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  1. Ghost Stories

    Nov 11, 2009

    26th January 2000, those five hundred students of a boarding school had no idea that lot was going to change in their lives that day. I was one of them.
    It was 9:30 in the morning and I was still in the bed, dreaming of candies & biscuits my friend has kept in his cupboard. And then I heard a voice: “You sleep monger RUN...., RUN FAST.”
    Half awake I started running out, only to realize later that it was an Earthquake.
    Yes, the deadly earthquake of Gujarat.


    Everything was in a huge mess. The buildings were damaged, after-shocks were felt every minute, few students lost their near and dear ones, and the final exams were nearing each day.
    One guy from my hostel who was known for his sincerity and honesty complained that he saw a lady ghost cladded in a white sari in the nearby ground at 12’O Clock midnight. As we were already in the trauma of the earthquake, we ignored his plea. Next day, he reported the same. This time we got really scared. And the matter was taken up with a head teacher who took the guy to a ‘TANTRIK BABA’. And finally the guy was declared of having a “KALA SAYA” of some lady ghost. Kala Saya of a white lady? we couldn’t digest the concept, so we decided to stay awake and witness the ghost ourselves.

    Equipped with hockey sticks and chains we waited for the clock to strike 12. As the time passed by the night kept getting darker and darker. Exactly at 12'O Clock the lady ghost appeared in the basketball court. Clutching the hockey sticks and stuff, we all ran out of the hostel. As soon as the ghost saw people approaching her, she started running the other way. We grabbed her and as she was about to get the first blow of the hockey stick, she shouted : “Hey, Please Stop, this is Varun from the Garuda hostel; remember I played black magician on the school annual day.” And we all laughed out loud.
    The next day, no ghost was seen on the ground. But it was heard of being seen in the Garuda hostel.
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  2. Driving (non)Sense

    Nov 7, 2009

    Finally back after a long break. It was so much fun. Drove car for more than 1500 kms, visited college, had good time with friends. And all those nostalgic feelings.
    It is strange that:
    “When I was driving the car, I yelled at people walking down the street.
    When I was walking on the street, I yelled at people driving the cars.”

    Fast driving is so much fun, isn’t it?. It’s adrenaline rush, and the feeling of weightlessness? -it’s awesome. Driving at a high speed I wrongly overtook one car. By the time I realized my mistake, the car was left far behind. All that adrenaline rush feeling was over and I brought my car to a normal speed.

    After a few minutes, the same car sped past me and stopped right in front of my car. My gut feeling said that the things are going wrong. I was all alone and the road was empty too. Fear struck my heart and my stomach had that feeling -the one you get before an interview or a viva. A man double my size stepped out of the car and asked me to step out too. Things definitely were going wrong, mustering courage I stepped out.
    I could sense anger in that man’s eyes. But when I went near he asked politely(Maybe by my getup I appear an innocent person. Thanks to the Sarkari Naukari, now I hate formals no more): “Sir, your fast driving could have killed me”. I apologized, and since that day my speedometer hasn’t read more than 45km/h. After all, more than myself I don’t want to risk somebody else's life.

    Image curtsy: loritingey
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  3. Happy Diwali

    Oct 17, 2009

    Happy Diwali to all my friends.

    May this Diwali bring happiness infinite to you. And also:


    » May your blog get huge popularity

    » May your posts get 1000's of comments

    » May your blog get loads of backlinks

    » May your blog get listed on the first page of Google search

    » May your blog get featured in the Time magazine

    » May you get featured in the every "Top Bloggers" list

    » May you start a blog - if you don't have one!

    And above all
    May you ever stay a happy & nice blogger, as you already are.

    Happy Diwali!
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  4. The cop whistled at the black Alto and asked to stop.
    Knock, knock. "Roll down the windows you freak."
    The cop: License Please!
    Sorry sir, I don't have one.

    Cop: What?, Show the registration.
    Sorry Sir, but this is not my car.

    Cop: Fine!, Do you know what's the penalty for not carrying the papers?, 500 Bucks!.
    Sorry Sir, I'm a government servant, and have not got salary this month.

    Cop: OK then, pay me 200, without receipt.
    Sorry Sir, forgot my wallet at home.

    Cop: What the F***!, go off you bastard.
    Thank You Sir. But Sir.
    Cop: NOW WHAT?
    Sir I need your help.
    Cop: FOR WHAT?
    Sir, the car is running out of gas, could you please lend me 500 bucks?
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  5. My first award

    Oct 9, 2009

    Thank You Aditi for the award. I'm honored.
    And also Thank You for the interesting TAG.
    Statutory Warning: This article is unnecessarily long and contains lots of personal uninteresting stuff, read at your own risk.

