Tuesday, January 31, 2006
stared at me,
a painless painting
was there to see.
Utopia! Here it was
The canvas; made of glass
A tiny speck
could cause a dent
wish I knew what it meant.
Vanished! A spotless canvas appeared
Colors; many of them I had.
It was my adventure in the world of vibrancy
Threw a splash of Red, a Brush of white and dots of black.
My mind learnt a new lesson,
a painless painting has no fun.
A canvas painted by me,
had more brightness to see.
The black dots resembled troubled times
the rainbow; peace of mind.
Isnt it fun to paint the picture of your life
To see joy in strife.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. ~Judy Garland
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Bang! There goes the desk…crash! The pencil boxes are on the floor…thump! The chemistry lab records just had a ‘down to earth’ experience!
No no ...this is not the scene of two samurai warriors practicing the latest kamikaze attack, rather the ‘audibility of the instantaneous motion of inanimate objects integrated between the limits of two consecutive periods’ or the ‘interaction of sub-atomic particles in coordination with Newton’s law of gravitation’ which usually takes place when the blessed mortals of our class suddenly behave like ‘free radicals excited with the minimum possible activation energy resulting in the spontaneous chain reaction’.( Hmm…So much for my taking up science as a ‘+2’ option).
For those unfortunate or fortunate Homo sapiens who are unaware about this crazy batch of our school, let me take this opportunity to drive home the truth.
A menagerie of eccentric scientists, melodramatic females, late-coming zombies, dancing dolls, moody feminists, Good old Moose, from the Archie comics fame, who hits the roof at the drop of a hat and certain elements who choose to remain anonymous as ‘universally lesser mortals’, our class is an interesting collection of diverse brains, both creative as well as intellectual.
But for some unknown, maybe supernatural reason, each of us possess an element of ingenuity combined with wild mood swings which can test the patience of our teachers, to an extent that hair loss, weight loss, hearing impaired, hypertension and sudden fits of anger are common disorders faced by our teachers . And to my classmates’ utter dismay; yours truly is going to throw light on those unseen, hidden issues in the coming paragraphs.
Our class is very ‘moral-oriented’ and is very much into the virtue of punctuality. You see, the school bell rings at 7:20 a.m., but for our friends, living near the school; it begins, very conveniently at 9:00 a.m. (Especially if we have a Math cycle test in the first period).
After a night of full-fledged partying, our friends find it difficult to wake up from their dreams and thanks to the alarm clock that manages to drag the sleepyheads from their beds, that they actually realize its 7:16 a.m. in the morning and that they’ve got to reach the school in exact 4 minutes. And the dexterity with which they dress up and sprint to school is worthy of all praise.
Our class has in the recent past shown potential for future sopranos and tenors. This quality is exemplary in the way we celebrate the birthdays of our classmates to the extent that most of us would put Luciano Pavarotti to shame.
It was just the other day that our classmate celebrated his birthday. The usual happy birthday song lasts for about 2 to 3 minutes, but in our class it usually lasts for about 8 to 9 minutes. Surprised! The idea is to extend the song, adding as many new verses as possible juxtaposing vocal skills with high pitch and loud voice along with background music, if possible. Initially it sounds like a melancholy sung by forty-one braying donkeys, but then as we get the hang of it becomes synonymous to a soprano with a bad throat! It’s a fun way to waste a period but it becomes more like a funeral song for the birthday boy or girl.
And now for an inside story on certain characters of our class.
We’ve got our share of samples from God’s own creation. Let’s begin with the backbenchers. The ingenious, adept at shortcuts adorn the last row of are famed class. You have the master brain with an I.Q. of 180 who is known for his magnanimity during examinations, along with the nonchalant being whose only claim to fame is that he manages to remain pencil thin despite eating 12 chapattis, every meal; the blue-blooded member of the monarchy(only for namesake), unfortunately for us, the destined accomplice of his partner.The twosome have a knack for gorging, rather engulfing would be a better word, for anything and everything that feels or smells edible.
