Bonded for Life Huh !!

When I saw the news item,after I arrived from my Masinagudi/ooty holiday,I saw that the former IT Minister Pramod Mahajan had been gunned down by his bro.His Brother's wife made a statement that her hubbby took the extreme step as he was"emotionally disturbed".The Point I wish to bring out here is that generally housewives actually have no chance of speaking teir mind,and more so end up supporting their husbands/cgildren/kith and kin...irrespective of the gravity of mistake committed.Generally its the males in the family that commit mistakes and the poor females end up lpaying the supporting anchor role,for which sadly no Lux,Femina or stardust comes forward to offer any awards.I was just thinking what must be going through the minds of such people...outwards they project one thing and their concience tells them that what they are doing is actually wrong,but still puta different face to society...by masking their feelings.It is one thing helping husbands and protecting them by giving blasphemous statements.

The motto such people seems to be "If You cant beat them,join them" kinda philospohy where the focus on correction doesnt seem to be there,but is blatantly on giving blind support.The Problem lies with the Indian estabilishment of marriages,where the wife is expected to serve her husband dutifully.So the fact of wife taking a decesion amking path is totally lost just as petrol is to air, and as a result of this I see wives..being afraid of opposing her mate and going against tradition...and they end up spoiling the very root of their relationship.

I still wonder.. in today's competitive world,incase we dont like a job,a realtionship..we tend to openly say that and come out of it,but when it is a marital relationship, the very fact of the lady losing her security if she doesnt lpay to the husband;s sleeves just has her playing a doll ...and enduring a lot of negative feelings, and behaving as if nothing has happened.Such a 2 sided life where one thinks differently,but projects a different self.. is so bloody tough ....as I have a clutch of friends who just do that,and am unable to belive ,how they pull it off...as I have enough problems living with a single straight face :-)


Life's suddenly interesting .....

There are times when one makes a graduation in becoming mature and handle emotions much better and I am going through something similar.Never have I felt so much like a man...and so responsible. I shall write moer on this , as and when I find time.Expect another detailed travelogue on Masinagudi(ooty).The trip was not so great, but still provided some entertainment.


Return To Gokarna Road (Updated)

I was to start trekking from Honnavar this time, but due to some unforsen circumstances and improper travel arrangements the venue had been shifted to Gokarna ..from where I headed to Kudle beach,where I had not been before and the sole aim was to sleep on the beach and do some moonlight trekking ..which ultimately was done.

Starting with the trip.. as usual for a 5 30 start to the trip,I left office at 5 pm and reached Chennai Central to board the Shatabdi in the nick of time and cooled my heels in the cool confines of the train,after the whole plan was about to be cancelled due to the Bangalore protests and the death of veteran thespian Rajkumar. Thankfully No such violence was there en route..when I proceeded from Chennai,but the train seemed to be slow and was late by 45 minutes and instead of reaching at 10 30 pm, it arrived at 11 15 pm, the exact time when my bus from Bangalore was to start from Majestic station.But as all good adventure stories go,my sprint across the railway station via the subway to the bus stand helped as we managed to get the bus..which apparently was waiting for us.
The night’s journey was lovely with the route between Bangalore and Mangalore interspersed by long wooden trees all along the way.It was mildly interrupted by a small stopever in between where the driver took a break for dinner at 2 am.Our stomach’s were full from the endless food items that were offered on the shatabdi and we were more focused on ‘download ‘ rather than’upload’ to the stomach. After a rather pleasant journey ,sans the sprain in my neck…we reached Mangalore at 7 am and hung around for a while before discovering the route to the Railway station.The Railway station is a pretty small one and at the most has only 2-3 trains there..so we didn’t have muc difficulty spotting the Mangalore-Verna Passenger and found our seats.

The train surprisingly was half full…and we ahd enough space to have a separate reservation for my shoes,bags,walkman and myself….
The first stop in this journey was at a station inside the city called Kanakanadi,which is where the hungry souls,in the name of breakfast eat some half baked stuff., that is sold in the name of idli’s and vada’s.I avoided it knowing that ..from my previous experience 2 months back.

Though Mangalore is in Karnataka,its proximity to Mallu-Land(Kerala) sees a predominant Mallu influence in the houses there,given the fact that I saw some similar houses,in terms of stye of construction.

