Friday, September 18, 2009

In the fast lane...

So, which lane do you drive in?
Right most...the fast lane? Is there anybody, anybody at all who uses another lane? Like the middle or the left lane?
No, we all love life in the fast lane and you may be on cycle, bus, car, bike, rick...any dam thing...9 out of 10 times you are in the right lane.

My sore point are the 2 wheeler guys in this city. All of them, just all... are driving in the right lane at maybe 30 or in the middle of the road, and you honk once and it has absolutely no effect on them. Not a muscle moves. And their special trait is you honk once dheere se requesting them---bhai sahab side de do...but that man is not moving and when you somehow dodge other vehicles and overtake from the wrong side, the 2 wheeler guy will scorn, give you the dirtiest look...and i just wonder...excuse me? weren't you supposed to move when i honked! why the hell are you even looking at me now! Oh! they force me to hurl the choicest of abuses.

These days im loosing it more and more while driving. Can we have citizen policing? Like I could report all trouble makers on the road breaking traffic rules or better still beat them up? Maybe at least show a fist to the pedestrians who prefer to walk in the middle of the road with their cellphones stuck to their ear. For god sake, you are on the road, and one of us is going to run over you! If not about yourself think abut the trouble I would have to go through for knocking you out!

Oh! as you can sense im so exasperated...and don't even make me get started about women driving 2 wheelers...they are the worst.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy 50th bday Doordarshan!

Good ol Doordarshan turns 50 today...its been a long long run for it...and when I look back it makes me smile. DD holds a special place in my heart and my childhood memories are full of my fav DD shows.

Flashback: The GEMS OF DD
Remember when we used to get up on Sundays at 9am to watch Ramayan and Mahabharat...The entire neighborhood would be silent, everybody would be huddled up in their or their neighbours houses watching the epic. Sundays would also not be complete without Rangoli. We would wait and hope yaar aaj electricity nahi jaaye please god.

I never wanted to miss jungle book - jungle jungle baat chali hai pata chala hai, chaddhi pahan ke phool khila hai-phool khila hai... The popularity of this song is sooo sooo much that even today so many of us remember or hum it off and on. I even call one of my cats Mowgli.

My favourite ek chidiya anek chidiya and mile sur mera tumhara toh sur bane hamara. This was one video which always had me glued to the TV.

And of course Malgudi Days...Tana na tana na re...what music...and such simple stories but what an impact. What a following it enjoyed. The episodes took us right to the heart of South India.

Arey haan and Karamchandddd..with "sir your a genius" and "shut up kitty" and that gajar :) Do you remember how eagerly we used to wait for ' Vikram Vikram Vikram Vetal Vetal Vetal' with Arun Govil as Vikram & Liliput as Vetal. (Just last month I spoted a 10 CD pack of Vikram Betal at Crossword and quickly picked it up) And not to forget DD ka fav programme, which could be on anytime for however long - Rukawat ke liye khed hai :)

For us Indians some of the first soaps - Hum Log, Ye Jo Hai Zindagi, Buniyaad..nanhe, chutki, haveli ram. Those charaters will stay a lifetime with us. Then we had some memorable and historic serials like Tamas, Chanakya, Bharat Ek Khoj. Can any of us ever forget them? They dont make stuff like that anymore...what a pity!

And are you one of those who lost their heart to Salma Sultan? One of the first female news readers. That pretty face gave lots of viewers to News.

And i remember as a kid when DD went color...i think it was after/during the Asiad games...i remember watching it with a few neighbours and we all went waaahhh...color...and all we saw while tuning it were the color bands and we were so excited. And then there would be somebody on the terrace adjusting the antenna and we kids shouting from the drawing room....haan ho gaya...nahi thoda aur ghumao...haan abhi picture aa gayi :)

Gosh! its been a long long time...and in the last 30 yrs of my existence lots has changed...but that old world charm of DD still remains...Even today I would rush to hear/see - mile sur mera tumahara! DD thanks for entertaining a nation when there was nothing else to entertain us. Thanks DD for those evergreen gems you came up with. Thanks for giving me so many memories to lookback. DD you are the bestest ever and we love you. Tum jiyo hazaaron saal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What you do with your money is only your business

Austerity is the buzz word these days...Why is there such a big debate if 2 of our rich ministers were staying in 5 star hotels for the last 3 months and footing the bills themselves, out of their own pockets. So what? they have the money, they are rich and they want to live the life they like or are used to. They have the right to splurge their own money. Why should I, you, or any Tom, Dick, or Harry be bothered? Don't we all have a right to earn and spend our own money.

