Monday, December 13, 2010

Flavor of the Month

Ever wondered from where the term “flavor of the month” came into being? Can months also have flavors of their own? Well… can’t say about the other months of the year, but December definitely does!
It starts with the air itself! Mumbai suddenly starts witnessing sweater vendors on the road! People, bundled up in layers of sweaters and scarves, are a rare and amusing sight! The mellowed down sun gives way to soothing breeze that caresses your face. When this happens at noon, it’s especially a unique experience for our concitoyens! And in this season, one HAS to try doing a little journey sitting on the first seat of a double decked bus to make most of this opportunity!
The month also brings another reason to cheer: Christmas! Unlike what most people believe, you neither have to be a Catholic nor a kid to savor the excitement of this season! There is so much joy that Christmas offers; just choose what suits you the best! Take your kids to shake hands with Santa, be a (secret) Santa to someone (and someone’s secret baby too ;) ) decorate a Christmas tree or just wear red!
“Last but not the least!”, the phrase describes the season so well! Actually, even January is not as exciting this last month. Everyone is busy doing the bilan, be it of the good and bad deeds of the year or of the last financial quarter. Making new year resolutions and planning the most talked about evening of the year! one can’t possibly ask for more from something as simple as a calendar month! It’s time to read “The Gift”, it’s time to exchange gifts, it’s time to thank your loved ones for the lovely gift that 2010 was!! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Bidaai is not when u leave someone behind... thats not y u cry. You cry because u let go of the most special people in your life to make place for another special person. Its the best example of tears of joy n sorrow together.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

सब देश के लिए ही तो है - २

याद होगा आपको हमारा प्यारा मुस्सद्दीलाल
चक्कर काट-काट कर जो रहता था अक्सर बेहाल?
अब उसका बेटा मुस्सद्दीलाल जूनियर
हुआ है "अडल्ट" जो अब तक था मैनर

ले ली है अब इसने अपने हाथों में सारी भाग-दौड़
बनवाना है इसे अपना लैसंस, वीज़ा और पासपोर्ट
जी हाँ भैया अब यह जायेंगे परदेश
परंतु निश्चय है, कर के पढ़ाई लौटेंगे अपने ही देश!

पासपोर्ट ऑफिस के बाहर मिले भाटिया एजंट
"३००० साहब, पासपोर्ट चाहिए ना अर्जंट?"
"क्यों दू मैं आपको ३०००?
जब की ओफ़िशिअल रेट है १०००?"
"कहाँ साहब यूँ ही चक्कर लगाएँगे?
पिताजी के तो घिस गए, आप भी जुते घिसवायेंगे?"

बिना इस बात को बढाए, M2 चला गया भीतर
ना लाच, ना चोरी, ना कोई ग़लत काम इतर
लाईन में खड़े रहें, १००० चुक्ते किये
१५ दिन बाद पुलिस ने घर पर दस्तक दिए

बाहर निकलते ही पटेल इंस्पेक्टर ने पूछा,
"भाई साहब कुछ देंगे?"
"नहीं!" शांति से बोला M2
"काग़ज़ात दिखा कर रवाना करेंगे!"

जब गए यह लिसंस ऑफिस,
निकलवाया इसी ईमानदारी से काम
मुश्किल नहीं था, बस पुचा नहीं सामने से
"शुक्लाजी, क्या है आपका दाम?"

भले लगे यह आपको सपनो की नगरी,
यह सब है बिलकुल सच कहती है कवयित्री
देखा है मैंने इस सपने को होते हुए साकार
रिश्वत से अब डरती है खुद सरकार!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Kabhi tum mujhse pyar karte
Kabhi yun hi ruth jaate
Jab marzi ki gale lagaya
Jab mann kiya raub jamaya

Na tumhe, na auron ko,
Na kisi ko dekar apne jane ki khabar
Chali jaungi ek din
Chhod tumhe yunhi bekhabar!

Tumhari Mashuka

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The young man at the signal under the sun,
Was selling the little toy soldier with a gun.
I asked my seven year old cousin, “What do we call him?”
“Terrorist!” she said, without looking grim.

