Saturday, November 27, 2010
The stage is the epic war of Kurushethra between Kauravas and Pandavas.
For the last 13 days, many battles were won by both sides, but the verdict of the mother-of-all-wars was still unpredictable. The victory swayed into both side like light feather.
Duryodhana had become concerned as what that was left was of the 11 cavalries that came from northern plains of Ganges, only few Aryan kings were left to wage the remaining war. After the great Bhishma was slayed by Dhanajaya, Drona was in command of Kaurava fleet. Duryodhana knew well that if the war progressed, his side would be defeated, this prompted him to ask acharya to target Yudhishtira and imprison him. If Yudhishtira was captured live, he was sure that his life could be exchanged for the kingdom and eventually the defeat of Pandavas.
On the 13th day, Drona, ordered kaurava fleet form Chakravyuh, the lotus formation. The peculiarity of this formation is that only few men knew how to enter and successfully suppress this formation. It was a offensive formation which provided with a natural defense: If you need to attack it, you need to enter it and there is only on entry point. Moreover, the lotus rotates making only few men able to enter it behind the main attacker. For the rest of the army the entry point would have got closed even before they could realize it.
I know how to enter it. But I don't know how to come out of it.
Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna and Shubdra, who was only 16 when Dharmraja asked him to enter the chakravyuh to stop Drona's carnage. A staunch follower of Kshatriya dharma, Abhimanyu had to enter, irrespective of knowing that he wouldn't come out of it alive. It was a brave and necessary act.
I just don't want to be the Abhimanyu.
Abhimanyu attained moksha only because he didn't know how to exit the chakravyuh. Krishna deliberately didn't reveal the way to successful foil chakravyuh when he was telling shubdra about various tactical moves practiced in the battle field. He knew that Abhimanyu's soul belonged to a yaksha and this was the reason he didn't knowingly complete his recital about the conquering chakravyuh to shubdra.
I want to be free but does that mean that I would be required to take the attire of Abhimanyu.
But I guess, I need to fight.
Monday, November 08, 2010
നിന് സ്നേഹമൊരു സഹയാത്രിയുടേതോ അതോ ഒരു സഹപാഠിയുടേതോ
അറിയില്ല എനിക്ക് നാള് ഇതുവരെ
അറിയുവാന് ഉള്ള മോഹവും വൃഥായെന്ന് എനിക്ക് അറിയുമെങ്കിലും
ഒരു ദശകമായ് നിന് പുഞ്ചിരിമാത്രം എന് മനസ്സിലേന്തി
നാള് ഇതുവരേയും യാമങ്ങള് തള്ളിനീക്കി
പറഞ്ഞതോ ഓര്മയില്ല കേള്ക്കുവാനോ പറഞ്ഞതുമില്ല
ഇനിഒരുനാള് കാണുവാന് മാത്രം മോഹം
മോഹമാം മോഹമായി, മിന്നിമായുന്ന ഓര്മകളുമായി
യാമങ്ങള് ഇനിയും ഞാന് സഞ്ചരിച്ചിരിക്കും
നിന് ഉത്തരം സഹയാത്രിയുടേതോ അതോ ഒരു സഹപാഠിയുടേതോ
എന്നുമാ ചോദ്യമായി എന് മനസ്സത്രയും
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Delhi, I hate this city. It has always cheated me.
And this time too, it held to its devious past.
Treachery 1 : Took me all the way to Gurgoan's Rajeev Chowk instead of Connaught place Rajiv Chowk from airport that too at wee hours.
Treachery 2: Sold overpriced ticket from Delhi-Manali in the worst ever bus that I got into of my life.
But thats fine, I expected more from this city. I was happy that it got over with just those incidents.
Delhi to Manali is a 17hrs trip. The mercury was at its peak. The whole of Northern India was burning and because of my friends insistence, we were trapped in a 1960 Leyland transport. The only respite was the Sikh conductor who entertained us with stories about cities that we passed on the way.
It was around 12 in the midnight when we reached Manali. It was freezing out there. Without looking out for finer details we settled ourselves at a shady Hotel. The most entertaining fact that I noticed over there was just one thing - There was no fan and there was no mosquitoes
Our next day started with drizzle. We saw how much commercialized Manali was. As we hadn't equipped ourself with the proper winter clothes, we started our hunt for them. After lingering around in local stores for 2-3 hrs, we retraced our way back to a place called Bhunter. Bhunter is a small town before Kullu. Kasol, the base camp, is around 2 hrs from Bhunter.
