Tuesday, August 21, 2007

jingalala!

Had been to a fun event at work, last weekend.. the theme was African Safari.. but then, thankfully, we didn't have to follow that for the dress code for the evening... mebbe the organisers thought we do look like those afrikan junglees anyday!! :P me was wondering what could be the driving force behind the theme? other than for the pot painting competition which was conducted a couple of days before the event.. hey, talking of which, I took part in that as well.. the best part is that I was participating in an arty competition after more than a couple of decades now.. with no intensions of competing n just to be a part of it.. I was the last person to sign up, and that too while those organising guys were almost about to wind it up... bhai, you get all the colors and the matka for free.. + the paintbrushes as well.. + another 16 fully painted matkas for inspiration! ;) wot more could I have asked for?! though at the end of it all, my matka looked more like that of a pongal pot!! :D wot the heck! it was fun nonetheless.. :)


At the event, I thought they might be serving some afrikaan adivasi food for dinner! thankfully we were saved!! :D Nothing other than the stage design confirmed to the theme. totally loved the programmes conducted by the IEC folks.. which i thought was brilliant.. you can find a fundu write-up about the event here and the snaps here.

We reached there on-time, and found ourselves a seat in the 2nd row.. happy that we wouldn't have to struggle to watch the show over the shoulders and in between the heads of the biggies. A couple of my friends were performing and I for sure didn't want to miss out on the action + it was great fun cheering them n howling n screaming as though we were still in college!! For a change, didn't take the camera along.. I knew the event will anyways be recorded.. but hey, tell you what, it isn't a great idea to find yourself a seat in the 1st rows when you don't have a cam with u..
Before the event started, a zone-mate (who was also participating and had to go backstage) gave me the responsibility of recording a handful of programmes on his handycam!! little did I know that each of these programmes is gonna last for a minimum of 10+ mins!!

But hey, a task is a task, so I thought of doing it diligently.. atleast for the 1st one!! so, I started recording n spotted him in the group dance event, n started zooming in and following the guy.. obviously it's his cam.. he wud've surely wanted his acts on-stage to be covered well, ryt? donno whether the LCD was deceiving me or was it b'coz I went past the bustling beer bar sometime back.. newys, after a couple of minutes did I realise that the guy whom I've been hunting down with the cam wasn't actually the owner of the cam!!! lo! Ok, to do some damage repair, I started doing the same zoom thingy on the lead lady of the next dance item.. n the lead man of the next one as well!! In short, I kinda managed to ruin the dance videos royally for him.. :D

Lesson of the day: take your cam along when you go for events like this.. it's another matter whether you want to record it or not.. but at the least you wouldn't find yourself at the receiving end of such mishaps!!

and also for people who trust their cams with people like me, n expect them to do a decent job at it!! you never know, other than ruining the recording, it could be an immense pain to watch the video, even for once before deleting it!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

rediscovering friends

'show me your friend and I'll tell you who you are'.. that's what they say about friends.. I say, 200% true!

when I look back, at every phase of my life, I've been friends with people who reflected the kind of person I was then.. the schooltime phase when I was an outspoken and totally outright brat, through those times when I've been most miserable, when I've been totally prejudiced, confused, while I was going through the toughest of times, and those times when I made up my mind to fight back and to get back to my true elements.. I've found that the people I made friends with then, were almost always going through a similar phase of life or state of mind..

That doesn't go to prove that I have an ever-changing friends list always.. yes, it is a list which keeps getting updated.. umm.. well almost yearly ( yeah, quite an objectve critic I am!) nothing reflects it more than the wishes I receive on my birthdays.. just celebrated another b'day last month.. a bunch of friends lost in the oblivion, and I find myself surrounded by a new set of friends..

Though there's always the usual crowd of friends who've been there since more than a decade now.. whom I can count on, even on my 60th birthday.. that's the most special of the lot.. they are the ones, I don't have much in common with.. we don't compete, we're not critical of each other.. we just believe in being there for each other and that equation keeps getting better all the way.. (DT, you're the one who comes to my mind first when I say that! as much as you hate me for saying this.. Thankyous... and a biiig hug to you!)

What happens is.. we keep growing.. sometimes we grow together.. sometimes we grow apart.. I have this friend, a real darling, who has stood by me during the toughest of times.. but surprisingly, when i started growing on a totally different sphere, we could not deal with it.. our views and attitudes varied.. and sometimes, when people can't agree to the differences they have between them (worse still when the differences keep growing over a period of time), prejudices creep in.. n then bitterness.. I'm so sorry, I lost my friend last year..

