Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Brain Gets Numb and I Don’t Realize That!

Numbness – this used to happen with my legs whenever I played violin for more than half-hour, uninterrupted, while I was a primary school student. And when I just finish the final bow, I realize the acute pain that prolongs just for a few micro-seconds. Yes! It prolongs for micro-seconds. That acute pain which I used to suffer makes me use the term ‘prolong’. And slowly, as I widen my legs apart and tap the affected leg hard on the floor, to relive me of the pain, I end up calling for more prolongation, and thereby more pain. It’s then when I used to realize how tormenting one shall feel, if one were to stay numb. But then, it eases after a few seconds.
My brain has been numbing for the last few months, for the last few weeks at least, indifferent to many things people would normally react to. I’ve never been this way for the last twenty-one years. “Now, why this sudden change?” you put this question to me, and my instant, candid reply would be a terse ‘No’ accompanied by a smile. Now, you throw another question to me, in an attempt to make me react the way I actually feel inside. “Are you happy with the numbness?” “Well….” I start, but in an attempt to put more pressure on me, you raise the tone, “You’ve any complaints? Why don’t you just party? Something for a change…” I think deep, not as deeper as you might imagine. And I reply, “I don’t think so. It’s just that I’m neither happy nor sad with the way things are going. I don’t know if it’s for the good or bad. But, just like how the sun rises each morning with neither complaints nor enthusiasm, I live every passing day with no striking reactions.”
Yes! This exactly is what has been happening for the last few months. I get up late in the morning after an early morning sleep at 2am, brush teeth, sip coffee, skim through the first few pages of The Hindu newspaper, and in a few seconds, the right index and middle fingers automatically get themselves relieved from the sheets to flip a few more pages to the editorial section. Trust me, it happens involuntarily. Whether it’s about the Indian healthcare industry, or about the Liberhan Commission report, or about the disciplined behaviour of the MNS (let them be called disciplined at least in this page), or about the Copenhagen summit, or about the India-Pakistan relations, my inner conscience has made it mandatory that I should read them, and later, if I’m unable to peruse, should scissor the editorial column and put it into the file that contains many of its predecessors. Then, I walk into the empty hall, switch on the TV. The year-old practice of switching the ‘Channel V’ or the ‘9xM’ or the ‘B4U Music’ on, starts to build in me, but before I could I press the ‘OK’ button in my remote control, I press the ‘Exit’ button and move to CNBC TV 18 or NDTV 24X7. When I turn to the former, it’s the stock market experts who answer the queries of our Indian middle class who wants to sit at home and earn money at the click of a mouse.
“Sir, I’ve 1000 shares of HDFC Bank. I bought them at Rs. 28.10 and today it stands at Rs. 1807….” And as he’s speaking, charts adorn the TV screen, indicating a 6000 odd percent return on investment.
“What the fuck, man? What more do you want today.” I yell.
“Why the hell do you people call up and flaunt your stock-marketing skills?”
Irritated, I switch to NDTV 24X7, and there I see the Harichandra of the 21st century, Mr. Madhu Koda, denying all the charges against him, and claiming that he’s the most innocent politician India has ever seen. From one level of Harichandra-ness to another, I see all politicians smiling on the screen, making sure they contribute to at least twenty minutes of the half-hour news bulletin. And, in the last ten minutes, the so-called real heroes who the 21st century Indian youth adore and admire, cricketers and film-stars, make sure they end the news bulletins on a refreshing note. I switch the TV off and walk to the dining table to find my notebook stacked between the questions and answer pages of a workshop material distributed by IMS learning Resources Pvt. Ltd. I start solving the problems, or start to practise a few Grammar exercises.
By now, if you still didn’t know what I’m up to in life these days, I suggest you please drag your mouse cursor to the right top corner, press the ‘X’ button, close the window and do something better. Else, continue reading. If you decide to go ahead, flouting the rule, go ahead, but make sure you know what I’m up to, before starting with the next paragraph. I’m a B-school aspirant. I’m aspiring to get into a B-school which is in the top 15 of all the surveys, irrespective of whatever amount of money bribed or not to the surveyor.
After solving a few problems, I get up from the chair with mixed emotions. I would be happy for the fact that I could solve many problems but at the same time, unhappy for the fact that I was not able to solve quite a few problems, sometimes dismayed by the misfortune that even after repeated peruse of the solutions pages, I was not able to digest the concepts. It just doesn’t get into this head. Then, I do the easiest thing of all –leave things to God, just pray to Him to ensure I’m not tested on these sorts of questions on the D-day. I bathe, say my prayers, lunch, and sit in front of the desktop computer to check my e-mails. Posts of a few of the pagalguys like me fill my inbox. I skim through them only to ensure there’re no more unread messages in my inbox. The jobless me, I clear the spam mails too – the e-mail account as clear as a blank slate, or if I could say, my mind.
Then, in a few minutes, I get a call from the Head of the Institute where I work, teaching students who are aspiring Probationary officers at one of the banks.
“Rajesh, free today evening?”
“Yes, tell me….” I say, wondering if I should have actually said that.
“Ok, you’ve a class at 6.30. Lecture on Time, speed and distance.”
“Ok, done”
“Fine, bye…”
As I hang up, I’m happy for two reasons. The first reason being I would earn a few more rupees and the second reason being, I would get a break. Instead of learning, I would be teaching the same concepts.
So, life, this way, moves on, every passing day. Even if at times, I’m a tad upset, I’ve KK’s Dil Ibadat or Javed Ali’s To Hi Haqeeqat to refresh me. Of course, Shreya Ghoshal is invincible. But, trust me; KK is superb in Dil Ibadat.
Well, I’ve taken one of the many B-school entrances – IIFT. I’ve done reasonably well. If this year’s cut-offs are similar to previous years’, I can’t be denied a GD/PI call. The results are to be announced in mid-December. So, just like any other student, my fingers are crossed as well.
All said and done, I’m pleased with the way life has been on for me in the last few months. As long as I’m on the right track to fetch myself a seat in a top-notch B-school next June, I wouldn’t complain but only feel proud of myself for the fact that I would’ve achieved something for the first time in twenty-two years. I just wish good things happen in the near future.
A few hours ago, I was asked by a good friend of mine as to why I’ve not been blogging for the last many weeks. She was not the first person. Another good friend of mine too had asked me the same question last week. This post is not written for their sake but just to see if these words could actually give vent to my feelings (if there're any because I seriously doubt their existence). It’s just that I thought I would share whatever I could - things that have been happening at my end in the last few weeks.
So, with a mouse in hand, I’m all set to bell the CAT on Dec 5. Come what may, I’ll give my best shot.