I regretted, for a second, asking such a question
For a second, I looked up to the heaven!
How do I explain, to this little girl of seven,
The difference between the two men in question?

I pointed at his uniform, “A soldier, darling”
He protects us from terrorists, that’s his service.”
Of that uniform, seemingly taking no notice
She immediately asked, “So, whom is the terrorist serving?”

I wanted to explain that terrorists serve nobody!
That it is just another form of insanity!
How do I tell her, “They serve their God”?
“You shall be punished by God,
If u hurt anyone in action or thought”
Is what she has always been taught!

How to answer such a question
In such a bloody world
Where one wakes to the fear of killed in a blast
Thanks God at the end of the day if he does last!
Where terrorism and corruption
Have become the golden words
Will we ever see the day when we will say
He is just a gunman with which children play?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


"Crying has become your hobby", he said
I hung up, kept crying, went to bed
Kept crying this morning in the train
Tears continued to flow in the rain...
Suddenly, in the rain, the rain very same
Saw a little girl playing an innocent game
With a fallen sari of her mother, happy galore
Not knowing, she didn't have a home anymore
I cried again, crying being my hobby
Reminded of a book, read in my marble floored lobby
What Colette says with a lot of conviction,
Love is not an honorable emotion!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Decide where you want to reach and then you will be able to choose your path well and enjoy it thoroughly. You will know which opportunities are enriching for you and could make the best out of them. Of course, little digressions on the way are always welcome to make the journey even more interesting. But the bottom line is, KNOW WHERE YOU ARE HEADING TO!
But then you meet people of all sorts on this journey. And the dangerous species, or rather let’s call them influential species, are those with no destination at all! Now attention, there are two sub categories under this: the loafers or the wanderers are the first sub category. Simply put, they are lost! There is no purpose, not even a short term goal of pleasure in what they do. They do things just because they are told to so or because someone else is also doing it.
And the second sub category is the:
Behti hava sa tha woh…
Udti patang sa tha woh..
Humko toh raahein thi chalati, wo khud apni rah banata
Girta, sambhalta, masti se chalta tha wo!
It’s the kind who change, or at least change your perception. Is it possible to travel just for the fun of it? Without worrying about what lies in front of you? About the time and efforts it’s going to take? Why not? It’s the time and effort put in for the destination called life- the MAJOR one! Who cares if did not achieve the pointless milestones that don’t even matter once they are achieved?
But then again, don’t these little milestones make the whole called life? Isn’t it great to do things with some beautiful dreams on your mind one after the other? Of course, it restricts your path to a certain things but there is a lot of joy in this kind of discipline too.
Finally, to each his own. Personally speaking, I belong to the “know your destination” category. But it should be fun sometime to cross the threshold and go over to the other side 

Monday, April 5, 2010

well done abba

"Well Done Abba"- the title plays on the word "well" (baudi- as Boman Irani puts in his Biryani flavored Hyederabadi Hindi). the story revolves around how Imran Ali(Boman Irani)'s well goes missing and the whole attempt to this well back.

The actors are introduced on screen through the characters. They seem to emerge from pages of a notebook, Shyam Benegal's notebook. Boman Irani plays Abba, and also the twin brother Rehman Ali. Ila Arun plays Rehman Ali's wife, Salma. Although the couple doesn't have a major role in the main intrigue, one cannot ignore them completely n Boman Irani in double role is definitely a double bonanza!!! Minisha Lamba has been convincingly made to look a teenager. Sammir Dattani scores high on the cuteness scale and does his job pretty "well". Both Lamba (Muskan) n Dattani (Aarif) represent the educated gen-next who can bring about a change in the "system".

One cannot but help comparing the movie with Welcome to Sajjanpur, the previous masterpiece by Shyam Benegal. Shantanu Moitra's music does complete justice to the subject (right from the first notes of the first song, literally) but I still found myself humming Sajjanpur numbers after the movie. Both the movies deal with the problems at the grass-root level with subtle humor but the former takes away half a star more.