Road to Kasol is one of the best scenic roads you could ever see in your life. You meanders through the sides of river Parbati and its a real joy to watch the river dancing below, following you like teasing you all the way. At that moment itself we decided to go for rafting across it.
Kasol is a small village on the banks of Parbati. The mainstay of the economy may be , I guess, foreigners and YHAI trekkers :P. One of the surprising fact that caught my eyes over here is the sign boards in Hebrew. Yes, its an Israeli getaway place. There is throng of them here and may be with foot not on the ground but with sense of immortal elation. Yes, kasol is also the mecca of “you know what”. All vagabonds would like Kasol, its just paradise on earth and cheaper paradise too.
The camp was on the banks of Parbati. There were separate tents for men and women. There were around 15 out of them. And like a luxury, there was a separate tent for the Camp Leader. was 60+ fellow who had climbed Mt Everest. The first day went fine. Everyday there was a camp fire organized by people from the previous batch. The people somehow shed their shyness in cold and misty air to show their cultural prowess. One particular aspect of life that I had forgotten when I left my school days was reminded to me when lights were put off at sharp 10. The camp was maintained under a strict military discipline. We also were convinced regarding the utilities of each and everything mentioned in the itinerary list. We had forgot to bring the torch and we were groping in the darkness to get place to bunk.
A typical day at camp starts at 5 in the morning. Oh god, I had forgotten when I had last seen 5 in the morning. And soon after a cup of coffee, we were off for morning exercise. I hated this part. By the time it was over, everybody had their body warmed up and lost a few unwanted pounds :). But soon it was made up for by a fantastic breakfast thereafter.
On the second day, an acclimatization trip was conducted. During this time, we were taken to a small hill near by the camp. It was around 1500 ft higher than the camp site. The hill was covered with pine trees and other flora which I tried to decipher from my old botanical days. But senility had spread my hairs grey, everything were stuck at the tip of my tongue. This was the time when we got acquainted with our tour mates. The crowd was a uniform mix. Some kids, some professionals, some oldies and some who apparently were old but forgot to grow old. Then and there I got the vibe of the forthcoming days.
That night, it was our turn to orchestrate the camp fire. I don't know how the other fellows managed to give an awesome performance. The camp leader was impressed to exalting heights. The day after we were finally going off to see the snow peaks that we could see now in the horizon.
To be continued.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I always liked sea.
The breeze, the calmness, the vastness and the trance: all made me closer to them.
I loved mountains but never been to one before I went and saw the great Himalayas.
My life – has changed after that.
Every year, in the month of May, Youth Hostel Ass
ociation of India conducts a trek for the youths(read as all) for a 11 day to cross Sarpass – near kasol in Himachal Pradesh. They provide food and accommodation and also guide you cross the pass. Instead, you have to behave according to the code and conduct of YAHI – which means no alcohol and no smoke :) and more importantly early to bed and early to rise.
Before I begin the description about my Himalayan expedition, let me give a preview of what happened before I reached the land of snow.
I first heard about this trekking programme from one of my friend who had gone the year before. He said it was an experience beyond anything he had felt or ever feel. He didnt say anymore and I didnt think further. Then and there I had decided to go.
I basically prefer to travel alone. But this time it was different. Along with me, came three more. All of them were my campus friends. 3 years of industrial experience had made me an epitome of laziness. And even though I never planned anything, the others had enough maturity to do advance booking of the train tickets – both to and fro. So we had a train booked to Delhi and then back after 13 days. Even though we booked on the second opening day of booking, we still were in waiting list category. They were optimistic that we could pull it off - “hey there is 2 more months”. But I had a fair bit of idea about the things that were going to happen.
Around two weeks before the start of the trip, one of my travel mate informed me that the ticket had not confirmed yet. But he was still optimistic that it would confirmed. Time was ticking. I didn't mind the ticket getting confirmed because I had something inside me repeating all the time that I was going to be at the foothills of Himalayas. But we started to panic once it was close to the D-day and ticket were not even budging from their waiting list status. Then one of us suggested of taking a ticket from an agent. Youth of today cares less about money and they , I believe, trust everyone. We spend around 7000 bucks to get a confirmed ticket to Delhi on May 15. Even though we still had the tickets that we reserved, we thought there was no harm in having a backup. The problem was our ticket started moving up the status on the D-1 day while the ticket with agent still hadn't moved. One of my friend was so good in statistics that he analyzed the train booking series for the train we had booked and said we would get ticket. But we believed more on the agent and hence we canceled our ticked and put our entire bet on the agents one, which was one day later. Thats were all the problem started. On May 15, we four reached Bandra station at around 4:00 to catch 4:15 train. To our dismay, we came to know that our ticket had a status of waitling list 1 to 4. The agent from whom we had booked was no-where to be seen.