P.S: For people who have been following my blog for a long time, I’ve a good piece of news to share. My book has been getting very good feedback. Many, including my inspiration, Shreya Ghoshal, have been saying kind words. They’ve appreciated me for what I’ve done. I just hope my first creative child sees the light of the day really soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

An open letter to Shreya Ghoshal

This is my 50th blog post and I couldn't think of a better post than this.

To: Shreya Ghoshal
Subject: An innovative suggestion

Dear Shreya,
Hope you are doing fine. Seeing the subject, you would be curious to know what innovative a suggestion you are to receive from this die-hard fan. But just as I start to type the body of the letter, there's a second thought if this is REALLY innovative. There's a good chance of you having already received such a suggestion. Nevertheless, this idea struck me last evening, and after some analysis and thought, I thought I'll e-mail you about this. Along with the myriad songs that flood my computer hard disc and mobile phone, I have a collection of all your videos also (downloaded from youtube) - from your Sa Re Ga Ma Pa days to the recent concert at Digboi. I watch them whenever I want to seek inspiration.
Last evening, I was minutes away from leaving home to the institute where I conduct aptitude training classes for people taking the bank exams. Since I had to teach a challenging concept, I thought I'll seek inspiration from your videos, get reinvigorated and attend the session, all charged up. I watched your rendition of 'Kaatril Endhan' at the Ilayaraja Concert held in Dubai in Jan 2009. It was just amazing! The first time you sang it on-stage was in Chennai when you mispronounced 'Thedudhe' as 'Thodudhe', and later, the crowd gave you a big round of applause when you finally corrected yourself. Raja Sir followed it up with a wonderful talk. Now, coming back, I could really identify the difference in both the renditions - in terms of your body language, pronunciation, and the confidence - and your rendition at the Dubai concert was impeccable, to say the LEAST.
I know I'm not in any way qualified to rate your performances or point out areas where you had erred. But, let me tell you, when I did analyze both of your performances, I could infer many a things. Being an MBA aspirant, it's important I analyze things and develop rational thinking. In all these years, you would have heard many of your fans, including me, tell you, "SHREYA, YOU INSPIRE ME". Now, "why you inspire us?" The answer to this is subjective, and it differs from one individual to another.
But, people learn a lot from you, and that makes them idolize you. I'll give you an example. Watch the video wherein you receive your first Filmfare award in 2003. Just watch the manner in which you address the audience. That was too much for you then, and you even thank your brother for that. I don't mean to say that your brother would not have helped, but it's a sign of your homeliness. In the sense, your world was still restricted to the 4 walls of your house, and that the exposure was less, then. But, when I watch you receive the 2009 Kannada Filmfare Award, it's just amazing! You seemed to have walked up stage as though the award for you was always on the cards, and that you were expecting it. But when you do collect the award from the jury, a sense of humility paints your face and the same gets reflected in the short speech you give. Now, from this, I learn that ONE IMPROVES WITH TIME ONLY, and that ONE NEEDS TO MAINTAIN THAT RIGHT BALANCE BETWEEN SELF-CONFIDENCE AND HUMILITY. You embody both.
I think I went completely off-track (happens with me whenever I think about you and your music - I ramble quite a lot). Now, coming back, that rendition of 'Kaatril Endhan' was amazing and only someone as genius as Raja Sir could pick the right song for you. Truly, he is a GENIUS! You won't believe, I was humming that song all the way to the class last evening. For more than 10 minutes! Such a heavy traffic it was, at 6.15 in the evening, but, that couldn't stop me from humming though. Such was the impact of your rendition - flawless, as I always say, with regard to your diction. And after I came home later in the night, I listened to the original version by S Janaki. To be honest, I couldn't find one aspect of the original composition being compromised. I generally am a lover of the ORIGINALS only.
In fact, I strongly feel that the Hindi remake of Ghajini was no better than the Tamil one, the performances in particular. Surya rocked but Aamir was just OK (I'm a big fan of Aamir though) I feel, only you can revisit the 80s, provide the modern feel and at the same time, make no compromise on quality. As we all know, you are Raja sir's most favourite singer among contemporaries. And so, I feel, if you can put in a little effort towards this, you can bestow your Tamil fans with the best gift we would ever crave for - an album containing a few of the wonderful compositions of the 80s of Raja Sir, revisited by the ONE and ONLY SHREYA GHOSHAL. I'm sure the present generation will lap it up and the album CDs will sell like HOT CAKES. I bet on that. Album name could be 'Shreya Ghoshal revisits the 80s'.
Any singer can revisit the 80s and provide the modern feel BUT ONLY YOU can pull it off with no compromise on quality. To be honest, you did outscore S Janaki Madam in a few aspects, the diction in particular. I really mean what I say, and I say this, not as a Shreya Ghoshal fan but as a music lover. You yourself have acknowledged the fact that I'm a BIG music lover (remember your autograph for me?) and so, you have to believe my words. I'm sure Raja Sir will not object to this idea. You are his darling, I know. His compositions in the 80s are just amazing! and I'm sure compositions as original and as mellifluous as them can never be emulated. Hence, as a tribute to Raja Sir, you can work on this and deliver an album, which we fans are eagerly awaiting. I know 'TIME' is a factor - you really are busy with other projects but please do think about this suggestion. No other contemporary female playback singer has got a fan base in the South as strong as yours. As you tweeted yesterday, "I think this can be an incentive to really do all the things in life which u really wished to but didn't have guts or time for". Please overlook the 'TIME' factor and please make it happen before 2012. I wish to buy such an album.
The same could be done even for your own songs sung between 2002-2006. When one listens to Tum Jo Ho Kareeb (Three) now, one can realize how mature your voice has turned. And this particular song, I feel, is one of your best songs in 2009, apart from the many others. Just imagine what impact this mature voice can have on a song like Agar Tum Mil Jao or Jaadhu Hai Nasha or Aye Meri Zindagi. We did enjoy that teenager-ish voice in the original versions. That was, in fact, best enjoyed in songs like Tum Hai Jo Meine Dekha (Main Hoon Naa) and Shikdum (Dhoom). But this is something we fans are eagerly looking forward to. Hope you get time for these as well.