    1. What is your current obsession?
    My Chevrolet Spark, Nikon D40 & Apple MacBook.


    2. What are you wearing today?
    Blue Jeans & Light brown T-Shirt.


    3. What's for Dinner?
    No idea.


    5. What are you listening to right now?
    Fiqrana from the movie Blue, music by A.R.Rehman. Amazing song.


    6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
    There are rare people who follow their heart, those who chase their passions. Aditi is one of them. With such a great attitude, she's definitely going places.

    7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
    Sundernagar, as the name suggests is a beautiful place in Himachal, I always dreamed of building a house there someday. Now my dream house is already under construction and I'm too excited about it.

    8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
    Nothing!, Because if summers make my complexion dark, winters are gonna make it white. So whether it's summer or winter, I enjoy both. :P

    9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
    Sainik School Balachadi, where I've spent the most beautiful years of my childhood.

    10. Which language do you want to learn?
    Sanskrit

    11. What's your favorite quote?
    "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

    12. Who do you want to meet right now?
    My younger brother.

    13. What's your favorite colour?
    Navy Blue.


    14. What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?
    Formal black pant & a sky blue shirt.


    15. What is your dream job?
    Own a bookstore so that I get to read a lot of stuff for Free.


    16. What's your favorite magazine?
    Reader's Digest.


    17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
    Tripod & a 55-200mm lens for my Nikon D40. With the leftover I'll buy books.


    18. What do you consider as fashion faux pas?
    I think fashion itself is a faux pas.

    19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
    S.R.K, I don't understand why people adore him so much.


    20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
    Formal


    21. What are you going to do after this?
    Continue with "The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga

    22. What are your favorite movies?
    Hindi:
    Yeh Mera India, Anand, Ab tak chappan, Swadesh, Hungama, Hera Pheri.
    English:
    American Beauty, Crash, Adventureland, Braveheart, A beautiful mind, Toy Story 1 & 2, Shrek Series, Lion King, Finding Nemo.
    Korean:
    My Sassy Girl, Classic.


    23. What are three cosmetic/ makeup/perfume products that you can't live without?
    Water, Water, Water. Rest all is marketing gimmick.

    24. What inspires you?
    Honesty & Simplicity.


    25. Give us three styling tips that always work for you:
    Bath everyday, Avoid onions in the lunch, Smile as much as you can, coz it improves your health & also the frequent movement of lips keeps your teeth clean & shining :D.


    27. Coffee or tea?
    Coffee


    28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
    Put on some music and play "Age of Umpire" (In the EASY mode).


    29. Which other blogs do you love visiting?
    Genuine blogs. Check out my favorite blogs in the blogroll.


    30. Favorite Dessert/ Sweet?
    Ice-cream.

    31. Favorite Season?
    Spring


    32. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?
    If it's your first time, I'll take you to the nearest decent hotel. If you are a frequent visitor, well i'll check the refrigerator (for the raw vegetable obviously) :D.

    33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?
    I'll give them more opportunities to hurt me, until they get bored with it.

    34. What are you afraid of the most?
    What if my wife doesn't like cooking?. :D

    35. My question: Funniest one-liner you've ever heard?
    I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

    Rules for those who are tagged: Respond and rework – answer these questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list. Then tag as many people as you like.

    I would love to pass on the tag and award:
    Yogesh, Shas and Solilo.
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  6. Football dreams

    Oct 6, 2009

    As a little kid I longed to be a football hero. I wanted to kick the ball like the big guys. At the age of ten, when I was sent to the hostel, I volunteered to join the class football team. We were a bunch of kids just excited about the game. Every evening I would excitedly put on my sneakers and run to the playing ground.

    For days I kept chasing the ball without getting a single chance to hit it. Every time the ball was passed on to me, my mind went blank and failed to make any decision. By the time my mind worked out something, some other guy would be handling the ball.
    Due to my inability to take quick decisions my team members lost faith in my game. At times they would shout names and make faces at me. Dejection set in, and a feeling of failure captured my heart. And I decided not to play the game ever again. Whenever asked, I termed football as a mere time waste.

    Now as a grown up I hardly find any leisure time but I still wish to kick the ball like those big guys someday. Encouragement is a big factor in a child's life, we all know this. But still, how many of us really encourage the kids around?.
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  7. I am the Spiderman

    Oct 3, 2009

    I'm the Spider-man. I can fly past heavy buildings with the help of a rope. Whoa, I can climb huge buildings in a fraction of a second. But wait wait, Why have I turned so powerful?. Just because a spider bit me unknowingly?. This can't be true!.

    With the vermilion mark on my forehead and a short pony tale, I'm the Desi version of the spider-man. I have a wife too, and two kids. But they are perfectly normal. Maybe they are not lucky enough to be bitten by a spider. Yes, this is the shortcut to success; go to the nearby jungle, get bitten by the deadliest spider and get the celebrity status overnight.
    My eyes were close, and my back felt painful, maybe due to the war I just had with the goons. But wait, where is my wife? and the kids are missing too.