As we watched helplessly, we saw the train moving away – so too was my dream. But I had decided to go. My phone ceaselessly dialed number of all possible airliners. We came to know that there was an Air India flight from Mumbai International terminal at 8. Within half an hour, we were in front of the ticket counter at the terminal. “4 tickets to Delhi for the 8:00 PM flight please” I did not want to waste anymore time. I was shocked to hear that flight was full. I would have vented out all my frustration to that lady at kiosk. But lack of time compelled me cut down no -nonsense talk to updating their server information every 5 minutes.
I could see my himalayan trek going into smoke. But there was one chance left – I called up another airline which had a flight at around 11:30 PM. The flight was available and I did not waste time in booking the ticket directly through the phone. The issue was, the flight left from Mumbai domestic terminal and not from where we were currently holed up.
After about an hour fighting for a taxi, we finally reached the domestic terminal. As soon as we arrived, we checked in. The airport was as usual busy with 'god knows what' but that did not stop me from drifting to my Himalayan dream. It was around 11:40 when we finally boarded the flight. And in about 2 hours we landed at Delhi airport.
I was definitely going to see the great mountains!
To be continued.
Dedicating this post to never dying spirit of भारतीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान, मुंबई including all its goof ups :)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
In a lifetime, there are many questions that stare at you.
We try to answer them. And Everybody have a reason behind these answers.
But, there are some questions which have an answer but no reasons for that answer.
If you set apart that bunch of questions, may be, you can find the ones that actually need an answer.
Life, after-all, is all about asking the right questions.
And if you can find answers to them - life becomes a bliss.
I think, finally, I have started asking the right questions.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Helu you have reached Dell support, our IVR menu has changed, please listen for our new menu
If you have your monitor not working please press 1
If you have your hard disk not working please press 2
If you have your entire system not working please press 3
If you have you dont know whether your system is working please press 4
If you have any other problem, our counselor is pleased to help you
please press 5 for a female counselor or 6 for a male counselor.
As it was my keyboard that was not working, and hence the closest option was 3 for me and i pressed that magic button.
Helu you have reached Dell support, our IVR menu has not changed, please listen to our old boring menu
If you have a screen problem, please press 1
If you have a mouse problem, please quietly press 2
If you have a keyboard problem, please press 3
Thank god, I love this number 3. By the time I mugged their IVR menu, It had cost me 3 minutes of my call. I am sure my phone company's boss's sister is married to Dell's vice president's brother. 10% of their last net product value came through this collaboration.
After 5 minutes of fighting, I finally managed to get hold of Technical support team.
Hello, Dell support, Please tell me your 6 digit service tag number"
"A service what ? I have never called you, I am calling this for the first time" I tried to reason out.
"Sir, you can find this number from back of your system."
I painfully got this number from the back of my system and then began strenuous peace of conversation.
"Hi, Please note it FZC182"
"Sir could you spell it properly." I forgot that I was talking to an American sitting in Mirzapur.
"F for finger, Z for Zing, C for Count, 182 - I explained.
"You mean S for Sing " She had skipped 8th grade because she was too smart (as told by her English teacher who happened to be her mother's aunt's husbands younger sister's ..ZZZzzzzzz).
"No Z for Zebra"
"Sir can you spell it?"
I was spell bound for a second, then getting my composure back I said with fuming up.
"The last letter of English alphabet"
"oh, sorry sir....Yes, how may I assist you?" She had come back to their training routine. Now she felt more confident.
I told her my problem. She was not convinced that could happen she wanted to know how it happened. Hello am i speaking to a technical support or a random chatter!!!
"ok sir, now i understand your problem. We think its not your keyboard that is having the real problem. But somewhere else. I will follow you through a procedure to find where the exact problem" She was now in command.
" As far as my knowledge goes I think, the problem is in keyboard." I tried to argue.
" No sir, Please insert your diagnostic CD to your drive and please go through the procedure. I shall wait." She was not ready to give up.
"But Miss I have a problem with Keyboard, no alphabets will be displayed" I tried to convince her.
"Sir, I assure your problem will be fixed. Please start the test".
For all those people who have had an experience of diagnostic CD. It asks for inputs at certain intervals. But Dell went a step ahead - I will explain how.
The diagnostic CD started its work as soon as i put it in. First it tested the screen and then flashed a message-" If the picture quality is not correct, Please press Y". Unfortunately or fortunately my screen was ok and I didnt have to press "Y". There was counter which waited for 8 second after which the other test continued.