Just think about my suggestions. I really wish God gives you 48 hours a day to enable you satisfy the wishes of all of your fans.

Take Care. Hoping to get a positive reply.
On behalf of all of your fans, I wish you a Happy and safe Diwali. May your life become as colourful as the 'FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS'. May God bless you!



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Unusual blog - typed out in my mobile :)

Last night was quite a time. As I contracted my body within the edges of the bed, incidents of the recent past started to evoke eclectic emotions in me. And just to make sure, the feelings are conveyed here with no compromise, I typed it out in my mobile right away.

I'm listening to Shreya Ghoshal's Tu Kahaan Kho Gaya. This song actually has the power to make even an insomniac sleep. Such is her rendition. But the gamut of the feelings in me seems to defy it. Shreya, first time, I must say, something more powerful than your rendition is swaying my thoughts in its direction. Life's bad but at the same time good. People tell me, this is the time to do many things, but I’m not doing that one thing which most grads do after UG – work. So, does that mean I’m doing many things? Well. Yeah. Many trivial things. Quite a few useful things as well – CAT prep. I’ve been trying to do it. Sometimes, the commitment pushes me to the extent that I solve all the problems in a particular topic in the BRM workbook of IMS. Sometimes what I do is, keep staring at the previous year's SIMCAT papers, in an attempt to discover where I'd gone wrong etc.
I'm quite confident of putting up a better show in CAT this yr. But, what if I don't? There's that probability as well. I do acknowledge it else I wouldn't even make a mention of it here. But, as of now, I don't even want to discuss it. A strong believer of ‘The law of attraction’, I prefer to remain positive. And which is why I’ve gone the extra mile by applying for the IIFT exam as well, this year. 40K candidates competing for 40 seats. In fact, the 28 seats in the general category is what matters to me. When I was a kid, my mom used to say that I was so kind-hearted in my previous birth that I’ve been blessed to be born a Brahmin now. But, in the last few months, and at least till I secure a seat in one of the top 10 B-schools in India, I seriously wonder why I was so kind-hearted in my previous birth. Enter Kapil Sibal, but Arjun Singh's orders still hold. After all, both are Congressmen and it was we who wanted them to rule us.
Well, ruling something…. Now what rules me? My mind or my Heart? I don't know. It's a case of both. Sometimes when u do something wit a lot of passion, it feels really good. But when things don't seem to click, you feel why at all you should be passionate. It's like this. Tendulkar practising hard at the nets; the middle part of his willow connecting the ball every single time. He feels great, but imagine him getting bowled off the very first ball in a match. It's like that. I worked really hard on my novel, with a lot of passion – gave my heart and soul to it. Just like him – it’s like middling the ball at the net sessions. My book has been getting a very positive reception over the last 2 months. More than 20 people across the globe have read it. Yes! Across the globe! It includes India, the US and the UK – the key areas of English novel distribution. And trust me, not one has said that it's bad. Everyone has been praising my work to sky heights. Of course, they do point out “why this, why that”. That happens with all books. The overall opinion is what matters and it's a big thumb up. I'm happy about it. But what's the point if Tendulkar is clean bowled off the very first ball he faces. What's the point when there's no GOOD publisher coming forward to publish my work. I've been waiting, waiting, and waiting. No response!
I've been conducting aptitude training classes – sharing my knowledge with people of my own age group - for the so called engineers, who don't even know the difference between a scalar and a vector. Yes! I really mean that. That's the status of Engineering education in my state of Tamil Nadu. I'm not trying to say that I’m ‘An Engineer’ in the real sense. But I can say I’m not that bad. Well, let me not think about the past; let me think forward. After all, I’m the author of ‘A Step Forward’.
Actually, I wish to spend 4-5 hrs on CAT prep every single day. I really wish for that. But the gamut of the thoughts which trouble me, and the myriad feelings I grapple with, day in and day out, prevent this wish from getting entrenched in my heart. And what happens is I see myself out of sorts posing a straight face, not just at me but at my mobile too. Even at the wallpaper of Shreya Ghoshal on my mobile. Yes! A die hard fan staring at his icon! It's been happening! I feel I must take a break, get out of home, and stay alone. That's what I’ve been wishing for, for the last 1.5 yrs, but God seems to think otherwise. He does not understand me. I don't know what's to be done. I just wish I channel my thoughts in the right direction. Well... Right? I’m reminded of the BJP. I pity them. They’ve been kicking out all the few well-learned, scholarly men from the party, and from the country too (Jaswant Singh plans to visit Pakistan). Yesterday, it was Mr. Singh. Today, it’s Mr. Shourie. Tomorrow, is it Mr. Sinha? “Mr. Rajnath, tell me”. Well, he may be kicked out as well if he speaks ill of Mr. Mohan Bhagwat. Hmmm… Let me find some sleep. The last half hour, I can say, has been rambling of the highest order. Well... Well... Happens with me :) :)

A different blog post indeed! In fact, the thoughts were so hard-hitting, and I was so desperate to post it here that I've gotten up as early as six in the morning.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I was tagged!

I was tagged by Christopher. So, here I go.

1. I am listening to...Shreya Ghoshal's 'Kyun' from Khambakkt Ishq.

2. I talk... what is required. Not that I am reserved, if things are exciting, I talk lots.

3. I love... myself, apart from many others.

4. My best friends..... are people who like me for what I am.

5. Love is... to be experienced, and perceived without providing first priority to momentary pleasures. That's what I did, and will do, in future also.

