Monday, January 12, 2009


Something today made me put up this quote from one of my favourite books of all times, Nineteen Eighty Four by Orwell:

Whether he went on with the diary, or whether he did not go on with it, made no difference. The Thought Police would get him just the same. He had committed— would still have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper— the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thought crime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy New Year !

This is my first post of the year and I do not know what is so happy about this year. Recession has hit US and several major economies of the world, stock markets have under gone value erosion and auto companies are the in the process of being bailed out one after the other. Yet we wish each other in the hope that things would get better in the forthcoming year. Markets would bounce back and India would grow and there would be no more terror attacks and so on and so forth. I guess this satiates one of my very dear friend’s query “So what is so happy about this year ? ”. But this time around another friend asked me “What is new about this one?”. I could not really come up with an answer but as I thought about it I realized I had no answer. At the end of the year we would know about how this year was different from the previous one. So it is a mere wish.
Although I am extremely cynical about quite a few things I am an optimist when it comes to this one. So even though my new year’s eve was extremely uneventful I am hopeful of a happy and pleasant 2009. I wrote a post last year on new year’s eve about things I enjoyed on 31Dec. This time around I did nothing but hunt houses, go to work, attend a colleague’s son’s birthday and was so exhausted at the end of the day that dozed off before 12. Since my new year’s eve was mundane this post is dedicated to new year’s resolutions. We make so many of them ever year and as they say resolutions are meant to be broken, we break them too. This year I have decided to write them down so that I know where I am at the end of the next year.

1) Fitness
Have still not gotten around to exercising and getting fitter and though I started Yoga last year and as of now the status quo is that I have not exercised at all in the last few months. Try to reduce my binge for potato wafers and I really really hope I can stick to this one. Coming to think of it I alone could be contributing to a major portion of Lay’s revenues. A healthier life style could so me some good.

2) Trip alone
This has been something that I have always wanted to do for years now so this time around I hope I can go to Shillong and treat myself with the sights and sounds of east India.

3) Sleep less
With the hours that I spend sleeping these days I desperately want to stick to this resolution. Could seriously use the time for a bunch of other things.

I never really even tried making an attempt to do much about the above listed points but there are a bunch of things that I always resolve to do ever year and succeeded to an extent coz I at least make an attempt to take action. So I hope I make more attempts and hope this year is brighter and better than the last one !

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Romancing Mumbai

As I started to get nostalgic about leaving Mumbai I spent the last 2 weekends getting around to doing things on my “10 things to do in Mumbai” list. Although I could not manage all of them, I did manage a fair bit and needless to say feel extremely glad about the same.

1) Evening at Haji Ali followed by dinner at Gallops
The extremely popular Dargah in the midst of the ocean is a very popular tourist destination and though I have been in Mumbai many a time earlier and passed by Haji Ali too but never managed to go to the Dargah until this time around. Amidst the heavy traffic on a fairly sultry Saturday evening , I decided to get down mid way from the cab and started to walk . With the path to the Dargah filled with people selling everything from Chadars to flowers and so much more, I experienced a weird feeling as I walked towards any Dargah for the first time in my life. The place was much smaller than I had expected , quaint and noisy yet peaceful. After getting my blessings I even tied a thread and made a wish and not forget enjoy the tranquility. I had heard that the it is always better to vist the Dargah in the evenings as it is well lit up and it indeed lived up to its expectation. After coming back I even made the ceremonial visit to Haji Ali Juice center. The day ended with our last dinner at Gallops (one restaurant I had been wanting to visit in quite some time) The view of the race course and the meetha pan at the end was an icing on the cake.

2) Shopping at Crawford Market
This place couldn’t have been more crowded than it was on that sat evening or so I would like to believe but my fetish for leather bags gave me the much needed impetus to shop at crawford. After having tried my luck at every possible bag shop I finally found a bag to my liking and the one hour of ordeal ended in a moment of satisfaction. This was followed by the ceremonial visit to Badshah. Everyone who has been to Crawford knows of this place and the you cannot miss a snack at Badshah while you are here.