The train,slowly chugged out of Mangalore and went through some really sceninc villages interspersed between Coconut Lagoons emerging between stations.The stations were quaint,in a sense that even though they were small,there was this touch Of 'Malgudi' in every station that I crossed over.This railroute has a lot of Tunnels and some of these tunnels are easily 3-4 kilometers long.The best thing about the tunnels is the fact that it feels quite chill while the train is crossing the tunnel which is in stark contrast to the heat that you face outside the tunnel.

Our return journey tickets were wrongly booked..so we needed to re-book our tickets and for that we needed a reservation centre and to find it in this part of the woods,we had to travel upto Karwar to do the cancellation and Booking.The Karwar station is a pretty decent one,comparing all the other stations on that route,as you have a couple of shops and voila- Computers.... (in the reservation office that is ).One thing I found extremely funny was that a train bound to Mumbai from Karwar..had just started..and a holiday couple who were to travel in that train had not realised that their train had left..and when they did realize it,the lady seemed to abandon the husband and the luggage and ran across the tracks like a cheetah,holding her red sari..up to ask the train to stop.Luckily some passengers saw that and the message was passed on to the driver who stopped the vehicle.Gosh..I acn imagibne if the same was done to a bus,but not to a national train.The lady in,seeing the bliss of the train stopping had forgotten to put the sari back to cover her assets,which again evoked ogles from the men who stopped the train for her.

After this funny incident, we booked our return tickets and saw that the return train to Gokarna Road was only at 4 30 pm and it was just half past 1.So Rakesh and I decided to have our lunch and go around Karwar town to see the Rabindranath Tagore Beach,which is pretty similar to our Marina(as in a popular beach,with staues and lights and hawkers).The weather had eased out in the evening and the western coast seemed to have an overdose of Cumulo Nimbus Clouds...and the wind was pretty strong with the sweet smell of wet earth stimulating my Olfactory Modalities.I perched myself on the steps of the train(a.k.a footboard)..breathing the lovely moist air,and with music to add on via my walkman,this was a feeling of eternal bliss.

In Half an hour's time, We reached Gokarna Road,and walked from the station to the main road,when we came across this temple,from where the road to Gokarna Town starts ..At this place an Omni came our way and we decided to take the Maruti Omni at 50 bucks per person rather than wait for the Rickety once an hour Bus that would desposit travellers at the Bus stand.

We met 3 scantily dressed foerigners who seemed to be pretty relaxed with no such constraints on a holiday..just here to soak in to the sun and the beaches.Since we were with them,we also needed to undergo a small police identification verification check on the checkpost and that wait of half an hour left me infuriated as I would be missing the sunset as the clock as it is ticked to 6 pm.We reached the tow,bidding farewell to the phirangs and started our trek to Kudle Beach across the mountains,before it became too dark.This route is an excellent route that has steep steps over mountains to climb and plains on the mountain which needs to be crossed amidst forests that do house some wild animals...but luckily we were spared...as no nightwolf troubled us.After a rather exhausting 30 minutes of steep mountain trekking,darkness descended and all we could hear was the sound of the ocean ...and as the darkness increased the sounds o the ocean waves hitting the coast became even more conspicous.

We had trekked our way to Kudle beach and found a whole beach to ourseleves with about 7-8 shacks/resthouses spread wide apart from each other.6 of the shacks didnt admit us because we were INDIANS ...damn that left me infuriated...as the shack owners, mostly konkani,Kannadigas and Marathi...were only allowing the foreigners to stay,simply because they offered the shacks owwners lots of money for being private not being disturbed.

After some hut searching we finally found a place called the Sea View resort,which was much better than any of the shacks we had seen...and he charged us only 100 bucks for that.

Now when You find a place after a rather long day,all yo want to do is to gatecrash into the bed..but given the fact that its a lovely fullmoon night and some nice chill breeze is blowing amidst the glowing moonlight,sleeping is the last option you would want to invest your time.My friend and I check our room.It's liveable for the night..and we get down to changing our clothes into something clean after a rather long sweaty day.We order a couple of "Sprite's" and walk across 25 meters from the resort and lie down on the beach...siping away the chilled sprite...basking in the midly bathed moonlight filled Beach..which has only 6 sane souls near the ocean.2 of us were drinking sprite ...whilst the other 4 , 2 pairs were drinking with a more fat and shapeless bottle of Liqour.They looked down upon us like adults did to kids, as they felt we were intruding into their space. Not wanting to sit near them,my friend and I parted away in different directions with a sprite bottle to boot walking across the wet sands,even as the lashing waves hit us..making us completeloy wet as the waves were in full flow with the influence of the high tides.

