Friday, July 30, 2010

Smart Guard and Security Services

Plus there is a roaring lion and a Suryavanshi emblem.

I guess the guy (or maybe the dame) who started this company has a direct lineage from the Suryavanshi clan. And Lion obviously looks good, perhaps even to convey that they are not dogs (often dogs who bark and snarl, do not bite). These guys also bite.

This makes me feel very relieved about the security offered at our office space. We are safe because we are guarded by guards who are trained (presumably) by someone whose ancestors were Survayanshis. Lord Rama is perhaps the most well known Suryavanshi, but there are many others like Manu, Harishchandra and Sumitra (the last king of Ayodhya from this dynasty).

Suryavanshi was also a movie which starred Salman Khan and was released way back in 1992. The female lead was Sheeba (an import from Middle East) and his antagonist was Amrita Singh (ex-wife of Saif Ali Khan). Before its release, it was quite an eagerly awaited movie but ended up as a disaster at the box-office. I, however, remember enjoying the movie completely.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kantishah ke Angoor

Well, this does sound like a catchy line for a blog post, and a soft porn movie too :)

Here is a quick review on a movie I saw last night and thoroughly enjoyed too - UDAAN. I went in thinking this would be a typical parallel-feel-good-cinema kind of a movie and would either end with darkness or lots of light. But the movie is unusual in treatment.

No use giving a typical review of the movie, you can read it here, here and here. Let me talk here about the grayness of the movie here. The movie has only about 3 characters and the whole story revolves around them - Rohit, his father and his six year old younger half-brother. The one character which stands out is the father, full of darkness, but with glimpses of light and some rare love as well. Easy to hate, but impossible to dismiss. Lots remain unsaid about why and how he is the way he is, but there are enough glimpses throughout which act as clues. In fact there is lots that's left unsaid and that makes the movie even more delightful. The intelligence of the movie lies in treating its audience as intelligent, and as audience you do feel good about it.

The end is surprisingly resolved, though still open ended. One can easily take the movie forward after leaving the theater.

Despite the duration, I strongly recommend the movie to all movie lovers. This one surely remains with you even after you are out of the theater. And if it doesn't, consider yourself unfortunate.

p.s. I never saw the promos, but here is one for those who still thinking about watching it.

...and yes, you need to see the movie to know more about Kantishah ke Angoor :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kashmiri ‘khaandar’ - wedding celebrations – series I, II and III and so on

My long time friend Muzayun has posted a series of articles on the rituals associated with a typical Muslim Kashmiri wedding. These are drawn from her own experiences over a period of more than a month, when her elder sister got married.

A delight to read, these give quite a lot of tit-bits on these events which usually happen behind closed doors and not seen by many outside the immediate family.

You can find the series here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Perfect Strangers

'So are we perfect strangers once again?', I asked.

She didn't respond, still looking out of the window into the constant rain. She would occasionally shiver in the cool Napoli breeze, but refused my offer to use my jacket. There was something about her, something unusual. She would go silent when others would find it easy to talk, and smile and talk her heart out when you would least expect her to.

Somehow I had assumed that my question would bring her out of her stupor, but I slowly realised that I was wrong. This was my third attempt in the last one hour, and she had been quite for a long time this time. I could see a small tear building in her left eye, but wouldn't dare make a move. We were after all only strangers, and she might take me wrong. So I just waited as the tear dried off, even before it could roll down. She was holding something back, and it was taking a toll on her.

As I stared at her face, she turned and looked right into my eyes and said, 'Yes, that's exactly what we are.'

Before I could respond, she was already out in the rain, soaked to the bones and walking fast into invisibility, uncertainty and wilderness. I thought for a moment, but then reluctantly followed her into her dark, unknown world. She was too precious to be lost, I was ready to lose myself for her.

We already were strangers who knew each other too well...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

failed conversations

Conversations can be complex. Especially about subjects where people have diverse views and they intend to stick their ground, no matter what. It requires skills to have meaningful and useful conversations, conversations that can build on divergent views and result in all parties take something back.

Most often, however, such high voltage conversations degenerate into futile debates and arguments. And sadly one voice amongst many can spoil a conversation with tremendous potential. Its rather sad, and most often unavoidable. We are at times incapable to listening to a different point of view, because we are so convinced that we are right, often in situations where there may not be any right or wrong at all. Its an opportunity lost.

We are passionate about our views, but it makes a lot of sense to be sensible and realise that there can be many right views. Who knows, a minute change of mindset may trigger a much bigger and a very positive and welcome change in us.