6. Somewhere, someone is thinking... about something :)

7. I'll always... do things I enjoy, and do it with the best of my abilities.

8. The last time I really cried was because... I was moved by an incident in my novel 'A step forward'.

9. My cell phone ... is as close to me, as my heart is.

10. When I wake up in the morning... I hope for a good day for all.

11. Before I go to bed... I listen to Shreya Ghoshal, and I ensure that I don't repeat today's mistakes, tomorrow

12. Right now I am thinking about... an incident that happened last night.

13. Babies are... people everybody long to become, when they grow old.

14. I miss... my childhood and school life.

15. Today I... am a good person at heart.

16. Tomorrow I will be... what I am destined to be, then, although I really wish to live up to my expectations.

17. I really want to be... a nice human being till my last breath, and not hurt a single person, intentionally.

This was an interesting tag, and which is why I did it instantly. Anyone who is interested can do this tag.
Hope you enjoyed reading it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ani proposes, LAFARGE disposes

I write this post with a sense of happiness and relief. My first sense of this feeling was at around 8 this morning, after I read an e-mail in my yahoo account inbox. As I finished reading the mail, I rewound myself to my first semester days at SRM University.
“Hi, I am Anirudh”, was how a fair complexioned, decent looking, and an average built teenager introduced himself. Apart from his character, the one thing that has not changed is the goatee on his chin - those whiskers have been part of all the trials and tribulations, in all these years - conspicuous indeed. And if they had had the ability to speak, they, for sure, would have told him this morning, “Ani, it was really worth the wait.” And since they are not gifted to share such nice words, I take this opportunity to tell him, “Ani, it was really worth the wait”. Though I rewound to August 2005, I couldn’t resist myself from getting back to June 2009. Ok, now, let’s get back to 2005 again.
Ani, the once-upon-a-time owner of a Nokia 1100, always remained an average student in my opinion, (but I suppose, he calls himself a below average student) and his academia never lived up to his expectations. But when I say that, I seriously wonder if he had any expectations from himself; because he just moved on with life. Just like how the 30th of June is happy to accept ‘sunrise’ from 29th June, Ani too, never complained about the yesterday events, and accepted ‘today’, with not great exuberance, but with a rather laidback attitude. Now let’s talk about the other aspects of him.
He’s one of the very few guys in college to be dressed in pucca formals. The Anirudh I remember, at this moment, is the guy dressed in an olive green shirt and a black trouser, carrying a very heavy bag over his shoulders, arriving in college, walking towards the Mech PG block all alone (sometimes with his bus mate Bhargav). When one peeps into those thick bound ‘classmate’ notebooks inside his bag, and the childish handwriting penned using an ever deep blue ink, one gets a feeling if the owner of the notebooks is a studious guy, waiting to rewrite history by scoring a ten pointer, or rather a nine pointer at least, but Ani never managed anything above 8 tilll the eighth semester.
The ever bubbly Mechanical ‘A’ section during lunch breaks, is also the home for the reserved Anirudh Kaushik, who remains subdued, even when someone pulls his leg. A corner smile with the goatee widening its area on the chin, would be his response. Years passed, and he still found it tough to clear a few arrears, whose exams he claimed to have done reasonably well; the most prominent of them being Operations Research. That misfortune made him not eligible for campus placements during the seventh semester. I remember, it was a pleasant September afternoon, and I was weeks away from appearing for CAT ’08. After sipping water from the filter outside his class, I was standing on the lobby in the second floor, looking down, hoping to glimpse at a good looking girl passing by.
He walked out from his class, smiled at me, and asked,“So Rajesh,CAT preparations in full swing?”
“Not really” I blushed. “The percentile scores are never crossing 80 in the mock CATs”
“Anyway, you have Tech Mahindra as a backup, right?” he consoled. “Unlike me”
“Hey you apply for CAT, man” I suggested. “Give it a shot”
“Hey I can’t attempt the math part, for sure. And I am not too keen on doing higher studies. I am not able to manage even this B.Tech” he laughed.
Though I tried to convince him saying he could make up with a decent score in the verbal section, considering the fact that he was too good at English, he seemed relentless. While his friends foresaw their futures by getting placed in renowned IT & Manufacturing companies, and by scoring good scores in GRE and receiving admits from well-known Universities in the US, his future still remained a question mark, and however hard he tried, he couldn’t find an answer.
Finally, a relief! The seventh semester results were announced, and fortunately, he cleared his Operations Research paper, ensuring he had no standing arrears; but unfortunately, with the economic recession hitting the corporate world hard, going to campus to recruit a fresher was the last thing on the mind of every HR. With time, I got a feeling if he had begun to find himself lonely in the crowd, and if the worry in his eyes made him blind to other joyous things in life. The Eighth semester exams arrived; and it was on the afternoon of the Industrial Engineering & TQM exam, the first of the three exams, when I found him standing alone at the railway station, opposite my college campus. He asked me about my future plans; with my MBA aspirations doomed for the following academic year, I informed him that I was definitely going to take up the job offer from Tech M. Though I wished to ask about his’, I knew he would have nothing to say. Without delay, he opened up, saying he would give LAFARGE, a cement manufacturing company based in Qatar, a shot.
“Don’t worry man” I consoled. “You’ll get through this one.”
“Let’s see” he snapped a regretful corner smile.
“Mark my words; you are destined to leave for Qatar.” I affirmed. “And which is why God has made you not eligible for the other companies. Everything in life happens for a reason.”
He smiled back, unaware of the fact that he was going to be one among the seven in the shortlist, which was to be announced on June 30 2009.
And this morning, as soon as I received the yahoo groups email about the shortlist, I moved to the next window with great anticipation, to see if his name was present; and just as I had expected, he was one among the five selected from the Mech department. I text messaged him right away, but the 'Kumbakarnan' he is, replied to me late in the forenoon after waking up from a sound sleep. But trust me; tonight’s sleep will be the most peaceful of all, for him. And in his reply message, he had said ‘Everything you said that day in station has finally come true’
And after a while, he messaged me again, ‘write something about me in your blog.’
I thought, “If these words in my blog post are going to make him feel happier, I don’t want to deprive him of that”
So Ani, this post is for you, mate.
While we guys are still awaiting our call letters (unsure if we’ll ever get), he’s scheduled to leave for Qatar in the first week of August to join work.
Bon Voyage, dude! May the coming years be more memorable for you!