Moving on further we have the babies of the class, who’s periodical verbal emissions of ‘so cute!’ and ‘so sweet!’ makes us skeptical about their age and maturity. The music buff of the class, who relates himself to a baboon for reasons best known to him, is a typical example of ‘small guy with a BIG mouth’. You have the prancing beauties who are forever worried sick about putting on flab and whose main interest lies in confronting the mirror of the school toilet after every period. Then you have the feminists of the class who have a knack of picking up fights with every male chauvinist on the street in their futile attempt to prove female superiority and end up losing miserably. And then my dear friends on the front bench, who would put the best of screechers to shame with their constant screaming and shrieking so much so, that we carry cotton just in case the decibel level exceeds the limit of our ears. Our class hasn’t even spared the Archie comics. Good old Moose is famous for letting out steam at the slightest bugging or teasing and usually blows his top of when the jokers of our class interfere in his trysts with his objects of affection.
But the most pitiful lot is our teachers. They are testimony to the fact that even the most patient person would lose his or her cool in our class. What with all the noise and camaraderie, anyone would go insane.
But most interesting is the scenario when a test is scheduled on the day. The class first begins a spiritual service by praying to Almighty God during the assembly and asks to bless the teacher with amnesia on that very day. When realization dawns on us and we figure out that God hasn’t answered our prayers, cajoling and blackmailing seems the only option out. Suddenly, the entire week is filled with activities and our class suddenly has a premonition of upcoming class tests so the week has become hectic for all of us, therefore we have not studied and thus the test should be cancelled. I guess our teacher are smart enough to have realized by now that dealing with class 12 A requires more than just brains. It requires a mixture of prudence, astuteness combined with alertness of mind to detect the truth from the fake, the excuse from the reason. Once we have comprehended that having a test has become inevitable our class shamelessly decides to resort to illegal means to accomplish the not-so-simple task of passing the paper. This means we have to instantaneously develop squints in our eyes to glance at our neighbour’s paper; and through a well-planned slip the answer sheet will fall to the ground and the time lag between the fall and the retrieval will be enough for the person nearby to memorize the answer; cough codes as long distance signals and if possible the Morse code for exchange of question numbers, otherwise lip-reading will do. At the end of it, we all heave a sigh of relief that we were not caught by the examiner, for which I know my class would have deftly dealt with.
All this and many more tricks and pranks comprise the daily itinerary of our wild class. So if you ever enter ISWK, and see paper planes flying out of a door, or desks and chairs being lined up in a zigzag fashion or shrieks and screams coming out a classroom you get no prizes for guessing which class it is.
Dear readers, have you ever seen burning embers and tribal men and women with clubs in their hands ready to slaughter a goat. Before my classmates decide to rub their hands in preparation for vengeance and settle on the not-so-wise option of keeping my mouth shut permanently let me put a stop to my ongoing manuscript about my class and its craftyness.
Tomorrow will be another day in 12 A.
This article was written when i was doing my 12th standard at Indian School Al Wadi Al Kabir,Oman. The vibrancy of my classmates, is alive to this day. On a personal note; in my journey to lead a life filled with fulfilling conversations and writings, this is certainly one of my best pieces. Kudos to a rocking batch!!!
"Every religion in the world builds shrines, temples, and churches so people can worship and feel connected to creation and the Creator. Yet the ancient forest cathedrals are continuously desecrated by industrial logging practices. Protecting the sacred forest ecosystems is a moral imperative on behalf of all life and compels all spiritual people to unite in this common goal."~ Julia Hill, Founder of CircleOfLife.org
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Then it became a question of filling the seats and making the school grounds appear full, because it looks really stupid and ridiculous to have vacant seats on an important day like this. We used to get samosas and laddoos (Business for the canteen walla!!!), but that was hardly an incentive! Especially after a mind boggling speech; which was a repeat of the President's at the Republic Day parade ( Couldnt the ambassadors just write their OWN speeches????) and sitting on the ground in scorching heat( We couldnt wear a cap because the student population should look uniform, doesnt matter if a few kids suffer from sunstroke!)
As the years passed by, we thought we could escape the functions, giving out of the world excusing like headache( imagine 20 people giving medical certificates with a common ailment!!!) Some actually had the guts to tell the teacher that they had "hair pain" (DONT ask me what it is!)
But alas we became office bearers..and and this time we had to stand in full piece suits in 38 degrees temperature!!!
We passed out of school and jingoism took a whole new meaning in college.
The spirit of patriotism, converted to watching Republic Day functions on telvevision and groaning about the lack of newspaper the next day.
Off late, the spirit has been synonymous with Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Swades, Sania at the Australian Oopen, Indo-anycountry( Why only Pak?) cricket match, buses to Muzaffarabad( Caravan-E-Aman) and many destinations in Pakistan, with Pakistani actors and actresses i Bollywood, open acceptance of our films in theatres in Pakistan, the complete insignificance of a theory once successful- "divide and rule".