3) Watching a play at NCPA
Ever since I came to Mumbai, I had this desire to go and watch a play. I never managed to find company to go with me but this time around things got different . I instinctively decided to book tickets online and luckily at the vague hour in the morning Sudhir agreed to join in. So Chaos theory on Saturday evening followed by a walk along the Queen’s necklace and not to mention an ordeal to find a place on Sat evening to eat.

4) A walk around South Bombay
This is something everyone has to experience. You could start at VT station and admire the architecture of the municipality building and walk down towards Churchate and pass by Flora fountain. Causeway is something you wouldn’t miss and more so pastries at Theo Broma. The pound cake is out of the world !!! I ended my jaunt at Gateway and needless to say the whole experience was extremely fulfilling.

5) Bandra and more
As I decided to meet one of my friend’s on a Sunday evening at Bandra, we decided to grab a bite at Bascillco. This was followed by shopping at Irla market and for the ignorant ones this place is a bounty for the shopaholic women. Back to Bandra for more street shopping followed by eating Corn and enjoying the evening on Band Stand.

There are a gazillion things a gourmand wouldn’t miss like satiating their appetite with Aaram Vada Pav, Pav Bhaji at Sardar in Tardeo or Chinese at Five Spice. So much to do from walking around Herra Panna (to see what lengths women can to buy imitations of Fendi, Gucci and Calvin Klein.) , roaming around in Atria ( I owe this one to Shefali completely :P ) but something I would truly miss would probably be Worli Sea Face. Be it rain or heat day or night I spent so much time walking/ sitting on the benches there and pondering about life.

After roaming around in London alone many a time, I decided that the best thing one can do living in any city is to experience the sights and sounds of that city (and sometimes it gets better without a company ) Be it eateries, shopping or generally wandering around, there is soo much that every place has to offer. There is so much more that I wanted to do in Mumbai like going to Borivalli National Park , seeing the Prince Wales Museum and going to Elephanta but I know for sure that I would go back to Mumbai at some point in time later. So all of this and more reserved for then :)

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Random Mumbling

I started reading the very popular book “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts a few days back and couldn’t help but post some quotes from the book . So here I go:
“Love is the opposite of power and that is why we fear it so much ”
“Honesty can be tested and loyalty. But there is no test for love. Love goes on forever once it begins, even if we come to hate the one we love. Love goes on forever because love is born in the part of us that does not die”
“Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them and some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you”
“When the wish and the fear are exactly the same, we call the dream a nightmare”
“The real trick in life is to not want anything and succeed at getting it”


Yeh Dil Mange More..

I wanted to write about the virtue of “greed” (potrayed as a vice as I still recall gory images from the flick 'Seven' ) for quite some time now but it is only today that my thoughts crystallized enough to put this down on paper . As I thought about a heading for this post I couldn’t help but put this Pepsi Slogan as I believe it aptly fits the feelings expressed in this post. This slogan which was primarily meant to encourage consumerism (greater consumption of carbonated trash) is all about want for more …“greed”
The cynical attitude that most people have towards greed gets very well reflected in the below mentioned quote:
“ We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have , but rather of appreciating and recognizing what we have ” But I question happiness here. I don't quite relate to that feeling (I should thank Mint for making me a little more aware about this one : )
I only relate to satisfaction and believe that satisfaction comes out of expectation. If what I have matches my expectations then I am satisfied otherwise I am not. My desire for more cannot lead me to a perennial state of disillusion but can still make me feel dissatisfied. Some very crudely put this to be " ro ro roke takiya geela karna " but I have a different stance. I don’t think there is anything wrong in wanting a whole lot of things from life. But s**** happens and yet it never stops us from dreaming or hoping or working to get what we want and aspiring more typified as “ greed” by most.
Talk about greed and we have had a lot of ranting from the new American prezzie about trying to stop the greed on wall street and take measures against the same but the only answer to this lies in what Gordon Gecko said
“Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of the revolutionary spirit. Greed in all its forms-greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.” Greed , Ladies and Gentlemen for the lack of better words is GOOD !!

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