    I opened my eyes and a spider was dancing on my bed. I stretched my eyes in order to let more light pass through them. And two more little monsters were mocking me from the ceiling. I grabbed my missiles (water bottle, mug, shoes) and bullets (pen, pencils and the other stuff kept on the table) and smacked down those monsters.
    Yes!, I won the war, I'm the strongest. 

    Oh, I should sleep again now. This time peacefully, with no such wacky dream.

    Image Curtsey: Spyndle
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  8. A road to Chitkul

    Sep 30, 2009

    Background:
    Chitkul is a remote village in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is the last village on the Indo -Tibet trade route and the road ends here. After Chitkul the journey is to be made on foot.
    It's a small and beautiful village with a population of not more than 700 people. Climate is cold throughout the year. And it's located on the right bank of the Baspa River.

    The Trip:
    After returning from the night shift, I along with three other friends (namely Yatish Kumar Singh, Sumit Awasthi & Vinod Birdi) started our journey at 8'O Clock in the morning. Chitkul is nearly 120 Kms from our place. After traveling for one and half hours we had our breakfast (Paranthas and Chole alongwith India's national drink (hot tea)) at Tapri - a small station on the right bank of Satluj river. Here we stuffed our cab with plenty of eatables and a large bottle of Coke which we were unable to drink.

    After traveling for another hour or so we reached the famous Sangla Valley. Located on the banks of the Baspa river, Sangla valley is a delight for the nature lovers. Especially the stretch after Raksham and right up to the Chitkul. The valley is extremely beautiful, on the left bank of the Baspa river are the snow cladded mountains and on the right bank the whole terrain is full of apple orchids and wooden houses. We stopped at a place called Bhateshwari and ventured into the nearby orchid to have a photo session. There the owner of the orchid - an old man gifted us fresh apples from his orchid, and we enjoyed them as if we have never had apples in our entire life.

    After this we headed towards our final destination - The Chitkul.
    At Chitkul we tracked for nearly three kilometers and then climbed down to reach the river.

    The things which amazed me about the Chitkul are:
    Baspa River: Chitkul would not be so beautiful without the Baspa River. I just fell in love with the serene blue water.
    Wooden houses and temples: Most of the houses here are wooden and have an unique aroma which still haunts my mind.
    Bhoj Patra: Bhoj patra is the bark of a special tree found in the Himalayan belt. The bark is easily removable and resembles the pages of a diary. The Ancient people used it for writing scripts and keeping records. Even today it finds its use for the religious purposes.
    Potatoes: Yes, potatoes are grown on a large scale over here and they are the costliest in India. They are known for their sweet taste and heat producing effects.

    After a lot of fun we settled at the nearby hotel and enjoyed the delicious lunch. And when the sun disappeared we started our return journey. With a promise that someday we'll again visit this heaven on earth.

    PS: For more interesting pics, check out my Flickr stream.
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  9. Tim Asks

    Sep 27, 2009

    In the retrospect I desired to be a famous cartoonist. My dreams got shattered the day my drawing teacher asked us to draw an elephant. I gave it my best shot. After putting much pressure on his right brain my drawing teacher named my sketch as Buffalo. I happily accepted the award of two beatings for the masterpiece. For I thought he named my cute elephant as Buffalo because my sketch was Untitled. It was my friend cum roommate who made me aware of the actual fact. Maybe it happened coz I never saw an real elephant. Or maybe I ignored the fact that an animal could have such a massive pipe like structure in place of the nose?.
    Well that was that.
    Recently I happened to stumble upon this great site named ToonDoo. It's an online tool for creating cartoons and animation. And here is my experiment (Though the joke is not my original).
    Tim Asks:

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  10. Ram and the Leela

    Sep 24, 2009

    RamAvatar a local electrician was to enact as Lord Hanuman in the village Ramleela. Though a man of weak physique, he did not settle for any other role. Everyone in the village, be it children or the ladies made fun of him and this was his only chance to prove something.
    His role for the first day of Ramleela was simple, he was to enter the stage with a dummy mountain in his hands and speak out "Jai Shree Ram"- his only dialogue for the day.
    But RamAvatar was a cleaver man, he thought, why not use some creativity and impress the villagers?.
    In the afternoon, he took a metallic plate and decorated it with electrical bulbs and wires, giving it the shape of a mountain, and placed it on the branch of a tree right above the Ramleela stage. He also tied a long rope to the branch. Upon his turn in the evening, he would light up the bulbs, hold the dummy mountain in one hand and the rope in the other and would climb down right into the middle of the stage and speak out his dialogue.
    Some guys from the village came to know about his plans for the day and they thought of fooling him. So they climbed the tree and short circuited his electrical decoration.


    In the evening when the villagers gathered for the Ramleela, RamAvatar climbed the tree and eagerly waited for his turn. The right moment came. He switched on the circuit and as soon as he lifted the dummy mountain he got a heavy electric shock and fell right in to the middle of the stage. Gathering courage he got up and screamed out loud: "Who the bloody hell did that?". And the entire audience broke into laughter.