Friday, June 19, 2009

NOKIA Connects

Well, I am excited…I am feeling wonderful, really good; I am happy, I am delighted, I am ecstatic… I can use ‘n’ more of such adjectives, but, even those many expressions of my feeling in words won’t suffice, because, I am feeling unimaginably excited. What more can a music lover ask for, when his dad has just bought him a new Nokia 5130 Express Music mobile phone. Yes! I purchased it yesterday.

Ever since I first owned a mobile, three years ago, I have started to consider her (I give my mobile the feminine gender) as an inseparable possession. But for the time I spend in the restroom (at home), she stays inside my left trouser pocket 24X7. And every five minutes at least, I touch the pocket to confirm her presence; she is such a special companion. She is my only buddy who follows me everywhere I go, rather, I make it a point to carry her with me, and she doesn’t mind that. She has traveled with me under the scorching sun in the afternoons, on rainy nights, and on pleasant evenings as well.
I experienced the best of nights, yesterday, in her company. She was kissing my ears and I didn’t feel like leaving my hold over her. My right palm had a grip over her body throughout, and my intermittent looks at her face (the screen) evoked myriad expressions of joy, every time I changed tracks, from one favorite to another. Suddenly, I realize that it has gotten late, and so, I look into her again, and she displays 0117 hrs. “Three hours gone in no time!” It was an amazing feeling to listen to some of the most favorite songs, in my girl's company.
When I talk about my love for mobiles, I would also like to discuss about a section of people who seem to supposedly hate the usage of it. I have listened to various kinds of comments. Let me list a few of them.
“I am using it just to keep up my status”
“It’s such a nuisance, you know”
“It’s an unnecessary carry”
“I just wonder if people can’t live without mobiles!” would be a baseless comment remarked by someone who himself possesses one of the costliest mobiles available in the country.
“I am happy I am away from it for the time being”, would be a reply from someone who has just lost his/her mobile. I actually see it as a coverup for the irresponsible behavior.
From what I have observed over the years, I don’t see their HATE for mobiles in these stupid remarks. I see these groundless talks as an ineffectual attempt to be ‘DIFFERENT’. The world knows how well mobiles have enticed us to become ‘Man’s best friend’, and these people, by passing such remarks, are just TRYING to portray themselves as a unique breed. Ok! Fine! Let them talk against mobiles, but why the hell do they use one in the first place, and above all, why the hell do they have to sound rhetoric? Simply because, they can’t stand their own liking or addiction to that 100 gram electronic gadget.
I strongly feel, one doesn’t talk excessively about something he/she hates, rather, it’s done for something which is adored enormously. The heart loves using it but the mind is unable to bear it. What these people fail to realize is, however hard they are going to try, man is not going to stay away from mobiles. Whatever! All I wish to convey to such specimens is, “You use a mobile, or you don’t use a mobile, I don't give a fuck, but, please don’t see yourself getting fooled in front of my eyes, by passing such comments, time and again.”
Coming back to my other love, music; no blog post of mine, related to it, is complete without a mention of The Undisputed Queen of Indian Playback Singing, Shreya Ghoshal. Wow! What a wonderful feeling it is, to listen to her sing so wonderfully. Now, I feel, Nokia actually CONNECTS me with her.
It is now when I get a feeling of how blessed I am to have both of my ears sharp. To see her name appear on the screen while listening to her sing is, by itself, a special feeling. Her name spells Magic (Jaadhu) and her songs spell Intoxication (Nasha). Imagine how I’ll feel like, when I listen to her sing Jaadhu Hai Nasha (Jism). But, now, I am reveling in her ‘Kyun’ from Khambakkht Ishq. I am talking about her solo version. Wow! Terrific! Do listen to it.
Also, her songs in ‘Morning Walk’ are fabulous.
I feel good to have penned down this write-up. Just like my many other blog posts, this also is close to my heart. After all, I have dwelled upon three of my favorites – Mobile, Music and Shreya Ghoshal.

Below is the first photo I snapped on my mobile.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009



I am back to serious blogging. It's been a long time since 'As I Introspect' found place for frequent introspectives. But I am sure I'll make it happen in the coming days.

The happy thing is, I am finally done with my novel 'A step forward' and I am satisfied with its outcome. But what really matters on the commercial front, is the satisfaction readers get on reading it, which I hope will happen too. There were quite a few good and bad experiences while I was in the process of writing my first novel, and also, there are many things which I have learnt. So I thought I'll just pen them down here.

Firstly, as soon as I finished reading the manuscript this evening, there was a smile on my face. Apart from the satisfaction that, I have authored a novel (210 pages in MS Word Docu), I was in awe at the way the story had taken shape. When I first started off with it on Feb 18, I just had a vague idea and didn't really know what incidents will happen and also, which will happen when. But as I started to write, as thoughts moulded into words, as chapters unfolded, the story shaped up differently, something I myself didn't anticipate. That was when I wondered about the phenomenon called 'The Human Brain'. It stuns you sometimes. Apart from this example, there have been numerous occasions when I had been in awe of my own thought process.

And something I liked about my novel was that, every event that happens is part of the chain called 'A step forward'. So I just wish, every incident in our lives too, happens with relevance to our future, though I must admit that I strongly believe 'Everything in life happens for a reason'.

Actually I did no paperwork for my novel; in the sense, I never wrote the script or jotted down points on paper. The desire to write a novel always took centre stage whenever I thought deep, while reveling in solitude. Hence, writing a chapter was more or less, like writing a blog post. So, I would call my novel as a 'collection of blog posts'. What makes me call so, is actually, my approach to writing the novel by itself. And of course, just like my blog posts, my first attempt at fiction is a work straight from my heart. Being a so-called Engineer, I knew nothing about scriptwriting. But being an avid blogger, I knew to write blog posts. And so, just like how I have penned down 42 posts here, I could manage 24 there (22 + Prologue + Epilogue).

Also, writing this novel has really made me deal with patience. Though I was deriving great pleasure in writing the novel, I must confess that, there were days when the ideas and the thoughts didn't quite come about and that used to make me get annoyed with myself. But I could come over them all quite successfully.