After a while ...to scale up the excitement..we started to just lie on the wet sands waiting for the waves to come and walk over us ..as we lay there motionles just as a prisoner waited in the gallows for the lions to pounce over him.It was an awesome experience..for both of us...to soak into the rather salty waters of the Arabian Sea.

This photo gives u a glimpse of how the water looked like....(but this pic is a borrowed one )

Spending an hour like that in the lovely moonlight was awesome...and we head back to the resort...after we decided that we would interrupt our entertainment as our stomachs were'nt seeing eye to eye with our minds.So We decided to obey the stomach's orders and helped and belped ourselves to some butter chapattis and Naans ...



Back home safe and sound

The trip was one of the most enjoyable trips I have made in recent times.All alone on a lonely secluded beach , with midnight full moon walks...made it all the more lovely


Kannada Kamikaze

The untimely death of Thespian Rajkumar in Bangalore seems to have brought the city to a grinding halt thus affecting many services and public life.How does Rajkumar's death bother me..when I hardly see Kannada movies? Well I am supposed to travel to Bangalore this evening and chances of me cancelling my tickets are huge considering the fact that some hard core kannadiga fanatics just want a reason to have Anti Tamil protests and create some violence.Sometimes It's hard to see the Karnataka goverment also supporting such violent acts,by not curbing it.The Parties in power after S.M.Krishna in Karnataka have led the state to rot,with some talibanist policies and promoting vandalism.

I vividly remember during my days at Infosys Bangalore,I could not watch a single new movie as the goverment in the deseparate attempt to make people view more kannada movies(as the film industry there was decelerating down the hill with a speed faster than Holywood was accelerating) made a law which made any movie to be released in Bangalore 7 weeks after it was released in other parts of the country.This was such a loser's move aimed at promoting kannada cinema and it projected Bnagalore in very poor light and add the usual traffic woes...it was actually becoming tough to live there even though bangalore had lovely weather and babes.

Coming to the point, I dont understand why the heck has Bangalore to be on curfewmode just because an actor passed away.If it wanst to pay homage there are better ways of doing that,than having buses stones,people killed and violence being shown.Seeing this I can visualise what would happen if Karunanidhi or Rajnikanth passed away....Chennai would also witness scenes of mass road roko and processions but not violence as Bangalore does...as all some Fanatics want there is some reason to provoke Tamils.

So as these events go on, I am sitting at my office mulling over the fact that I may lose 1000 bucks by cancelling my tickets and wait in the rather overtly optinmistic hope that the situation in Bangalore eases.If anyone from Bangalore is seeing this blog, please do update me on happenings in the garden city.


Peace and Solitude

These are two things that every working person longs for and I am no different.There are times in life where one needs to go sharpen the axe before resuming cutting the tree.The axe,obviously in this case is my mind.I have decided on 2 consecutive holidays on the weekend.This week, I would be travelling to Gokarna,but would be travelling across the beaches I missed last time and of course staying on the beach to watch the sunrise and sunset.The sunset at OM Beach in uttar Karnataka, is simlpy divine in beauty.

The next week, I am travelling to a place called Masinagudi which is on thefringes of ooty and that trip is more of a night jungle safari through the dense forests.So lot of adventure in store for the next 2 weeks.


Is this Guy NUTS ?

The IIM/IIT reservation news further rubbed salt into my wounds when I heard this person(Kancha Ilaiah ) speak on NDTV during the Bigfight Program with Vikram Chandra.This guy argues that this is the best move done by the Arjun Singh Government,but feels that the 50% funda is a tad too low and the reservations must be increased to a much higher level.He says a dalit's son in some remote part of India who does not have provisions for the next day's meal is going to benefit by getting an IIM seat.How does the reasoning sound?wierd.... congrats you have a normal IQ...but this person's reasoning pisses me no end....and here he was in an interview with DNA, a print medium based in Mumbai.

Kancha Ilaihah says that the IIM's must be closed down as they pander to elitist upper class tastes and feels that his OBC,MBC,Dalit junta is deprived of a seat.He reasons that the quota sould not be favoured in case of othercastes (the 77.5% of the pie that sanely remains :-( ).

Here is the excerpt of an Interview with DNA.

Kancha Ilaiah

‘Institutes like IITs and IIMs should be closed down’

Daipayan Halder

Mandal is back. With the news that a crore a year has just become slightly less dear for the B-school grad, came the rider that it may soon become that much more difficult for a general category student to make it to IIMs, IITs or central universities.