    On the second day everyone was astonished, for some other man was portrayed as Hanuman. What about RamAvatar? Where was he?.
    The entire audience again broke into laughter when RamAvatar entered the stage as Goddess Sita.
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  11. Aaiye Sahab, Aaiye. Welcome to BookTroniks, we are one of the best book stores in Dilli. Myself Mr.Mishra, you can ask for any kind of book.
    That's interesting, I interrupted. Do you have a copy of "One hundred years of solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez?
    Arey Sahab, Kya baat kar di aapne? Mere hote hue aapko foreign author ki book padhni pade?
    And he immediately handed me a copy of "My Spouse" by Dobha De.
    I was scanning through the pages and the chatter box started: Sahab, Dobha Ji kya likhti hain!. You won't get a better book on male-female relationship than this one.
    Upon this I asked: But Mishra Ji, I have heard that she had some problem with her first husband and she got divorced?
    Arey Sahab, Aap bhi kamaal karte hain? If she is a divorcee, that means she is quite experienced in this field?.
    Valid point. But I declined to go for it and asked,
    Mishra Ji, can you suggest me a good book?
    Mishra Ji to his helper: Arey chotu, go and get a copy of  "Kamasutra" from the top shelf.
    Me: Arey nahi nahin Mishra ji, you got me wrong. All I'm asking you is to recommend me a popular book. I mean a book which is much in demand.
    Mishra Ji: Arey Sahab, this book is never out of demand and you know we have only three copies left?.
    Me: Mishra Ji, try to understand, I'm not yet qualified enough to contribute to the India's population.
    Mishra Ji: Kya Sahab? When I was about your age, my third child was in the first standard.

    Mishra Ji was about to speak more but a lady entered the book stall and asked for a copy of "The monk who sold his TATA Safari".
    She was going through the index page and I interrupted, Excuse me madam, If you like fiction then I think there are much better options than this one. This book is more of a self help kind of stuff.
    The lady agreed and asked the shop owner: Mishra Ji, can you suggest me a Good Book?
    With the copy of "Kaamasutra" still in hands, Mishra Ji glanced towards me.
    And I immediately left the book store.......
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  12. Monkeys are everywhere

    Sep 18, 2009

    Once a dog was passing through the jungle when he noticed a lion coming his way. He got scared, the lion may kill him. He noticed a bone lying on the ground and immediately turned his back towards the approaching lion. When the lion came very near, the dog yelled at the bone, "You bloody lion, you think you are the strongest of all the animals?, Now see you've become my delicious meal. And don't you dare forget the lesson."  Hearing this, the lion got scared, that the dog has already killed one lion, and he is strong, he may kill him too. So the lion backed off and started running into the woods.

    A monkey was watching this from the nearby tree and he thought why not approach the lion and narrate the actual fact?. Hearing this the lion would appreciate him and would never eat him. So the monkey ran for the lion.
    After a few minutes the dog saw the lion angrily running towards him followed by the monkey. He immediately realized the situation and again turned his back towards the lion and started yelling at the bone, "You know?, You could have not become my meal if you would have not followed the advise of the monkey. See now, he has gone to fetch another lion."
    The lion heard the dog, got scared, and again escaped the scene. The rest you can very well imagine.

    This story has a very strong message, "beware of the monkeys".
    These monkeys are everywhere, in the offices, colleges, social gatherings. All I wonder is that what do they really get out of all this?
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  13. "Catch them young" is an old and a bit outdated adage, you realize this only when you are old enough, and an old man with a young catch? definitely there is some error in the code.

    There was an era when "Have a bike, have a girlfriend" was a major hit. But these days who doesn't have a bike? and guys seem to have learnt it the harder way. You and your friend follow a girl on bike & she hardly gives any Bhaav (Value). Her silence means "Guys, this is old fashioned, try something new."

    Every era has its style of love, firstly there was the era of Sacha Pyar (true love) where the girl's family would get her married to anyone except the guy of her choice. Then came the era of "Hogi Pyaar ki jeet" or we may say the era of "Love never dies". Here the girl would love against the family wish, only to realize later that the guy of her choice was not like what she thought of him and then she would decide to marry the guy her father had chosen for her, but at the very last moment she would realize that she was wrong, and that her lover was her love for life. We can also name it as era of Confusion.
    Next came the era of "Money hai toh honey hai", where the girl would love the rich guy and say blind no to the poor guy who was in love with her.

    We have been through so many eras and love has ever stayed love. But now the latest trend is that of "Sorry Bhai". That is look out for your best friends girlfriend and then just apologize to him. Now that the female ratio is declining at a very high rate, isn't it that we are left with very limited options?
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  14. Just imagine your death bed.  Your family, friends, office colleagues & relatives are attending your funeral. I mean, it may sound a bit strange but just imagine it for a moment. And also imagine the things for which you'll be hated even after you are dead.