We should listen. It always pays.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trimurti - Hindu trinity and their spouces

Trimurti, meaning "having three forms", is the term applied to the three main Hindu gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This Trimurti or triad represents all aspects of the Supreme Being. The Trimurti is depicted as a single-bodied, three-headed man. This symbolises the fact that the three forms are aspects of one Supreme Being. They are respectively the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe.

The Trimurti is no longer worshipped as a deity. Even initially, it was worshipped as a representation of Brahman, the Supreme Being, and as a single entity. Later, each god was separated from the single entity and considered a deity in his own right. Today, Brahma is not worshipped, but Vishnu and Shiva both have large followings.

Each God in the trinity has his consort. To Brahma is Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge. For Vishnu is Lakshmi, the Goddess of love, beauty and delight. For Shiva is Parvati, the Goddess of power, destruction and transformation. These are the three main forms of the Goddess, as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the three main forms of the God. The three Goddesses are often worshipped in their own right as well as along with their spouses.

Saraswati - Brahma - Sadly no image available for reference.

Lakshmi - Vishnu

Parvati - Mahesh/ Shiva


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Switching Time Off

Sometimes you do not want to know the time, you may not necessarily wish for the time to stop, but you may just want it to be unknown to you. As if nothing like time exists.

You do not want to know if its day or night outside. If its the time for the morning newspaper, or the lunch, or afternoon tea, or dinner. If its the time when your neighbours come back home, or when they take their dogs out for a walk. Or if its the time to sleep.

You do not know if its the time to cuddle up with you loved one, or if its the time to make love. Or time for midnight coffee break. Or the time when you want to be alone, in a dark room looking at the walls and blank in your head.

Can we really escape time? Do we need to? Want to? Sometimes maybe?

Monday, July 5, 2010

WnM - jewelry purchase

W and M have gone out shopping, due to some constraints at home.
W wants to buy ear-studs from an old mini-shop. M needs to stand by her.

W: I am telling you bhaiya, the diamond (of course fake) will come off very soon.
Shopkeeper: No madam, I am telling you this will not come off.
W: But I am telling you that this will surely come off.
W looks at M for support. M immediately comes to her defense.
M: Yes bhaiya, this will surely come off.
Shopkeeper: No madam, this won't come off.
Shopkeeper completely ignores M, M feels dejected and looks around at a pissing cow.
W: Show me some more designs. Something in gold.
W and shopkeeper discuss designs, weather, and prices. Soon M goes back to her initial apprehensions.
W: But bhaiya, I know the diamond will come off.
Shopkeeper: No madam, my guarantee this won't come off.
W: I know!!! You think I have grown this old without knowing anything.
Shopkeeper: Trust me madam, even after six months if this comes off, I will come and replace it for you.
W: So you also think this might come off then?
Shopkeeper: No madam, this will never come off.
W: Are you sure?
Shopkeeper: Yes madam, this is my promise.
W and Shopkeeper start looking at a few more designs, discussing designs that all look the same. M is wondering if more animals will come and shit/ piss/ make faces/ eat newspapers. W is now ready to pay the money, but she has one last question.
W: Bhaiya are you sure, this won't come off?
Shopkeeper: Yes madam, I am very sure.
W: But my experience says otherwise. I am not sure.
At this point the studs are already in her ears, and has even paid the money.
Shopkeeper: I already told you, I am just a phone call away.
W: True, but I have always seen these diamonds falling off soon after the purchase.
Shopkeeper: No madam, not the ones I sell.
W: Are you really sure?
Shopkeeper: Yes madam.
M is already pulling out his hair, though only in his head.

Moral of the story: DO NOT accompany W for shopping, especially when the aim is to buy jewelery!
Make sure you take her out shopping on a day when the mood swings are extreme, and let the shopkeeper take the impact!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

WnM - shoes

W: We need to go shopping today, I have a gift voucher for Rs. 100
M: Oh!
W: I can buy some footwear.
M: Oh!
W: Its a shop I love. And you don't have a choice.
M: Oh!
After a pause.
M: You mean hawai-chappals ala Bata chappals?
W: Are you mad? I was thinking of buying some cool chic footwear, something cheap and within 1K as the voucher amount isn't exactly huge.
M look around at least about 10 pairs of sandals, chappals, shoes and wonders why!
M: But you surely don't need another pair right away?
W glares, M backs off. Sweat is building on M's forehead. And the wind has stopped blowing. M is regretting everything he said.
W: You don't even know what I need now! So much for knowing me and caring for me. I want a black one with heels!!!
M looks around at three pairs which fit the exact description, including one bought from the same shop a few months back. M decides to remain silent. Smart.
M: I think its an awesome idea honey.
At this point W leans over suggestively over M, M thanks Cosmopolitan!

Moral of the story: Read women's magazines for disaster management tips.
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