Then there was memory test - which took darn 15 minutes to finish. After this came the famous keyboard test
"Press Y to do a keyboard test. Press "S" to skip "
I was flabbergasted seeing this. I wanted to jump out of balcony after writing a suicide note against Dell.
Finally, after waiting more than 25 minutes on the call, she appologised to me and told me that somebody from dell team will be visiting to fix my key board.
Disclaimer: The incident happened 3 months before and may be Dell IVR menu has changed again. Also I dont have any issues with technical support lady - whosoever it was.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Shadows are always with you.
Or is it?
I don’t know when I last looked at my shadow.
And I don’t know whether I am being followed at all. How strange.
They say you should never play with your shadows.
Dreams it may not have, for sleep is forbidden in that world.
Diluting away into melanoid night, only to appear in dawn from below the curtains.
Subtle, quiet, uncared and unnoticed….. An existence borne out for following only one person for a lifetime. Without any complaints, day after day it stays faithful till the end.
But do you give one look backwards, to see at least once if it is following you?
Sometimes I feel.. I am just a shadow.
Image courtesy: Josh Otis
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Metropolitan Museum of arts is always crowded throughout the year. I am not a crowd-liking-person but I liked this museum. And whenever I come from Boston, I make it a point to come here and thereafter a stroll in the Central Park. And this has been the custom for last 7 years. But today it was different.
It’s been 13 years since I made that last call. And I still remember the "good bye" and long silence of phone thereafter. .......Seems like yesterday.
The cloudy sky suggested a heavy shower and i didn't want to get wet. But my schedule was not over. Every stop here would sub consciously pull me to New York HotDog and coffee. However, I had a feeling that I am not going to make it this time.
It started as a drizzle.
Hundreds of umbrellas suddenly sprang into life. Unlike back at home, they were not black ones. A multitude of colors and unimaginable shapes, and only hint they can be called as umbrella; they were not making you wet.In midst of new world, I was reminder of old world.
Rain had started its sonata.
"come inside, you will get wet"
That voice. The one I have trying in vain to forget, but only to be remembered over and over again.
I wanted to see her face, see those eyes and that smile. I wanted to say "hi". I wanted to know how she was. I wanted to tell what I am doing. I wanted to... turn back and just see a glimpse.
"No mommy, see my hood is on". A little girl, standing may be just behind, me was insisting.
The rain had changed its direction. A drop fell on my face. And then many followed.
It started to pour down heavily.
Everything had changed.
Pic courtesy: Christian Carocca
Friday, February 19, 2010
I had to submit a photograph for a competition in our college. Everybody told me to submit, because they thought I was good in capturing frames. But I believed I didn't have the perfect photo for the theme of the competition.
The theme was "Blue" . I saw others photographs and all they had done was putting a shade of blue when they took the picture. But I believe, by "Blue", the judges thought something else. And I was looking out for that other shot. As usual.
Anyway I could not get the shot and did not submit, even though I had a photo for the regular "Blue".
Public is angry at me as I did not submit this one.
"Junta!!! it is just another competition!!!"
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
It is the same the sky, the same beach and the same sun. But everytime it is different.
A gentle chilly breeze soothes my face. I look ahead. The same horizon and yet it is different.
Like a palette where a bit of white, blue and yellow mixed together, the same sky and yet so much different from yesterday.
I fold my novel, it is not interesting anymore. The breeze again touches me and go, as if trying to get my attention. I am listening and I look ahead. Holding my breath i look into horizon. Just a rhythmic flow of waves beating the shore and the horizon. In between like a swing, the breeze comes and ruffle my hair. I look at the infinity where sea touches the sky. A unification of nature's senses.
A visual trance, I forget everything....just about everything.
And for moment I am happy....real happy.
Sun has set. The sallowness is fading further as if the artist had enough of yellow. A pale blue blends from the east. Soon horizon will dissolve into darkness. Another day has just ended.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
The first kiss. Everybody remember their first kiss.
The hesitation, the tremble, the eyes closing and….. the kiss.
The warmth, the taste, the lips holding and ….the departing.
The breathing, the childish smile, closing again and …the kiss.
The upper, the lower, hands running down the hair and… breath running out.
The first kiss.
Hard to remember the last though.
Last Friday? Or was it the week before. Or did we kiss goodnight that time?
The foul smell, taste Chinese, the dry lips or the novice .....
The simple goodbye kiss, or the peck on the left cheek, is that a kiss? ..
The calling, the mobile ringing, or the dad opening the front door…and the running..
Would like to know what is the secret behind it – the kiss thing. Any comments.