    » Habit 1: The egoistic jerk (Wife's perspective)

    See his face, won't even smile on the death bed, such an egoist. O' God he is gone and the whole family is just a bunch of Morons, I can't adjust with them. I'll update my IndiMatrimony dot com profile, maybe I can get some hot hunk this time. After all, excluding Sundays & holidays I'm mere 26.

    » Habit 2: Married against my wish (Father's perspective)

    If he would have married Mr. Sharma's daughter he would have lived 100 more years. From the first day I knew that this lady is not good for him. Son of a fool. God, take good care of him and get him married to the girl of your choice because he is a complete idiot at that.

    » Habit 3: Bloody drunkard (Friend's perspective)

    No one could beat him in drinking, he was a big size Tanker. I know him since school days, whenever nervous, he would take two heavy pegs and face the situation. He even did this for the college Viva.  O' God, may his soul rest in peace and I promise I won't drink now onwards, unless un-till some friend insists. You know I'm poor at saying No.

    » Habit 4: Good for nothing (Colleague's perspective)

    All day he kept surfing the net. Now I'll have to clear his share of files. He he :), He didn't even knew that I got him transferred to this department. Anyways, he was good for nothing. Now that one more fool is less in my department I stand a chance of promotion.

    » Habit 5: Rahul was a better option (Girlfriend's perspective)

    I can't believe he is dead. Now who'll pay for the dresses I've ordered at the tailor's?. He denied everything I asked him, wife was always the first priority and look at her, bloody B***h, She can't even fake tears. O' god forgive me for the sin but I think Rahul will pay for the dresses, after all he is head over heals in love with me.

    » Habit 6: The Selfish Moron (Family pet's perspective)

    Everyone except him cared for me. The other day I tried to take a bite from his plate & the moron hit me hard with his leg. Bloody jerk! Even dogs have heart. He always wanted me out of this house. But at times he really took my side and yelled that "He was living a dogs life in this house" - the softer him. May his soul rest in peace.

    » Habit 7: _____ (Mother's perspective)

    A mother who hates her dead child? Such mother does not exist.
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  15. I generally don't write movie reviews because I watch a movie, enjoy it, and just move on. Rarest of the rare movies make it to my second time list and Ye Mera India (Y.M.I) is one of them.

    » The Story line

    Written, Produced and Directed by N.Chandra, Y.M.I is a satirical analysis of common issues which we watch every day on news channels. It's a story about 12 people from various strata of Mumbai.

    Once an American scientist who did not believe in God visited India, and upon returning he straight away went to the Church upon which his friends asked about what did happen in India that he started believing in God? And he answered:
    I observed India very closely, It's a strange country. There are so many religions here, no common language and hatred at every level. The Hindus hate Muslims, Muslims hate Hindus, Upper caste hates the lower caste and even car owners hate the people who travel in rickshaws. There is so much hatred in this country and still it's progressing, now tell me who accept God can run this country?.
    Y.M.I is director N.Chandra's attempt to analyze this uniqueness in India. It touches the sensitive issues of Religion bias, Caste differences, Politics, Gender bias and the immigrant issues which are common in every other state now a days.

    »  Rating and Conclusion

    On the scale of 5, I would rate this movie as 4 for its good theme, cast and the story. When you finish the movie, I'm sure some change would have taken place inside you. With the ending note I would recommend this movie to every Indian.
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  16. 25 Revolutions

    Sep 6, 2009

    He is just an ordinary guy with ordinary dreams, that's it, No big deal.
    When young, he would curiously dream of becoming the BIG GUY. The one who is lavish in living & could marry the girl of his dreams. But nothing sort of that has actually happened till now.
    Life is such a ----- thing. Your desires are never fulfilled; maybe because you never actually stop desiring?.
    25 years have quietly passed by and the hairs on his head have started aging. Gosh! It is a complete lie that mirrors at times fake, Mirrors never fake!.

    With time friends are getting fewer and you realize this when your internet banking account is the first one to remind you of your Birthday; after all technology is getting more friendlier than human beings. After completing 25 revolutions around the sun, he just wish if life could be better than what it is?.
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  17. Rape & Conscience

    Sep 2, 2009

    A 19 year old mentally challenged girl is raped repeatedly by the security guards of the institution she stays at. (You may read the complete story over here)
    This issue was in limelight because the girl fought for justice, but there are numerous cases where the victim simply stays mute due to obvious reasons we all know.
    Newspaper dailies are filled with news about the atrocities faced by females amongst which rape is the worst of a thing a woman could ever face.

    Due to lack of physical strength the female fraternity has ever been victimized and this thing is also obvious in the holy epics such as Mahabharata or Chanakya Niti.
    Draupadi, the single wife of the five Pandvas had to face the Cheer Haran (Stripping of clothes). Lord Indra - who is depicted as a strong character in the Indian mythology too fell for the wife of Gautama Maharishi.