A must watch... for smile on your face and hope in your heart!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

la littérature française

Une amie qui ne fait que des comptes
M'a demandé de raconter des contes
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que vous faites là?
Tant d'années de la littérature, oh là là!
Mais ça va! Tout ce qu'il faut faire
C'est lire les romans et faire des commentaires
Raconte-moi, disais-je, quelques anecdotes
Qui vous font passer le temps et gagner des notes"

Pour commencer, j'ai fait du Maupassant
Pas de nouvelle, j'ai raconté un souvenir passant:
C'était ma première "aventure" je me souviens
Dieu Merci que ça me rarement revient!
Dans un studio parisien, un homme se couche
Avec une jeune femme sans "faire le verrou"
Le propiétaire entre, quel outrage!
Pourquoi aurait-il écrit un tel ouvrage?
Le recit se termine avec l'homme qui jure
"Toujours faire le verrou avant une telle aventure!"

Puis je suis passée à Albert Camus
Qui a laissé un demi monde tout ému
Un Prix Nobel, chez lui, s'est bien arrangé
Pour son roman envahissant "l'Etranger"
Ce roman a fait couler beaucoup d'encre
Meursault, le héros, a commis un meurtre.
Mais dans le tribu, il ne s'est point défendu
Sachant que c'est le soleil qui doit être pendu!

Deux anecdotes lui a bien satisfait
Depuis, elle ne m'a plus rien demandé :P

Saturday, March 20, 2010

silent resort

what a day! i went for my first ever staff picnic to this place called the Silent Resort in Palghar. it was nice to see all the teachers who u normally saw only in salwar-kameez or saree (n m not talkin about the majority, its the dress code!) in jeans n tee. perfect time for a picnic when we hv jus got done with portion n will have to start with exams soon.. it was a real stress buster!

the place is subtitled The Whispering Gallery of nature. so very true. its vast ok! n there are several "aram kutir" with cots. the hammocks by the river side are a real pleasure. there r very few rides but pools of various sizes where u can just let your body loose. rain dance is quite fun too. its just impossible to resist the jhulas of all sizes n variety. there is ample place for cricket n other outdoor sports too. they have embellished the otherwise not-so-ethnic place with random wooden carved doorways. the food is as decent as it can be in such places.. dont forget to have the gola.. sllrrpp :)

all in all, its an agreeable experience.. esp beacause its not too far from the city. an ideal place for huge groups.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


A :
Mais enfin, c’est qui, Guillaume Apollinaire ?
Quelle ignorance que ne le connaitre guère ?

B :
J’ai entendu parler que c’est un écrivain
Qui met en valeur l’avion et le train
A :
Mais non! Un poète, pas un écrivain
Un peintre, un artiste, mais jamais écrivain

Ce style classique, qu’on fait sa devise
N’est pour lui, qu’une grande méprise

Le vieux sujet de poésie- l’amour
La peine, et la souffrance de l’amour

La mort, la Méduse, l’écoulement du temps
On en a beaucoup parlé depuis bien longtemps

La femme qui est la donneuse de mort
Il en parle lais en changeant le ressort

Ce n’est plus de lyrisme, d’allégorie, de ballade
Ses poèmes ont pour intention, nous rendre malade

Mais ne vous trompez pas- ce n’est pas son but
«Je m’émerveille » se dit-il comme il débute

C’est lui qui imagine toujours l’imaginable
De jongler avec des mots, il en est capable

La Tour pour lui, se transforme en bergère
Il parle du quotidien d’une façon légère

C’est lui qui ose s’adresser au grand Pope
En causant de la religion en Europe

Et quand l’attend le plus moins le lecteur
Il mentionne le record de Christ en hauteur

C’est lui le peintre dont je vous ai parlé
Plus de peinture avec des mots, ça c’est passé

Il y ajoute une dimension assez littérale
En faisant un calligramme- dessin verbal

C’est lui, le cubiste comme ses amis peintres
Il exclame « Moi aussi, je suis peintre»

Ce cubiste juxtapose bien nombre de choses
Le beau, il le mêle avec le morose

C’est lui qui compare les yeux de son amour
Avec les colchiques, un venenum dur

Ses ongles sont les beaux pétales de rose
Mais quelle image! La terre jonchée de ces roses ?