The government is considering a proposal to reserve 27 per cent seats there for those applying under the OBC quota. There has been an instant uproar in the corporate sector and the student community. Most are sniffing political opportunism in the move.

But there is another side to the debate. In an exclusive interview to DNA, author of Why I am not a Hindu? and one of the country's foremost Dalit intellectuals Kancha Ilaiah tells Daipayan Halder this was long overdue.

The Election Commission has, on Saturday, sought an explanation from HRD Minister Arjun Singh over the Centre's proposal to reserve seats for OBCs in IITs, IIMs and all central universities, saying he has violated the model code of conduct before the Assembly polls. Do you see this as yet another instance of populism that has run riot?

Well, it is true that after L K Advani decided to go on yet another Bharat Yatra and that too before the assembly polls, the Congress needed a game plan to counter it. Hence, they decided to push for reservation. But there is nothing wrong, per se, in declaring a policy decision. The Constitution has already been amended for the purpose. Elections in the five states are a separate issue and should not be affected by a proposal that is yet to be implemented. The opposition to the proposal only exposes the casteist and racist mindset of those who are opposing it. Even the EC is not free from the malaise. Today or tomorrow, the government had to introduce reservation because that is what the Constitution says.

The IITs and IIMs are successful brands and have gained international recognition. If Mandal replaces merit, wouldn't their brand equity suffer?

We should close down the IITs and the IIMs as they pander to the upper-caste economy of the country. Those who pass out from these institutes use their technical and managerial skills to earn dollars abroad. Are they using their skill sets to the benefit of the agro-based economy of the country? Tell me, with rising incomes of our B-school graduates are farmer suicide rates coming down? So what is the use of such education if it cannot be put to any use within the country or for the uplift of the majority of the population who live in villages?

But can this not lead to reverse discrimination? There is a lot of resentment for the quota candidates for what is often perceived as an unfair advantage that they have over others?

In the book, The Shape of the River, William (G) Bowen and Derek (Curtis) Bok argue for more racial diversity in the US' student population. Today, because of affirmative action in the US, the entry of coloured people in the education, employment and political systems are being increasingly ensured and has benefited their society. There is no reverse discrimination there. In India, on the other hand, there is no democratic space for the SC, ST and OBCs. This move was long overdue.

But even the US policymakers are not in support of reservation. Can there not be any other form of affirmative action than caste-based reservations in jobs and educational institutions?

Reservation is absolutely essential. But there should also be other forms of affirmative action. Successive governments have failed to implement the constitutional promise of introducing free and compulsory education after independence. There should be mass English language primary schools for Dalits. There should also be reservation in the private sector. We will soon take to the streets to ensure that.

Finally, would the move benefit the OBC students themselves? There are examples galore of quota students dropping out of such schools of excellence as they cannot cope up with the pressure.

This is incorrect. When you say backward caste students are not good enough, you display a casteist bias. When I was the head of the political science department of Osmania University, a Dalit student had secured the highest marks.

Backward caste students are generally discriminated against in these premier institutes. Instead of providing them a leg-up, they are made to feel unwanted. Given a favourable condition and a fair chance, they can do as well as the others.


This is what happens when caste obsessed Morons like him dont know the difference between JP Morgan and JP Murugan.I appreciate his nature of fighting for what he feels are people deprived of oppurtunity,but when he poses senseless and baseless arguements to support his so called theory,that's when the blood boils.


Of Indian Emotions and more....

After seeing some parallels between some copied hollywood flicks into Bollywood,I infer onething about Indians in terms of emotions experienced while watching movies.
Last night I was watching "My Best Friend's Wedding" on DVD...which was also copied in Hindi with YashChopra spinning another Love fable with a heavy dose of POWERED BY CTRL-C DRIVEN BY CTRL-V.

Now in this movie I see that Julia Roberts, is the typical girl..who ignores the movements of her Boyfriend and when she comes to know of his mariage..tries to go and break it up...but finally maturity prefers and the ending is not as we has in the Indian Yash Chopra where Uday chopra gets his girl and finally manges to break the wedding and has his way.