    Man is known to be a social animal but I often wonder that though an animal is not gifted with as much conscience as man, they (the animals) are better known for their caring attitude towards females. Is it that along with intelligence a man is also provided with greater libido for whose gratification he can do anything?
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  18. » The Godfather by Mario Puzo

    Revolving around the New York's mafia gang wars, The Godfather is Mario Puzo's ageless work. The thing I liked about this novel is its capability to grip your mind and stay there forever. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" is one of the most quoted statement of this amazing novel. If you are new to reading you can start with this novel but beware, you might get addicted.

    » The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger

    The Catcher in the rye is the protagonist Holden Cualfield's narrative of what he goes through when expelled from school. When you pick this novel you feel like reading it at one go because right from the very first page you feel connected with the author's blunt narrative. Though this book has remained bit controversial, I feel it's a literary masterpiece.

    Excerpts from the book:
    • I was half in love with her by the time we sat down.  That's the thing about girls.  Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.  Girls.  Jesus Christ.  They can drive you crazy.  They really can.
    • I don't even know what I was running for - I guess I just felt like it.
    • I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life.  It's awful.  If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera.  It's terrible.
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  19. 3 stages of cricket

    Aug 27, 2009

    » Introduction to Cricket
    I was tiny tot when my dad gifted me a cricket bat. O' how I loved this game of hitting the ball out of boundary every time it is thrown at you. In the initial days I would ask the bowler to throw only bouncers, no! not because I was learning the game but rather I feared my bat getting dirty. At times I would overhear Uncles discussing about "how foolishly Sachin Tendulkar played this or that shot". If I were adult at that time I would have definitely recommended all such Uncles to be the part of Indian team.

    » Interest in Cricket
    In the teenage days cricket seemed to be the second best thing to discuss (first obviously being Girls). Friends would celebrate India's win as if they got distinction in their board exams and cricket seemed the religion where the cricketers were demigods. From notebook covers to the T-shirt paintings the cricket fever never ceased to end.

    » The loss of libido
    Boredom is in the very nature of the living beings. Wives get bored with the husbands and the husbands with girlfriends. Initially cricket seemed a thing which could never get boring but the overdose of Viagra leads to the loss of libido. Few days back a friend was surprised for I didn't knew the name of an Indian player. It has been ages since I watched any cricket match or even read the sports section of a newspaper. It's not only the overdose responsible for the loss of interest but now I feel that irrespective of whether our team wins or loses, the players are getting rich with every match they play. And we just waste our valuable time watching the series whose outcome we are almost certain about.
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  20. Getting inspiration from Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure", I decided to experiment with the Manual mode of my Nikon D40. After loads of confusion and reading I got to learn few of its features. The above image is one of my first taken in the Manual mode.
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  21. Wife & Google

    Aug 20, 2009

    Mr. A: I lost my wife in the market today. I informed the police & searched everywhere but still couldn't know her whereabouts.

    Mr.B: Did you try Google Search?
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  22. Every year the Nobel Committee declares the winners of Nobel Prize in October and the nominations are open till August end. Given a chance, this year I would like to make a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Any guesses? No no, it's not the head of some Grammen Bank. One friend even suggested Rakhi Sawant? It's not Rakhi Sawant either, after all it's the issue of Nobel Prize. After marriage only Rakhi Sawant is at peace not the Junta.

    So this year my nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize would be the Government of India. No, No nuclear deal stuff here, our government truly deserves the award for "PEACEFULLY" handling the November 2008 Mumbai attack case. No bullets fired across the border, No high pitch demands made from Pakistan. Rather the Govt. has provided our guest Mr. Ajmal Amir kasab (the lone survivor terrorist) a celebrity status. Aren't these facts apt enough to nominate our beloved Govt. for the Nobel Peace Prize? If nominated they definitely stand a great chance here.

    Who is your nominee?
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  23. No Smoking Strictly Prohibited! OR No Smoking, Strictly Prohibited?
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  24. Procrastination Kills

    Aug 13, 2009

    It has been a long time since I wrote something here.
    I don't feel like writing these days and moreover I don't want to fake it.
    I have not only stopped writing but even stopped thinking and that is quite a dangerous thing.
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  25. Remember the face of the most sincere person you've ever known. Maybe your office colleague, your neighbor or a college mate. Our society regards sincerity as the greatest virtue. And you won't disagree with the fact that sincerity demands a great deal of effort, but are the rewards in accordance with the efforts? Maybe Yes, Maybe No.

    Sincerity means doing things you are supposed to do with a perfect dedication. But isn't it that sincerity limits ones vision?, it kills your ability to think beyond the obvious & ask questions.
    Lack of questions leads to lack of vision and existence without vision is a monotonous existence.
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  26. The image of the word Gandhi has seen a major transformation in the Indian society. Up to 60's, the word Gandhi meant a lean & thin man of dark complexion with spectacles ready to fall of nose tip. It(the word) was synonymous with truth, non violence, freedom & all those good words in the dictionary.