C’est lui qui mêle tout- le passé, le futur
Et aussi le présent, nous y propose un tour

Autour de ville, du ciel, de l’enfer, du monde
Invitant aussi les personnages d’autres mondes

En jouant le double de ‘tu’ et de ‘moi’
Il laisse le lecteur en un petit désarroi

Mais une fois entrée dans son monde de malaise
Qui a plus l’envie d’être à l’aise ?


SAB DESH KE LIYE HI TOH HAI!... one of the first poems i wrote, n till date my favorite :)

Kuch saal pehle jab krantiveer aayi,
Naana ne desh ki sthiti aakdon ke saath batayee
Kaha, "Sau mein se assi beyimaan,
Phir bhi Mera Bharat Mahan!"

Haal hi mein jab Denny ne muavza kiya,
Naana ke statistics ko radd kiya.
Assi ka ab 99 hua,
To lo, yeh desh ka haal hua.

Toh kya hua gar hum beyimaan hai?
Hum kya New Zealand ya Japan hai?
Yeh phalsafa aam insaan ki samajh ke bahar hai
bhai, beyimaani se toh uncha humara-aapka sir hai!

Socho gar beyimaani na hoti toh kya hota?
Yaani bhrashthachaar ka janm hi na hota!
Netaon ka pait khali reh jaata
Adha desh garibi ki rekha se upar aa jata.
sarkar ke paiso se janta mauj karti
Netaon ki tond (paunch) phir tond na rehti.

Par aam aadmi to desh mein hi rehta,
Khata-peeta aur aish karta
Netaon par toh desh ke netrutva ka diyatva hai
(Bhagwan! Inke haathon mein hamara bhavishya hai!)

Tond hone se yeh khate-peete lagte hain
desh ki khadya samasya par parda karte hain.
Yunhi toh desh ka naam roshan hota hai.
Pata nahi logo ko kyun gham hota hai?

Bus ek insaan ka haal behaal hai..
Jise hum kehte "Mussaddilal" hai!

Republic Day celebrations in my school

January 26, 2010
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, Borivali

Like every year, the Borivali branch of Bombay Cambridge Gurukul Schools, celebrated Republic Day and Investiture Ceremony on Tuesday, 26th January. The program started with a march wherein the Student Council members held the school and house flags high and the stroke of the drum reminded the march at the Rajpath. Mr. Yadav, a Merchant Navy Officer, escorted by the School Principal, Mrs. Manisha Arondekar, hoisted the flag. All hands rose automatically to salute the tricolor while lips proudly chanted the National Anthem.

The program continued as students of the Secondary Section sang patriotic songs and performed a skit that took the audience to 2030 and compelled them to think about literally “earth-shattering” issues like global warming and water shortage. Mr. Yadav then addressed the audience, talking about the role of youth in the development of the country and the new avenues that the Merchant Navy provides for action.

After a short break, the much awaited Investiture Ceremony began. The outgoing Council Members marched with their respective flags, Ms. Anagha Kamath, the school captain taking the lead. The elegance with which the flags changed hands, from the outgoing committee to the newly appointed one, was a sight in itself. This new team was led by Mr. Siddhanth Rao and an all women’s steering committee was replaced by an all men’s team as Mr. Suraj Iyer was nominated as the Assistant School Captain, Mr. Amogh Kamekar as the Sports Captain and Mr. Arpit Sharma as the Asst. Sports Captain. Ms. Aishwarya Bhutta and Ms. Katha Mehta now proudly held their respective House Flags. Like mothers dressing their kids to go to school for the first time and silently telling them that the road ahead was not an easy one, the Principal of the Secondary Section pinned the stars to the Council Members while the stood still holding their flags and making their teachers and parents proud of them. It was a moment where all the pairs of eyes expressed a different feeling. The Principal and the other staff members looked at the newly appointed council with high expectations, the Council members, on the other hand, had a twinkle in their eye and looked forward to the challenges of the new year. The outgoing members, who were felicitated with letters of appreciation, had a mélange of satisfaction of having accomplished several tasks in the past year and a bitter feeling of leaving their posts. Eyes speak. But today they spoke aloud.