Today, the Indian spirit stands for 8% economic growth rate, it resonates in chuckles when George Bush asks Americans to learn hindi, in Kalpana Chawla in space, in the mad crazed rush to invest in india, in freedom, in hearing the echoes of "Progress" all around me.
The spirit of patriotism is present in this article on RTDM
Happy Republic Day!
"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."
Monday, January 23, 2006
Its supposed to bring good luck for the house and the newest member to our family has occupied place in my bookshelf.
My immediate task was to lap up Feng Shui websites and google "bamboo" and the search came came up with loads of interesting facts.
It is stronger than mild steel. All species of the bamboo, irrespective of where they are in the world, give flowers at the SAME time!!!
After the Hiroshima Holocaust, the bamboo plants right below the epicenter of attack, shot up to their average height in just THREE weeks.
But yes you should always get it as a gift. You should never buy it...I might just try some of the curling techniques, for bamboo. Its simple; you just have to turn it towards the sun, and it bends towards sunlight. Do this for all the stems, everyday and it will result in a beautiful spiral...
Will upload pics once my wish for a higher resolution camera is fulfilled. Till then you'll just have to wait!
- There is an applause superior to that of the multitudes: one's own.--Elizabeth Elton Smith
Friday, January 20, 2006
Shifting to a new hosue always brings along with it, lots of new changes and transitions. Some painful, some happy!. Touch Wood! None of the changes were painful except for one thing that causes a lot of physical exertion to yours truly every morning.
I have to walk an extra five hundred metres to catch my bus for college!. True, that in some point in my past I did get accolades for my athletic abilities, but I have developed oodles of adipose tissue since then.
But throughout the walk, from my building to the busstop, there are many things to observe and ponder upon. So I decided to note down some of my own in the notebook of my mind.
And the first thing that caught my eye recently and stayed for a long time to be converted into this post are "bus waiting moms"... its interesting food for thought simply becasue there are SO many varieties of this species..
As I walk past the buildings, I notice many school kids waiting for the morning bus accompanied by their moms. I find noting wrong with this practice, especially if its for toddlers, who clearly have little understanding of the road. Same goes for the girls accompanied by either parent. (Since its winter, its really dark at6:30 in the morning).
What irritates and fuels my activist self are moms who havent cut the "umbilical cord" yet, and hold on to it even after the child gets married. This is especially so in the case of sons( more on girl child discrimination in another post!!) . Its funny to see 35-year old moms carry miniature sized bags of sons that clearly look like that they are 12-13 years old!! It certainly isnt display of strength, rather the display of a shallow form of love. The mom looks harried and disturbed and sleepy eyed. The son is round and cherubic in most cases, and fully capable of carrying a bag, of that size and weight!!And yes, its a whole bunch of love puppies at the building gates. with each mom tying to outdo the other in loving ..Bhala uska beta mere bete se intellgent or smart kaise..
It may seem to them that they are showering affection, but believe me, children DONT need this kind of love. The son is least bothered about the whole act, and hence doesnt show gratitude. He is being sent mixed signals about dependence and hence lacks responsibilities.
This kind of pampering and "cushion" love only spoils the child further. An interesting quote that comes to mind is "The two most amazing gifts a parent can give a child are roots and wings" .
Sigh! Till parents understand this, I'll have to bear with bus waiting moms and their puppy love.
Awareness..Where art thou!
"All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving
may be yours and not your inheritors."
Saturday, January 14, 2006
SAMPLES: Heard Radio City 91 FM, Go 92.5 FM, 93.5 Red FM and Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM. Of all the voices on the radio waves, Jaggu and Tarana rock our mornings( too bad they arent available for the non-Mumbaiites!).
ANALYSIS: Whats so special about Jaggu and Tarana?.They call a spade a spade. If you are asked to sing a song, and you sound like a howling donkey, rest assured they'll make sure they tell you JUST that ! It sounds like a relatively bold concept, very spunky, but echoes the pulse on the youth in the city. Simple reason for their success is that we want the truth not some sugar coated statement that makes us feel that we're taken for a ride.
and if yo ucontrast them with rjs of other channels..well let em tell you that there's no better The best way to get a headache is to listen to jituraj of 98.3 who in my opinion suffers from verbal diarrheoa, talks gibberish and thinks he has a "voice". Oh what a life we lead when we drown ourselves in deep sleep! Wake up buddy!