What I wish to point out here is the maturity levels in the audiences in India and abroad.Indian's come what may want a good ending with the script screaming "and the hero and heroine lived happily ever after" while the west seems to cling on to more mature decisions respecting the practicality of emotions.In last night's movie... it would have been so bad and so horrible if Julia Roberts actually ended up marrying her 9 years sweetheart just on the grounds that she knew him for a long time and after all the wicked things she tries to do to break up the marriage.Hence to the common discernible viewer it would have seen logical that Cameron diaz marries Dermot Mulroney...but the Indian audience would have gone back sulking if this had happened in Bollywood...and the moview would have been a despicable Flop.That Pretty much explains why movies with no cliched endings like Fiza didnt do well at the Box office in Bollywood

Another Movie that comes to my mind is Mrs Doubtfire..where again the ending is not so Hunky dory, but in the Tamil and Hindi Versions... Kamalahassan has to win..and so does he...and guess what he'shappy making the money,the audience is happy getting their money's worth of entertainment.So one thing I can conclude is that most Indians seem to fall for the trap of losing ourselves into an imaginary world to get some respite from the pressures and realities.I realised this when I watched a movie last Friday at Satyam Cinemas with my colleagues..when the movie"Being cyrus" seemingly had no end...it was a directionless movie in my view..but on harder reflections ...by my mind..whether I had wasted 80 bucks(include 10 in the parking lot), I realised that the movie was not so bad...it provided a lovely glimpse of what happens in real life in such families where the upbringing of children may not be proper due to paerntal abuse.Also another aspect was the way Mr Dinshaw was treated by his son's and that provided a glimpse into the feelings of a old 80 something man who has no one to talk to... and that's what resulted in the previous post.

So My take on the whole thing is that,while I too may like some of these formula movies...it's just the emotions conveyed in the movie that matter's and if it can get you to think on some aspects of life..which may have been unknown to you, the 80 bucks spent is Paisa vasool. Comments on this observation of mine are welcome


A visit down Memory Lane

Rewind : Summer of 89

I was a naughty 6 year old kind on vacation in Chennai for a month.My grandfather used to take me along for a nice walk in the evening daily which included a daily pleasures that I loved seeing.Exactly at 4 pm. I used to see a dark Brown choloate coloured bus dropping Children home in the rather peaceful suburb of Nanganallur.I enjoyed the bus..envisioing and often wishing that it was a bus made of chocolate that dropped children,pretty much like the chocolate castle in the fable Hansel and Gretel.I also used to pester my grandfather in buying me,what these days for children was a status symbol...the BIG FUN brand of bubble gums which gave a small picture of a cricketer saying "x" no of points (of course in runs and Wickets).My grandfather very reluctantly used to buy that, fearing the bubblegum may end up gumming my throat.After that he used to pay a visit to his retired friends erodrome circle who were also living closeby.One such person was his contemporary, an Anglo Indian by the name of Mr Norton.A Visit to Mr and Mrs Norton's home used to almost fill my evening and I was at my shyest best there..pretending to be the goodchild who even said no to cookies.


The next time , I heard of Mr and Mrs Norton was when my Grandfather Passed away last year,and the news was to be conveyed to them.It was then that it struck me that all through these years I never even bothered to go and see them.I immideately found their address and I found that they had long moved from Nanganallur and were now living in a Old Age home in a town called Perungalathur,which is stationed on the outskirts of Chennai.I tried visiting them,but couldnt see them, as they had gone out.Would I see them again? That was the question that occupied my mind ...and in my hectic work schedule those thoughts vaporised like Petrol in the hot Chennai Sun.A few dasy back when I watched a rerun of SWADES and BEING CYRUS...it was a sense of Deja Vu for me...as I could relate to what was happening in the movie with my life.

I lost no time in catching up with them last saturday...and boy it was a pleasant shock for them to swallow the reality that Kartik was no more the 6 year old 3 feet 2 inches tall kid...but was a 6 foot tall full grown adult.They must have been wondering how have 18 years passed by so quickly...and I was all the more pleased as they had no one to call of their own.No progenies and distanced relationship with the family meant just 3-4 friends who would regularly drop in....one of which was my grandfather.It felt good reliving those wonderful years and sitting and giving them the comfort that some one needs them also and some one remembers them too.Generally Old people just need some one to tell their stories to...and if they can just have that..they'd feel pretty ecstatic and contended with life.I was happy, in a small way I could make some difference to their lives.

When I came out of the place, I felt really satisfied and happy that I had responsed to this inner call of mine to go visit them.I had just started to dream in the train of those lovely days 18 years back..when life went at its own pace and people had time for everything....

To add to it was the music on my walkman echoing...Bryan adam's epoch breaking number which my mind customised to this format.(If u havent hear this song...then call me to hear this as my airtel caller tune).

Simply said, The Summer of 89,Those were the best days of my life !!

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