Archive for October, 2009

A Close Shave

A leisure trip to bookshop usually lifts my gloom. Needless to say, it also lightens my wallet. Today’s trip was no different. I had just seen off my sister at station.

When your dear ones depart, a strange knot forms inside stomach. Suddenly nothing seems as good as it seemed a day ago. My theory is it is easier on the people who go, harder on the ones that remain behind. Therefore, my trip to bookshop.

After an hour armed with packages, I hailed an auto rickshaw to home. And then I remembered a friend had mentioned a party tonight. I called the friend to ask if party was still on.

While talking I noticed that the auto rickshaw driver bumped twice into a motorcycle and a car. I asked him to take it slow. I checked, he was not drunk. I am good at smelling it out. 5 years of practice in crowd-ridden buses of Delhi.

Me and my friend fixed the meeting details and I joked that he should wear a pink T-shirt so that I can make him out in the crowd. We hung up. That’s the last thing I remember. Last thing before the accident.

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Blog Action Day 2009: Environment and India

This post is part of Blog Action Day.

Every time we talk about environment, we tout and talk about Al Gore and his over-hyped documentary An Inconvenient Truth. What’s more, I have also mentioned him in my previous climate change posts. I thought it is time we recall some Indians who have done the  good work.

Here are my top 5, with a bonus thrown in.  8)

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Book Review: Two States by Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat magnanimously dedicates this book to his in-laws. He admits that book is inspired by his own experiences and yet he requests the book be treated as fiction. Its hard to, considering every second couple in this country undergoes similar experiences. Not to mention, every Boolywood movie harps on same theme.

The book is all about an  IIMA couple’s  struggle to marry over the cultural differences. Krish is north Indian Punjabi boy in love with Tamilian Brahmin girl Ananya. (Chetan Bhagat too is Punjabi and his wife is a South Indian.) The only catch is, Krish and Ananya don’t want to elope or be estranged to their families, therefore, they choose to convince their parents for the marriage.


Both Ananya and Krish take turns to win over each other’s families and then they try to make both the families like each other. After all in India, you don’t marry the guy (or girl for that matter), you have to marry the family. In fact, Krish does get 4 gold rings made to propose girl’s entire family! :-/ Sounds cheesy? Well, irrespective of my shortened plot summary, you must concede it is a mammoth project to accomplish anywhere, in real life.

Of course, it goes without saying that even though both Krish and Ananya are exceptions to their North Indian and South Indian clan; this book is perfect opportunity to dwell into age-old ‘North India versus South India divide’.
Krish maybe Punjabi boy, but he is blissfully unaware how in his community greedily and offensively ‘boy’s’ side can come on the ‘girl’s’ side during a Punjabi wedding. Similarly, Ananya, the Tamilian girl is completely unlike other Tamil girls: For one she is not as dark as southern girls ( a fact she will be reminded over and over again by Krish’s Punjabi clan) and unlike her staunch family, she both drinks and eats meat. (May be we should thank IIM for breaking the latter stereotype 😉 )

Though the premise is most realistic, it draws your attention to cultural differences in diverse India. Some of them are as simple as boisterous, loud Punjabi music versus quiet, mellifluous Tamilian Carnatic music. However, the difference in sensibilities is predictable. I familiarized myself once again with all the clichés.

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Avant Garde Bloggies Awards 2009?

Last year Avant Garde Bloggies Awards (2008) was very popular. It had a huge participation; so much that it had to be conducted with the help of a small, dedicated team (whom I can never stop thanking enough):  🙂  The Scrutinizing Committee, the Publicist, the Badge Designer, the Poll Manager and of course the Judges.

This is the list of award categories for which nominations were invited. Before taking the plunge into such a mammoth and busy affair, I would like to know your opinion:

Taking lessons from the last year event, there will be some necessary changes this year. For example, multiple nomination by same person in a category will not be allowed. Voting will be available for lesser duration. Award categories maybe overhauled. And more changes, if required.

Similarly, in case you want to suggest any changes in Avant Garde Bloggies Awards, if conducted this year, let us know in the comments section. Thank you!

P.S: Oh, and here is a promotion video from last year created by Nikhil.

A Rescue Operation

My phone rings. It is my neighbour.

“Poonam, do you know that there is a dog lying outside your house?”


I instantly got up from my bedroom and went to check at the door. Sure enough, there was a large black dog laying in front my gate. He had a huge wound, yet I could see he was breathing. There was also a huge odour. I silently closed the door.

I was soon on phone to find a vet. A colleague, R, who is also an animal rights activist, said she would get me some help. Actually this whole effort could not have been made without her help. First she gave me the number of a voluntary organisation called Paws.

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Movie Review: Wake Up Sid

Irrespective of the title not really a review, reflections 🙂

There are some movies, that by looking at its stills you can tell with certainty that you are going to watch it.  It is distinctly a whimsy feeling considering you watch all other movies after carefully vetting the reviews. 🙂 Wake Up Sid was one such movie for me. I knew I had to watch it.


God knows how many times I have given in to such feelings and been mortified at my own judgment. I still have a stark memory of buying advance tickets of a Hrithik Movie Yaadein. (After the first hit, Hrithik’s this second movie had so many takers in advance bookings.) I stood for more than two hours (there was a lunch break in between) in an agonizingly long queue for the tickets at Delhi’s Chanakya theater (It has been closed down now) with my friends. Needless to say, once inside in the theater during the screening of Yaadein, my friends cursed me for that excruciating effort we made to buy the tickets for them.

My reviews aren’t meant to be professional, I mean to ramble and reflect. The experience. And Wake Up Sid gave me a wonderful experience.

This is the first time I am going to rave about a movie that has hardly a plot to talk about. Plot is always important to me when it concerns a book or a movie. And Wake Up Sid has none.

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October 2009