RJ Sana of the same channel has been appointed to give listeners an hourly dose of giggles. Its worse if you are travelling on a car choked road. The incessant giggles and girly fashion advice reeks of boredom and Hey! didnt somebody tell them we HAVE LOTS of fashion magazines and advice available on television at our disposal!
Radio City is too therapeutic, a little less mundane. However I'd rather take advice from trained psychologists. Red FM ..umm do they HAVE rjs?...but yes ..RedFM does play a LOT more songs than the other channels.
VERDICT: More creativity, and no nonsensical giggles and CERTAINLY NO utopian statements.
Request to Jaggu and Tarana: Please DONT play ANY songs. We LOVE listening to you!!!!!
“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I do not believe I deserved my friends.”---Walt Whitman
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Monday, January 09, 2006
the best part is the sparrows!!!! Anyone living in Mumbai knows that the sparrow population is scarce, or considering how tiny they are , all u can see are black crows and pigeons in the sky.
So its a wonderful to see the sparrows chirping in the jogging garden, there are loads of them!!
Important: Today was a red letter day.... I actually jogged two rounds of a jogging track..now most people who want to convert flab into useful fat or simply throw it out of the body, will know that its no mean feat to jog TWO rounds..of a loooooooooong track( Jogging tracks are small..so if ur a cynic reading this...one word:SCRAM!)
..Ummm I dont exactly know the distance ..but it is quite a bit for a former athlete!( mind you I got a gold medal in athletics in my sixth ...so I know quite a bit about distance!). Anyways in the first round I did get pretty tired, but froced myself to do the second one and i realised it isnt all that difficult..It keeps you awake through the morning lectures atleast...
...and after two rounds I promised myself more rounds in the forthcoming weeks...the only sore point is gettign up at 5:30 ...and its winter!!!( Bye Bye beauty sleep!)....so its even more irritating...however plan to get out of my comfort zone soon..so that I can kiss my flabby self ..GOODBYE!!!
And since you've taken the trouble to read through this post ...here's a secret..
Real reason( for losing weight!) : Shoppers Stop has started this new line of formal clothing from Allen Solly ..which I want to purchase.
Big problem: It wont look good on me...and if my fears are right( which according to Murphy's law are right most of the time!) ..they wont have my size...so lets hope that works out..
More on my weight loss programme later....
“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.”--Khalil Gibran
I have made a promise to myself, that I'll end every post with a quote. Its a random promise, not the kind of promise you make to yourself after a lot of introspection. I just want all my readers, to leave my blog with something to think about, irrespective of what's written in the post. I realize that they give my blog some of their time, and if you think deeply, its a BIG thing. And what better gift can a writer give his/her readers, than that of some food for thought!
Monday, January 02, 2006
New Year's Eve in Mumbai is Fun with a capital F!!!
1. The entire Mumbai in on the streets and you can enjoy without worrying how late it is or how you are going to reach home and all that...
2. Everybody on the streets, in the malls, in the hotels is connected to you in a bond. ..I’d like to call it the Spirit of Mumbai bond..which means even though you are a complete stranger to me, I will join in with you in this moment of festivity without any signs of awkwardness...
Let me give you an example...
After a LOT of speculation and debating, we decided to got Inorbit Mall at 11:30 in the night. The mall was filled with people and food court was buzzing with activity. There was a huge graffiti board on level 1, where Mumbaikars has spilled their thoughts to their heart's content. Hungry and tired and a lil bit sleepy..the combination of feelings was enough for all of us to go into the "Mummy Bhookh lagi!!!” mode. So we rushed to the food court to satiate our hunger pangs.
Anyways, while we were waiting for our plate of seekh kebabs and tandoori chicken..The clock struck 12! And Lo Behold! The entire mall was covered in confetti, balloons and shouts of “Happy New Year!”...People were embracing and the mall was swaying to the tunes of Dhoom Machale. It was beautiful as every Mumbaikar present started shaking their hips and dancing to the song with celebration in mind...
The streets were no better...the traffic jam something that is unheard of at two in the morning, greeted us on our way to Juhu ..All the dhabas were open and restaurants we serving food until three in the morning...Way to go Mumbai!
We decided to head home and I jumped into bed. The next morning was a new day with new promises and new hopes...
Hope 2006 is a crazy and wonder filled year for all of us and most importantly a year in which we set things right with our conscience, make the world a warmer, saner place to live in and love with all our might!