And then there are old time friends.. whom we never meet in a long long time.. n bingo! one day after decades, u meet up n realise that though u were not in touch all this while, u've grown up to be quite similar.. you can soo relate to them.. n strike a chord as though you've been best friends for years together..

yeah, I was lucky to catch up with my best friend of 1st standard at school!! can u believe that?! it was just soo much fun that we were laughing for most of the time! and when we weren't laughing, we were too busy with our 'exactly!'s and 'me too!'s and 'same here!'s and 'very true's.. It's like talking to a stranger, and still feeling as though you've always been the bestest of friends.. just wanted to let you know DR, that it was great to rediscover the friend in you.. I was all smiles, even after we hung up the phone.. :) n was going around happily telling my folks about it!

The irony as it just occured to me is that, going by the initials of names, the friend I lost last year, and the long lost friend I found now are both 'DR'. Theory of Replacement, eh? darn... I hate myself for trying to find logic in everything!! old habits die hard... or worse still.. they dont die at all!! :P

Friday, August 3, 2007

the mirage between terrorism and heroism

The latest round of convictions of the 1993 Bombay blasts accused, came as a welcome news.. It felt good to read the headline in a newspaper.. "13 BLASTS, 14 YEARS, A 100 CONVICTIONS". Ok, considering the fact that many of the masterminds behind the blasts are still on the run, and away from the reach of the law as long as they are good at their game...

Still, to execute their plans they need lay people, who can be brainwashed, trained and motivated to actually make it happen.. convicting those people, however far they were from the master planners makes sense as acts as a deterrent by sending across a warning signal for the people who think that they can get away with it, and also a positive message about the jurisdiction of the country.

When 7/11 occured, there were many of my friends who were angry with the country's leaders (most of the politicians are specimens in their own ways.. but let's save it for another day!) that they were not taking any serious measures against curbing terrorism.. there were many who raised anti-muslim slogans, and there were others who indirectly pointed their fingers at the issue that incidentally, most of the terrorists happen to belong to a certain minority community.. but taking up swords against a community is not going to get it solved, for sure!!

It's we the people, who keep complaining about how the rulers and the bureaucrats aren't taking the investigations and preventive measures seriously.. n ironically, it's the same us who end up glorifying terror suspects and convicts..

A few incidents which found the national news media spending considerable air-time on them of late, were :

I. the Monica Bedi story:
I was surprised when I switched on the tv, to find this lady conducting a press conference at her village, very confidently. She was being given a grand welcome as could be seen from the flowers showered on her... n I was like ???!! now what's this all about? there's this woman,
i. who's been the companion of a convicted gangster..
ii. who was being persecuted for passport forgery cases, and just managed to get a bail..
So what does that make her? a celebrity??! now that's interesting..

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II. the Haneef Mohammed story:
Ok, there's this guy who was retained for interrogation in a foreign country, with regard to his suspected involvement in an international terrorism act. Foreign Affairs ministers do intervene in such cases to make sure that their national is'nt treated unfairly.. that's ok too.. n so, the guy in question comes back home finally with no charges against him due to lack of substantial evidence (which actually does not imply that he is proved innocent).
Ok, good for him.. what I dont seem to understand is, how does he stand to become a Hero??!! Apparently a standoff as a terror suspect in a foreign country earns him a Hero status + assurance by the chief minister of the state for a government job!! Well I never knew there was an alternate qualification which could find one a respectable job like that!

Infact I was expecting them to initiate an investigation here to learn further about his association with his cousins (who are accused of the attempted terror attack) and the other facets of the case which did come to light in the beginning like his father-in-law managing the parking facilities in the Bangalore international airport.. mind you, those are people in key areas in a terror attack point of view!

Instead of that, we are here hailing him as a Hero!

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III. the Sunjay Dutt story:
Ok, so he's our most lovable Munnabhai.. we luv d local bhai turned gandhian onscreen.. we forgive him of his bhaigiri as he smiles his way to gandhigiri.. well n fine..
But take a break, and think of what's been happening for real.. he may not have planted a bomb or conspired on any terrorism.. but hey, he bought a weapon from the terrorists.. he must've paid them money, which must have directly gone to help the terrorists fund the execution of their plans.. Isn't that reason enough for someone to be punished? Instead we scream it's unfair.. how could one convict Sunju baba!?

A mistake one did unknowingly in his youth? c'mon.. a man of 35 years cannot be so much of a blissfully ignorant, innocent youth! (you wondering how me calculated his age? incidentally, we share the same b'day(!!)... only mine's 2 decades later.. which makes it easier for me to calculate it!)

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We cry fowl against investigations and convictions, n we still have it in us to blame the government, the bureaucrats, the police and the judicial system for not curbing terrorism! wah re duniya, teri reet nirali!