In my opinion, the best time to write is after a sound sleep in the afternoon - the time between 4 and 6 in the evening. That's actually when I wrote some of the best chapters, and I wrote some good ones, late in the nights too (10pm-2am) - when there was noone around to disturb. By writing this novel, for the first time in life, I seemed focussed and was determined to get done something I wanted to happen. But as a matter of fact, there had been really nothing in life which 'I WANTED'.

It's a fantastic feeling, to see a word document for 210 pages written by me alone, to see a word document where my thoughts and emotions have been moulded into words, to see a word document which contains the life of all the characters I have created myself. But overall, it has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed every moment of it.

I feel great to have shared my feelings here. Thanks to the blogging platform and you guys. When you actually read my novel, you will know for yourself, how you have been part of the journey called 'A step forward' and how you have contributed to it.

Well... I am still waiting for my call letter from Tech Mahindra. So, I am sure I will be having enough time to introspect. So, my blogger buddies can expect a flurry of posts here in the coming weeks.

Friday, May 01, 2009

A strange feeling

Hi guys...its been a long time since i blogged. I was just lying down on my bed this afternoon and the chill air from the AC helped me escape from the heat. Just like the AC, the blogging platform helped me escape from the feelings that were troubling my heart. I needed(and i still need) someone to listen to what I had to say and it was you people with whom i actually shared everything. I felt good at recollecting my recent past, from march 22 2008. That was the day on which Shreya Ghoshal made me re-enter the world of blogging with a new-found exuberance. And just like her music, blogging too made me feel good and happy. If they were her songs which made me love her, it was you people who made me love the art of blogging.

For a moment I wondered why I have actually stopped blogging now. Of coourse, I had a reason. I wanted to concentrate on my book. Well, my novel is going good. Till now, I have completed 13 chapters =104 pages. (People who would like to read them and give me your reviews are welcome to do so. Leave your mail id in the comemnts section and I shall mail you. I would be glad if you people can take time off and read my work). 

A few weeks back, I received a comment from Niveditha who had said "Where you? Just cos you've big plans, don't stop blogging..." Though it was not meant to offend (hopefully...) I felt bad when I read it. I got a feeling if I was overlooking a platform which actually made me realize and hone the writing skill in me. Definitely not. 

Even now, I know I am not overlooking it and I am actually waiting to get back to blogging once I finish the book by the end of may or mid june(hopefully...). But I thought I ll pen down a short write-up now, to THANK U people for what you have done to me. THANK U to one and all for reading my blogs and making me realize that "I AM A DECENT WRITER".

Take care...Bye.. See you :) :)
Happy Blogging..

I am on my way to each of your blogs to know what's happening there and i have decided to spend the night at your blog sites.

P.S: There is a special mention about most of you in my novel, and apart from this article, everyone of you will be thanked in the "ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS" page of my book when it gets published. Hopefully, it should. Let's see.   

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stepping on a new platform

Hello… I’ve some news to share.

I’ve begun work on a fiction and as many of you know, it’s always been a dream for me to get a book published and it still is. I wish it turns into reality soon. Being fellow bloggers, you have been following my writings for quite a long time and I owe you lots for having been so supportive and thereby exuding the confidence in me to start with this work. Thank you so much! You are the first among a few to whom I’m disclosing the start of this new venture. So I take this opportunity to share with you, the storyline of my work of fiction. 

My first attempt at fiction delves into the mind of an Indian teenager to retrace the path of his life in the last five years. Though annoyed, he’s determined to make life enjoyable and prefers to take his future as it comes. Years are punctuated with months of mixed events and he begins to examine reasons for his mediocrity. Not a very ambitious person, but suddenly starts to value life at the dawn of a few unexpected memorable events. He's on a mission to dream BIG and realize the same. In the process he takes a step forward.

Based on real-life incidents, I stand in the shoes of the protagonist to narrate the events that unfolded to make him take that step forward.

It’s not completely fictional and incidents from my life shall be part of it. Just like my blog articles, it’ll be a work straight from my heart and I stand in the shoes of the protagonist to feel every word I pen. I’m indeed very happy to begin work on the same but I know, it calls for a lot of patience and shall truly be a test of my character to actually deliver something really worthy enough to reach the pages of a book. Till then, I wish to channel my thoughts in the direction of my work and hence taking a break from blogger as far as writing is concerned. I shall visit your blogs for inspiration to improvise on my work, time and again. Looking forward to a challenging but at the same time, a refreshing and a learning experience!

The exact time I shall take to complete this work remains a question mark but being my first attempt, I want to take sufficient time and deliver my BEST.

Till then, take care. 

P.S: I'm thankful to Divya for presenting me the Thoughtful blogger award.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

T20 - Shreya Special 2

The Top 10..

10. Jaadhu Hai Nasha (Jism)

On listening to this song, I arrived at the equation Jaadhu + Nasha = Shreya Ghoshal. Wow! What a rendition! It’s a blessing for the Filmfare award to have landed itself at the hands of Ms. Ghoshal. Just like Saansein Madham, she improvises in the 2nd stanza and it’s simply magic. Not everybody has the innate talent to bring out so much warmth and this is where we feel divinity in music. They say, certain things in life needed to be experienced and not analyzed. This song exemplifies the same and I leave it for experience and not elaborate any further.

Favorite Line: Baahon Mein Teri Yun Kho Gaye Hai (2nd stanza)

9. Barso Re (Guru)

Shreya’s long time due for a tie-up with Rahman for a Hindi number got over with Barso Re. This song swept awards at all functions and I would rate it as one of the best songs of 2007. This is the effect a song has when two Music Messiahs – Rahman and Shreya come together. She has really given her ALL and that was evident when she sang ‘Nan Naa Re Nan Naa Re’.

Favorite Line: Nan Naa Re Nan Naa Re

8. Teri Ore (Singh is King)

I wonder if mellifluousness can get any better. No! It can’t get better than this. This song has given me warmth of the highest order. It has got me relieved of distress and made my life look more beautiful and colorful. The hoarsest in Rahat’s voice complemented Shreya’s and she’d added a new dimension to the song. This was one of the few songs to which I can listen for one hour, non-stop.