    Next the baton was passed on to another powerful Gandhi named Indira Gandhi, a woman of great substance. Till date Indira Gandhi remains the modern face of Bhartiya Naari (Indian Woman). Then came Mr. Rajiv Gandhi,probably the last Gandhi. And in the end came the era of the Gandhi Moms & BETAs.

    The Varun Gandhi episode: (Click here for Youtube video)
    Meneka Gandhi(Varun Gandhi's mother) has protected the interest of animals for decades but unfortunately she couldn't take care of her own son. Varun Gandhi's hate speech is a big shame for the entire Hindu fraternity. Who will teach him that the Indian voter has matured now?
    With such incidences taking place Gandhi merely remains a surname & the coming polls will only tell whether we as responsible Indians have started thinking beyond the word Gandhi or are we still looking for the "Father of the nation"?
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  27. Blog makeover

    Mar 30, 2009

    Since past few days I have been thinking about complete makeover of this blog, right from the title to the style. I had always been in love with the phrase 'Strings of life' but since past few months the outlook of my blog has changed from personal to general perspective. Hence I've decided to change the title 'Strings of life' to 'Thought Cafe' so as to justify the type of articles posted over here, and now onwards I'll focus more on writing articles of general concern.
    Your suggestions in this matter are much appreciated.
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  28. By launching World's cheapest car 'Nano",
    Mr. Ratan Tata has not only given a technological wonder to the world but also proved that Indians are capable of doing anything.



    Hats off to Mr.Ratan Tata. Nano is a true gift for every Indian as well as the world.
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  29. Dear Bapu,
    I'm a fellow Indian born three decades after you left this world. After going through various books, articles & documentaries about you I feel that you were an ideal human being where your contribution towards Indian independence is exemplary itself.

    Being one of the most respected leader in the world it is apparent that people(specially we Indians) have deep affection for the things related to you. Recently some Mr.James Otis from California claims to have few of your belongings and has made them available for auction. Though Mr.James Otis seems to have fair intentions (James Otis: "My intent never was to create any sort of anger or animosity towards the auction, it was the opposite: to promote Gandhi's words, actions, and to promote nonviolence in any way we can.") the question that remains unanswered is: When your final will makes Navajivan trust as the legal heir of your belongings, how did Mr.James managed to get hold of them in the first place? And even if his claims are genuine, where were Indian govt. and the Navajivan trust all these days? What is the point in shouting out loud now?
    Though Mr.Vijay Mallya did a brave job by paying a sum of USD 1.8 million at the auction, Mr.James Otis now wants all these items back. And with your great grandson Mr.Tushar Gandhi entering the race the matter is definitely heading towards the worst.

    Where your belongings should be a matter of national pride, everyone is busy politicizing the event. With the complexity increasing day by day maybe I should write to Mr.Sanjay Dutt of the Munna Bhai fame, but right now he too is busy getting his political equations right.
    Your presence in this mess would greatly reinstate "Raghupati Raghav Rajaram..." in place of "Dekh Tere Sansar Ki Halat Kya Ho Gayi Bhagwaan.."

    Thank You,
    Your well wisher.
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  30. Last week while traveling in a local transport bus I found answer to the much sought-after question: Why doesn't India progress?

    This Mr.A was standing by the seat of some Mr.B.

    Mr.B to Mr.A: Hey! Get off my shoulders boss!. Don't take support of my seat, move somewhere else.

    Mr.A to Mr.B: (Frowning)

    What? What did you say?
    Boss! this is public transport OK?. You want me to buy a car? Well I can't afford that, so if you are worried about the comfort, you better travel by your own vehicle. . . .You can't expect everything here.
    It's because of people like you that India doesn't progress. It's you people who make India miserable. Few more like you and India will be a pathetic country.
    O Jesus! See where the world is heading in your absence please help these poor souls...


    Over hearing this conversation a smile followed my face, why not? after all I found answer to a question which bothered me for years.
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  31. Bloody Orkut

    Mar 6, 2009

    Someday you log in to your Orkut account and find a friend request from some Mr./Miss. Stranger. At first you wonder how the hell-on earth people are left with much time and patience to search profiles and dig you out. You feel like declining the request and mind your own business but your instincts tell you to be fair and at least check out the profile of the request sender. You hit the profile link and find that you and Mr./Miss. stranger have many friends in common. Finally your curiosity level goes high and the "Sherlock Holmes" in you wants to explore more about him/her.

    You scrap(message) one of your known friends to enquire about this Mr./Miss. stranger and finally get the reply: “Don’t tell me that you don’t remember this guy, he is the one who kicked you hard in front of the whole school”. Or the reply is “Don’t you remember her? She is the one whose brother almost knocked your teeth out for fixing your eyes upon her.” -Boy! What the hack! You can’t even compliment a girl for her appealing looks… And I just hate this boyfriend/brother kind of fraternity for not being able to resist their girlfriend or sister being complemented by some other guy.
    Maybe most of the girls underestimate themselves.