(Literature, life and me)

“You don’t always like to be the taker. Sometimes you want to give something in return”, said the professor. This was not the first time that Niralee thought that what was being done in class had a great correspondence with her personal life. But today, after this statement, she was forced to think from where it all started? Her twentieth birthday, she figured out!

This year, along with her dearest buddies Niki, Renu, Mon and Henna, she was celebrating it with some of her newly made friends, Rajiv, Ruby, Satish and Alpana. Little did she know, that this new year and these new contacts were going to bring a completely new perspective to her life.

Niralee was already through with a week in her new job in a school and was thoroughly excited about this dual role of teacher and student that she was going to play. Although a fan of Indian literature, English literature had always scared her a bit. But she had a great fascination for French literature. Actually, what she did not know at this point was that Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Hamidou Kane were not going to be as passive as Molière and Beaumarchais!

Niralee loved chatting with Rajiv. At first, she thought of him as an ABCD: American Born Confused Desi. But it took only a couple of discussions with him to realize that he was anything but confused! Are Indians patriotic? : The first discussion that almost touched the point where it could be called an argument. After that, there were plenty that followed. Every now and then he would very easily throw her in a situation where she would desperately try to prove her point but ultimately end up believing that even if her point was not completely wrong; his was definitely more valid than hers! She started enjoying these discussions that stimulated her to think beyond the point she had always restricted herself to.

In class, Simone de Beauvoir was putting forth hundreds of existentialist questions at her and making her head spin! “On ne nait pas femme, on le devient!” Now how does one explain that? Isn’t one a biologically a woman at all? What percentage of her was a result of her upbringing? Was it alright to live alone, unmarried in a country like hers which was in some ways still more backward than 20th century France? Was India, her India, that she loved so much, really so backward? If yes, what was SHE doing for its betterment? Wasn’t she, in a way, doing harm to her country by breeding a whole new generation who had chosen French over Sanskrit? Or was she preparing the new generation with a tool to overcome communication barriers in a new age world? Did one, directly or indirectly, really become less Indian by learning a foreign language? Had she become any less of it?

In prof. Sirdeshpande’s class, they were studying Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s “l’Aventure Ambiguë”. “L’Aventure Ambiguë”- what an intriguing title! So was the book! It was the story of this young boy Samba Diallo who leaves his motherland Africa and goes to France for pursuing a career in Philosophy and about how he suffers a gradual loss of identity. Comes a point where he feels so alienated from himself, that he chooses death over the life of a hybrid being. As a writer, Kane does a brilliant job by describing a step-by-step, systematic change in the thinking of Samba Diallo. At every point, the reader is forced to hold himself back for a second and think if he is sailing in the same boat as Samba? If what he has taken from the other cultures was worth what he loses in the process? If he knows the way back home when he is on this ambiguous adventure that today’s world of globalization is in itself? This book was a major subject to reflect upon. Sirdeshpande Ma’am would add her own experiences to make it crystal clear to the students. Niralee was planning to apply for an Assistanat in France to teach English. The book rang the warning bell for her! It was a book she wanted to hold on to and go back to from time to time. Were her values a strong anchor that would prevent her from being another Samba? But was it so bad to adapt to the new culture? How much could one change in a new country like France? How much could one afford to open up? Is the other culture always so perfect that so many people happily let them get carried away by it? Are they always right in what they do? Does that mean we have been doin everything the wrong way till now? “Il faut savoir vaincre sans avoir raison”. Is it possible to win over someone without being right? Do we know to win without being right? Is it possible to just accept change as it comes without thinking if our stand is right? “You don’t always like to be the taker. Sometimes you want to give something in return”. What is essential thus is to make ourselves capable of thinking and being able to firmly believe in what we do and say before trying to win over someone with one’s ideas. Let’s hope Niralee finds her way to do this!  What did Niralee think about this? She was worried for sometime, but then gently smiled and told herself, “Whatever it is, it’s going to be a worthwhile experience! Let’s enjoy it!”