Favorite line: Teri Ore Teri Ore Hai Rabba……

7. Ishq Hua (Aaja Nachle)

This is the best example of the pathetic nature of Indian Music and films – the dependence of the former on the latter. Due to lack of publicity for this song and the movie’s colossal flop restricted the reach of this song to a wider audience. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best songs Shreya has ever sung and ironically, happens to the most under-rated. The Sonu-Shreya combo brings back memories of some really mellifluous numbers of the past. A wonderful composition backed by a superb rendition.

Favorite Line: Nazron Ko Sambhaalein, To Dil Ka Kya Karein

6. Tere Naina (CC2C)

I fear if this song will fall into the league where Ishq Hua belongs to. This is another song that has the characteristics which Ishq Hua had – bad publicity of the song and the movie’s colossal flop. This song was a real test for Shreya to match up to Shankar and she’s played her part perfectly. The composition is terrific – the speed of the song varies like ‘never-heard-before’. While majority of the faster part is taken care of by Shreya, she makes sure, they are not done at the expense of the lyrics and the diction is just spot on, especially in the second stanza when she sings 4-5 lines continuously.

Favorite Line: Mere Dil Mein Jo Armaan Hai Paaas Aake Zara Dekho Na…

5. Silsila Ye Chaahat (Devdas)

Reason for my liking can be attributed to just one – it was Shreya who sang. In the sense, nobody else could have produced that magic at such a young age especially when she sings ‘O Piya’. I liked the song so much that I wanted to see its video and since I had never seen Devdas, I downloaded the movie just to watch this song. When I did watch, I was moved to see that sync between Ash’s facial beauty and Shreya vocal beauty. A wonderful song and its best enjoyed when listened to, using headphones and not speakers.

Favorite Line: Phir Se Baadhal Ghar Jaa Hey………….O Piya Yeh Diya…..

4. Beiri Piya (Devdas)

The ranking of Silsila and Beiri Piya was a close call but I rank Beiri Piya higher just for two reasons – it won Shreya a national award and it had that amazing ‘ISSSHHH’. This just goes to show Shreya’s self-competition right from her first film. This is one of the best romantic melodies ever composed and for a teenage girl to sing the same alongside a veteran like Udit and win the national award just goes to show her brilliance. The ‘ISSHH’ announces the arrival of a legend-in-the-making, call for silence - make you listen to this melody queen with rapt attention.

Favorite Line: Tu Dhoor…..Paas hi ta ab pass hai tu dhoor….Hey kyun…Ha aaa…

3. Tu Meri Dost Hai (Yuvvraaj)

This is Shreya’s first duet with Benny Dayal, who had delivered some terrific Tamil songs before Dost happened. Shreya makes entry 2.5 minutes into the song with ‘Raat Mein’ and ironically, lightens up the song with a light shake of her divine vocal chords. Her last stanza with Rahman is mind-blowing and one couldn’t have expected for anything better. The line ‘Ek Pari Gujrati Hain’ in the last stanza is just Wow!!! And her rendition is a rendition is something her contemporaries can only enjoy and can’t actually replicate. 

Favorite Line: ‘Jahan Shaam Utarti Hain…’ (The last stanza with Rahman– Wow!)

2. Ek Pal Ke Liye (Ankahee)

This was my most favorite till recently. This song has been giving me goose bumps ever since I first listened to it. I would say, this was one song which made me look up to this doyen to Indian Music. There’s something in this song that makes me listen to it every time I turn on my music system. One thing I confirmed with this song is, Shreya Ghoshal improvises with time and her second stanzas in all songs outsmart her first. This song draws you forward, and the song is best enjoyed when she sings ‘Phir Kya Ho Kya Kabar’. Mind-blowing! I feel bad to rate it second because it deserves a first place 

Winning the T20 cricket World Cup is very tough and to select The Best song of this T20 demanded efforts of the highest order and so much thought 

And the winner is……

1. Kaise Mujhe (Ghajini)

There have been songs when Shreya has sang solo numbers and entertained us so well but this song when she just flashes across our ears for a few seconds and leaves a lasting impact. Terrific! That is the trademark of a legend - quality is independent of quantity. I’ve witnessed a similar impact in songs like Mein Agar Kahoon and Teri Yaadon Mein where she outsmarts Sonu and KK respectively. Now, this is the turn of Benny Dayal to face the music. The way she starts ‘Aaaaaaa…..’ makes one get softer at heart, feel more sympathetic and look at life with a broad-minded perspective. To watch this song on screen, you end up getting your cheeks moist involuntarily – Yeh Shreya ki Jaadhu. 

Those few seconds when you flash across our ears like an angel are my favorite lines.

I pray God to bestow you with good health and happiness. Keep entertaining us and I wish, you sing better songs and I would like Ek Pal Ke Liye and Kaise Mujhe to drop down places next year.

P.S: Being a die-hard fan, I would also like to do some constructive criticism. The song ‘Poovinai’ from the Tamil film Ananda Thaandavam is one of the best melodies composed in recent times and hats off to you for the rendition. But I found something unusual, though you’re appreciated for perfection in Tamil diction even by stalwarts like S.P.B, a few lines in the first stanza looked out of place and I couldn’t understand what the lyrics were. I’m sorry if that was offending but this was just to make sure your reputation doesn’t get affected by even 0.1%.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

T20 - Shreya Special 1

I'm still between Heaven & Earth and unable to think of anything else to pen down - the meet with Shreya still haunts mesmerically. On requests from a few friends, I now post the article which I had presented Shreya on 31st Jan 2009 and it is for this that she has promised to mail me back after reading. I split them into couple of parts and here is the first. Here we go... 

Shreya Ghoshal songs mean The Best and to select just 20 of The Best demands so much effort. It did get really tough when I involved myself with the task of doing the same but the toughness was something I thoroughly enjoyed and I attribute this sweet bitterness to my love for her songs. Despite the love, the last thing I had wanted was confusion and ironically, that happened first as soon as I ranked the songs of my choice. The sheet of paper on which I had ranked had all scribbling possible and the ranks kept changing every minute and it was utter chaos, to say the least. Even mathematics or physics problems that I had solved in the past never had so much of scribbling. Here I go with the rankings and a short description for my liking.