    Hi! My name is Tim and I’m sixteen years old, probably that is sufficient for the time being. Something similar happened to me last week. All those memories came rushing back to my mind and I immediately accepted the friend request leaving back a scrap to the known stranger: “Hey buddy! How are you? Where are you these days man? You are barely recognizable; your appearance has changed completely. By the way how’s your sister? (Boy! I just deleted the last line before posting the scrap, after all a grown up male has more respect towards his teeth.)”.
    Now! I’m eagerly waiting for the reply. Maybe I’m too getting infected with this Orkut virus.
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  32. Busy Bee

    Feb 27, 2009

    "Dedication to duty is not a sacrifice but a justification to our existence."






















    Busy bee- My favorite photograph (till now). Captured this one while on morning walk.
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  33. Kill One

    Feb 21, 2009

    Note: The views expressed below are entirely personal and not intended to harm any individual/faith.

    “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.” -Said the Jesus of Nazareth.

    India hosts a million-dollar industry in the name of religion & god. We have numerous Babas, Pujya Babas, Satya Shris & Shri Shris to name a few. We even have dedicated channels & newspaper columns for these babas/masters.
    Morning TV channels, newspaper front pages, offices, restaurants, cabs, busses, market places, cinema halls, rickshaws, Jewelry, books, magazines. ……. Boy! These babas are everywhere.

    From those posters and hoardings posted out there they point at you; they stare right into your eyes as if you are the last helpless soul left on the mother earth. They laugh at you, they mock you and in the end when you are convinced of being the last most distressed soul left on this earth you are asked to contact some Mr. Sandeep who seems very much in love with Indian railways; because in 95% of the cases this Mr.Sandeep resides near old railway station or behind new railway station or may be near old railway colony.

    Some Babas though have taken an entirely different course. They differ in their approach and are termed as high-class babas and the testament to this statement is that you won’t find their posters or hoardings in public. They are accessible either through some dedicated TV channel or else you’ll have to type “BABA” in your mobile and text it to some four-digit, easy to remember number. After this you are greeted by a reply message and soon their executive (mostly hot sounding female) gets in touch with you and the whole issue boils down to the “Advanced Course” Fees. Finally you denounce this high-class baba for all ill reasons where the real reason being the unaffordable fees.

    In the end with no option left you contact some Mr. Sandeep - Near or behind the old railway station.
    “No one can serve two masters….” So said Jesus and we’ve chosen these babas over god as the masters of our fate and killed the later.
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  34. Double Role

    Feb 17, 2009

    Last week while traveling to Shimla I was accompanied by an unknown lady in whose lap was sitting this small kid of six years. Quick witted, cute, wearing spectacles like those of Harry Potter he was restless and kept firing rapid questions which his mother found difficult to answer.

    When the bus halted for a lunch break this boy was keenly observing the fruit vendor who entered the bus to sell his fruit stock. But he hardly found any takers.
    After few minutes the vendor again entered the bus to fetch in some customers this time. At very moment when the vendor stepped inside, the boy screamed: Mummy!! Double role!.
    And the whole bus went gaga over the boys comment.

    I wonder: How an innocent comment can sometimes lighten the moment.
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  35. Which camera to buy?

    Feb 12, 2009

    Since childhood I have been fascinated by cameras but could never afford one till my professional independence.
    I pledged during college days that my first salary would be invested in a good camera.

    Point & Shoot or DSLR?
    The first camera which I laid my eyes upon was Canon Powershot SX1 IS but its launch in India quite disappointed me, it came with a huge price tag of 36995/- INR. Then I started searching web for more options and gradually came to know that a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera is what a serious amateur photographer needs. The biggest advantage a DSLR offers over Point & Shoot is the flexibility of lenses(i.e you can select lens according to your need).

    Nikon D40:
    I was looking for a DSLR suiting my budget and finally decided to go for Nikon D40.
    It's merely three days since I bought this camera and I'm literally in love with it.
    Nikon D40 kit comes with body, 18-55m lens, battery, charger & Nikon strap.
    The things I liked about D40 are:
    Great kit lens: An 18-55mm lens covers most of my general needs.

    Great feel: The advantage any Nikon camera offers over any other brand is the feel it gives in your hand.

    Great Image quality: Nikon D40 comes with 6.1 Megapixel sensor which disappoints many buyers but the real thing is that Megapixel is related to the image size and not the image quality.

    Small size: Nikon D40 does not have a giant looking body like that of a camera in any professional studio. Rather it can be easily carried in a normal V-shaped bag.

    Pocket Friendly: One of the best thing about Nikon D40 is that it comes within budget and it is always better to invest in good lenses than to invest in a costly camera body.

    And finally it's the technique and knowledge that makes great images and not the camera.
    So now onwards I'll frequently post images taken with my Nikon D40 over this space.
    Meanwhile you can check my Flickr blog over here.
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