite late. The experience was novel as I never would've imagined a guy coming with a guitar and singing in the open space of an office building.

Among other things, I've only got 15 more days to go before I shift my ass from this city!

Friday, May 21, 2004

Change of face

I'm getting kinda bored with the same old look and feel of my blog. Will have this new template for as long as the whim stands. Lets see...

Monday, May 10, 2004

One Bed and a Coffee Machine

Another ditch in the road
You keep moving
Another stop sign
You keep moving on
And the years go by so fast
Wonder how I ever made it through

Thank you Hyd, for all the wonderful memories, for all the fascinating people, for the few good friends I made, for the best best biryani, for all the mouthwatering panipuris, for the fabulous book stores, for the great climate, for the exposure to new culture and finally and more importantly for the maddeningly mindless traffic! It's going to be a painful parting but it must be done. For now, the Land of Modi beckons and I must answer. Ahmedabad, here I come!

Monday, May 03, 2004

Just a thought

In life, like coin, everything has a flipside. Shortcomings are the necessary baggage to be carried for anything you choose! Nothing comes exclusively with the qualities you desire.

For years I wanted to raise a puppy once I became independent. I loved dogs -- just for their unwavering love and unquestioning loyalty. No matter what, you are always made to feel welcome at home with its waving tail and happy yelps. And with a dog in the house you can never get bored. Sometimes (in fact, most of the times) I prefer this dumb animal as a companion to any talking thing.

Now that I am independent and can do whatever I want (sort of), the desire arose once again after seeing the recent Raymonds' ad. But this time it also brought the underlying and previously overlooked obligations of such a proposal. I need to walk along with it with a tray in hand, cleaning the place up as it keeps consecrating it (at least as a puppy), bathe it regularly, take care of its hygiene -- all these things I have no problem in doing but the only constraint being the ever scarce time. With me at the office for most part of the day, I can't see myself devoting enough time for it. But I surely will get a puppy, if not now, later!

Come to think of it, I think the above paragraph applies to even one's loved ones! I don't believe in perfect match -- you can have most of the interests in common but compromises have to be made in at least a few aspects. Probably the success of a love depends not on how much you have in common but on how well you accomodate the differences.

I WILL get a puppy! (repeat chorus)

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Soupy stuff

Should men always be the first ones to express their feelings? I mean, don't women have mouths? Can't they speak? What happens to their prozed possessions of modesty, demureness and reserve when they so assiduously discuss threadbare the next lady's dresses, boyfriends and affectations? I know that Nature decreed the male of the species to woo the female with his antics, but humans never quite followed Nature's laws, did they?

About a year ago I was reading "Vanity Fair" by W.M. Thackeray. It was getting heavy and dreary as the end neared with no evident development in the plot. The clumsy Major William was still grovelling before the beautiful Amelia with Becky joining her and all pointing to a status quo climax, when comes the stroke of a genius, becoming of a great writer like Thackeray - rejection of Amelia by William! "No, you are not worthy of the love which I have devoted to you ...... you couldn’t reach up to the height of the attachment which I bore you, and which a loftier soul than yours might have been proud to share". Those words made me so happy that I stopped reading the book and walked around smiling to myself! Sometimes we don't realize the value of something we have in our possession until it is gone, gone forever beyond our reach. Nothing in this world is ideally elastic -- beyond a point plasticity sets in and the break is not very far. Never stretch things too far, even if it is love.

Why all this sermon crap now? I am reading 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' wherein the heroine Marguerite reminds me a little of Amelia Sedley. I've just reached the point where she tries to win her husband back with teary protests and sobbing entreaties on the night of the Grenville's Ball. Ah some women -- what high pedestals they climb only to come crashing down!