20. Pyaar Ki Ek Kahani (Krissh)
To rank a song as good as Pyaar Ki Ek Kahani at the 20th spot, it just goes to show the quality of Shreya Ghoshal songs, the lucidity in her rendition and the power of the voice to reach the audience, no matter who they’re. This song happened 3-4 years after her entry into film music and Ms. Ghoshal makes her entry into this song almost after 2 minutes with a hum and understandably, big things don’t happen just like that but grows on the audience slowly. With Sonu Nigam for company, it was wonderful to listen to them together and I feel, Shreya gives her best when she sings alongside someone as great as Sonu. In my opinion, this was the best among all Shreya songs of Krissh.

Favorite Line: Ek Tha Ladka Ek Thi Ladki Deewani (Wow! It draws you forward)

19. Shikdum (Dhoom)
Shaan happens to be one of my favorite singers and I loved his combo with Shreya and if I’m right, this was their song together. The song made for a wonderful melody, a class apart when the rest in that album were all hip-hop and rock type. It was a fast-paced melody and the childishness in Shreya’s voice was brought to the forefront and this was best evident in the below line.

Favorite Line: Achcha lo chalo, haari main haari Maan li sabhi baatein tumhaari  

18. Ta Ra Ra Ra Rum Rum (Ta Ra Rum Pum)

One of the best ever melodies I’ve ever listened to. The song could be best enjoyed when one is in a state of distress. The best way to start feeling-good is turn on the music system and play this song. The rest shall be taken care of, by Shreya Ghoshal. The best quality to be appreciated in her rendition is the fact that, she makes sure she understands your distress but at the same time, she makes sure you get relieved of it. Courtesy: Cuteness in her voice

Favorite Line: Ho agar kabhi koi ghum toh, bilkul na tum…

17. Dhoom Thaana (Om Shanti Om)

This song intensifies the debate whether if Shreya is the next Alka Yagnik/ Lata Mangeshkar. To fans like me, we’re happy if she’s Shreya Ghoshal and we don’t want her to be called with such names simply because she’s a class of her own and none shall ever come anywhere close to her perfection in diction or clarity in rendition. It intensifies the debate, in the sense, Shreya takes us back to 1970s and the feel is just perfect. She beautifies Padukone with the rendition and in the process, with the fast beats, makes you dance along with SRK and Padukone. This song exemplifies her versatility and affirms the fact that her voice is not confined just to melodies though she’s the BEST at it.

Favorite Line: Kaise Banjaara Mann Ki Baat Mein Aaye, Kaise Ek Raaja Ko Manmit Banaye Kaise Pehnu Main Pyar..

16. Kaash Ek Dhin (Showbiz)

This is another of her duets with Shaan. It’s such a lovely number and I don’t know if this song became that popular. Nevertheless the beauty of a song is completely independent of its popularity and the combo of Shreya and Shaan rocks big time. The song is equally divided between them and makes for a wonderful listen. While Shaan makes it fantastic in the first stanza, Shreya outsmarts him in the second and she does to the extent, I get so much lost with her in the second stanza that I begin to wonder from where did Shaan entered when he begins ‘Kaash Ek Dhin’.

Favorite Line: Mere Dil Ko Tum Churaake… (The full second stanza- no compromises)

15. Tu Kahaan Kho Gaya (U Bomsi and Me)
This song is special to me in a way that this alone could make me sleep at the times when I was beginning to have sleepless nights. In the sense, the slowness of the song, the laziness in the rendition, reluctance in the voice modulations made up for a soothe listen that it had the power to turn an insomniac to sleep. It’s a must listen but ironically, this never turned out to be a smash hit. Divine!

It’s Shreya all the way and hence, I find it tough to pick just one line.

14. Mere Dholna (Bhool Bhulaiyya)

Firstly I feel bad to place one of my favorites at the 14th position and the competition for places starts to get tougher as we move up. Needless to say, this is one of the best classical numbers to have been composed in Indian films and such a composition’s brilliance is appreciated only when it’s rendered someone as exceptional as Shreya and Sree Kumar. The ease with which she seemed to have rendered is just wow! Amazing!

Favorite Line: Saanson Mein Saanson Mein Teri Saragamein Hain, Abb Raat Din...

13. Mausam (Kidnap)

It’s amazing to note, a singer who had sung Mere Dholna and Tu Kahaan has sung this song. That’s Shreya Ghoshal for you! Versatility personified. Minisha Lamba’s bikini act wouldn’t have electrified the screen but for Shreya’s sensual rendition. This kind of a visual effect demands an aural boost and this was perfectly provided by Ms. Ghoshal. This rendition brought back memories of one of her numbers from Jism (Got it?)

Favorite Line: Na Na Na Na Na Na (Undoubtedly…sensual best)

12. Har Taraf (Saaya)
This is one of Anu Malik’s best compositions and this song showcases Shreya at her teenage best, both visually and aurally. Yes! Shreya Ghoshal makes a guest appearance in the song as a school student leading the choir. Her presences on the screen were moments when I started to compare her visual beauty to that in her voice. The protracted high pitches calls for so much talent and that seems to be quite abundant in her. Overall this is a song which enables a music lover to enjoy the sweetness in Shreya’s voice when she was in her teens. 

Favorite Line: Ye aasmaan ye zamin, chaand aur sooraj kyaa banaa sakaa hai kabhi 

11. Saansein Madham Hai (Kasak)
This song is the Hindi version of Nuvve Naa Shwaasa (Okariki Okaru) composed by M.M. Kreem. A soothing number and it’s one song one can listen to, anytime – however good/bad their mood is. With this song, Shreya has affirmed the fact that language is no barrier and that she shall produce the feel in any language – the tune alone shall do. This is one of my favorites and her improvisation in the 2nd stanza speaks volumes of the talent she possesses.

Favorite Line: Rehna mujhe hain teri panaaho mein rakhna tujhe hain..(2nd stanza)

The Top 10 to be posted next weekend...