If we have to be bothered, we should be bothered about how and where the tax payers money is being spent. Is a 350 crore Shivaji statue really needed? Should we give away public funds to Mayawati to build her statues? Do we really have to pay for netas Z category security? Isn't your and my life as important as theirs? I am concerned why the exchequer has to pay for our netas and their families holidaying abroad.
Also, check out this post on how tax payers money is being abused.

If there has to be a debate, they should focus on issues that really concern the junta and how and where public funds are being spent. Citizens should have the right to ask and question any misuse of tax payers money. We give our money to the govt for the greater good of the nation. For better roads, educational institutes, infrastructure, border security. And we should be empowered to monitor all such initiatives.

But in our personal lives, what we do with our own money, where we eat, live, study, party out of our own money is our choice and our business...may it be you, me, a politician, a bollywood star...whoever.

I believe - have money...will spend :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What the american said...

This happened quite some time back, but its been stuck in my head forever.
My 60 year old american boss was in India for his annual official trip. The office always put him up at Le Meridian and gave him a chauffeured car to drive him to and back from work.

One day at lunch, the inquisitive american got talking about how people travel to work. Some of us get our cars and some use the office bus or public transport. And one smart alec suggested that he should try the bus one day...just for the 'fun of it'!! (I was thinking...bus and fun?? Ah! this firang is not going to like this.)

So, our white excited boss joins the gang who travel by bus for his 'India adventure'. He heads to the bus stop chirping away happily with the gang. But, as soon as he spots the bus he says- "But, this is for cattle". And everybody was dumbstruck...Ah! excuse me!! cattle? we cattle? oh yeah! Well, they all laughed it off, but, it has just remained in our heads every since.

I had really never heard that before - That is for cattle!!! Really to think of it, it sure is! But, in this country we really don't pay too much attention to how the general junta travels. Who cares how rita, nita, raju, xyz travels. Its considered enough that the state provides some form of cheap public transport, however lame it is. We really don't protest or demand for better public infrastruture or facilities. Millions of people travel in small, smelly, cramped, unhygenic, bumpy vehicles everyday. And we just dont think much about it. Its just too low down in our list of things to ask/demand for.
And it really took a firang to say those words and nail that in my head that we are cattle.

Friday, September 4, 2009

We the cheap lives.

The huge media frenzy generated for YSR shook the entire nation. Everybody knows YSR overnight, inlcuding the so ignorant me! But, I was wondering why such a big hungama was generated. There have been several chopper crashes in the past and so may pilots have lost their what was new?

Stupid stupid me, of course I should know he was a politician and that makes him a mini god in this country and you and me are second rate citizens in our own country. So, in the last 3 days all we heard and saw on each and every channel and newspaper was just about YSR getting lost, YSR search operation, YSR's death, YSR's family, wife, power hungry son, and the succession struggle. Did you even hear about the other 4 brave people on board who also went down with YSR? Were their lives not as important and worthy enough? Do those 4 people have no families? Have they not done anything worth remembering in their personal and professional lives? Do we even know their names? Just because they were ordinary citizens like you and me, so their life or death doesnt deserve any airspace?

Sonia ji calls up and visits YSR's family, declares 7 day mourning, gives a state funeral. All the journos are counting the good deeds of YSR and making a bigger than life hero out of him and nobody even dedicating 2 kind words for those other 4 people. (On another note, the hero image of YSR sounds very strange considering the warlord backgrouod he and his dad enjoyed. Read this old TOI article (

No doubt, we lost a life, but we didnt loose 1 life, we lost 5 human lives and we need to get to the root of what happended and why? I dont care for a politician loosing his life. I care that 5 humans lost their lives in very sad and terrible way! It hurts to see why 1 person is glorified and the other 4 lives are not even talked or acknowledged by the media. Shame on the media!

The government defends itself and says that the chopper had technical flaws earlier and thats why it was always used to trains pilots. Excuse me!!! does that mean that pilots lives are cheap and their lives could be played around with? If it would have crashed with trainee pilots, it would have been dismissed as just another petty case like the scores that have happened before! My sympathies lie with the pilots who were forced to fly to their deaths. Can you ever imagine ISRO, sukois, US satellites searching for a chopper with some XYZ trainee pilot in it?

Where are we as a nation heading? It is pathetic the way lives are treated in this country (unless its a politican's life). How can we differentiate among people's death? After all death is death..its the same for you and me or some YSR! How can we glorfy the lives and death of certain people and ignore the rest. Everybody has a life and a family and they mean the world to them. But, class, status, and how famous you are dictate the kind of respect you earn not only in your lifetime, but also when you die.

Sadly, yours, mine, and the scores of pilots who have died training in those technically faulty choppers lives come cheap. Yes, we are India, we are the cheap cheap lives and people of this country.
RIP all the 5 people who lost their lives serving the nation.