Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why, pray why on earth, would Ms. Carla Bruni desire to meet up with me and send me an invite to Paris?

Is she out of her senses ? Or am I, to actually accept it, fly to Paris and wait for her by the Champs-Elysees ?

Truly, this is the wierd stuff dreams are made of. Literally, I mean. :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Roland Garros 2009 augurs well for Rafa

Saucy Sardonix makes a guest appearance here apres longtemps....here we go :

Its cruel but it’s the truth. Federer’s win at Rolland Garros 2009 speaks volumes about Rafael Nadal.

Federer is no doubt a genius, god’s gift to tennis. His forehands are like laser guided missiles, his backhand is poetry, his groundstrokes are simultaneously the examples of brutal strength and soft touches. Federer was a natural serve and volley player who chose to massacre opponents from the baseline, used his ace hitting ability to pull out of the woods and changed the paradigms of placement angles. The form of Federer post Wimbledon 2003 made the Sampras summit of 14 slams look more like a mere road hump rather than the monumental achievement it is in reality.

Fate, however it seems, is not without a touch, an equilibrium. The 2005 French open announced a teenage sensation, 2006 confirmed it, 2007 labelled him a clay court wonder and 2008 revealed the truth- Rafael Nadal was the one man who stopped Federer from dominating world tennis. The following year he discovered his confidence on grass, toppled the champion’s unbeaten 5 year run at Wimbledon and then reduced him to tears in Australia. Suddenly, the transit from 13 to 14 slams looked impossible, French open seemed out of reach forever and a career grand slam was fast looking to be a chapter in Roger Federer’s dream.

What was most surprising was that the champion who had decimated rivals on all surfaces, made tennis seem the easiest sport in the world, added a new dimension to the word grace was made to look fragile and vulnerable. Rafa’s wins combined with health and injury problems for Federer gave new life to other players. Murray, Djokovic and many others derived inspiration from the Spaniard’s conquests. Federer was having a run of being beaten rather being unbeaten.
At Roland Garros 2009, Federer was reportedly practicing return of heavy topspin (Nadal’s most potent weapon) and strategies to counteract other known Nadal arsenal when news of Soderling’s conquest broke through. The champ promptly packed his bags and retired to his hotel. Such was the mental impact of Nadal’s exit on the swiss ace. It became obvious that Federer was confident against everyone except Rafael Nadal. The win at Roland Garros 2009 may be a backhanded compliment to Roger Federer as the phrase ‘in the absence of Rafa in the finals’ would eternally linger as a punctuation mark.

Perhaps in 2010 Federer may exorcise his demons once and for all by beating Rafa in Roland Garros, an encore to his triumph over the Majorcan in a clay court final this year. Then the world will undoubtedly be united in their ode to this genius from Oberwii as the greatest ever. Till then Rafael Nadal can be thanked for restoring interest and parity to the sport that was fast becoming Federer’s professional pastime.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Let go.....

Jeroo Billimoria, founder of Childline on what she had learned from her work with Childline in India: "Learning to let go."
"Everything will not be exactly the way you want it. You have to let people take charge. The best thing is not to have a picture of what you want, but to have basic principles."

How to change the world, Social entrepreneurs and the Power of new ideas : David Bornstein

Friday, June 05, 2009

Origin of humanity...

"It is in the power of everybody, with a litte courage, to hold out a hand to someone different, to listen, and to attempt to increase, even by a tiny amount, the quantity of kindness and humanity in the world. But it is careless to do so without remembering how previous efforts have failed, and how it has never been possible to predict for certain how a human being will behave. History, with its endless procession of passers-by, most of whose encounters have been missed opportunities, has so far been largely a chronicle of ability gone to waste. But next time two people meet, the result could be different. That is the origin of anxiety, but also of hope, and hope is the origin of humanity."

- What becomes possible when soul-mates meet.

An intimate history of humanity, Theodore Zeldin

Friday, May 15, 2009


Kick them.
Beat them.
Whip them.
Burn them.
Kill them.
Maim them.
Rape them.
Simply exterminate them.
And then there will be calm and peace and quiet in this earth after the scum of the earth (read: dirty people) will be eradicated!.
When the end is extermination and vanquishing a race per se, would the means matter?
To you or me or them?

So then with this eventual goal egging one on, everything and anything is justifiable, laced with aggressive intolerance, virulent chauvinism of untold proportions, a warped sense/knowledge of history, irrational pride. (?)

Leading to rabid hatred, blind intolerance and illogical conservatism.

The venom is spreading slowly but surely.
The future is unsettlingly scary.
The future is now.

PS : Soon to be heard : "And then they came for me" :(
But who is going to be left ? [or right] !

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The moon is our constant companion,

as we trudge along a lonely, straight road;

Eyes enveloped in the silhouette shadows of the teaks and the palashs,

tall and barren as they stand,

I am captivated by the unrealised beauty in their barrenness;

As if whispering in my ears "shorn of all splendour, I still stand in full glory and splendour"

and making me feel at that particular moment,

a complete sense of contentment and peace.

the pursuit of happiness

is indeed the goal of life :)

Maria Kalman - I simply love this!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When actions speak louder than words, why the blind reverence for symbols ?

Like charity, moral policing also begins at home.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Of course, sweetheart, your views, preferences, likes and interests always count.... subject to my approval of it all"

And we set off on the liberating journey that is called life :(

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Give me Tagore any day, to pull me out of my disillusionment and keep me grounded in life.

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where words come out from the depth of truth

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit

Where the mind is led forward by thee

Into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

- Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the summer sky, in dreams of living light and loveliness.....

and then the storm....

and the calm after the storm :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

the M in my life!

The dreaded letter in my life right now could only begin with - M and end with -E!
Before your mind whizzes to the rather obvious option, let me veer (its veer, not wear! Mind it!) the thought away to more lurid prospects.

With me every sleeping hour; every waking hour;
A juicy bite here and a blood drawing bite there,
no matter day or night,
whizzing and hovering around me, always, forever!
Any exposure would do fine!
I scream, I kick, I shoo, I slap...
But the act continues with alarming intensity.
I admit (am)bushed :(

Why can't the damn Mosquitoe prey on newer targets?

A case of low hanging fruit, maybe? :(

Its 4 years today
since I have wished you.
And I never will be anyway...

Her smile, her warmth, her joy
reminded me of you...
so much so it was a struggle
to be normal and not be overwhelmed
by nostalgia and her generosity of spirit.
Sometimes in the winds of change,
we find our true direction.

Like I read this in an email signature of a friend some time back :
"So often it's a matter of trading in. Old lamps for new. Small dreams for big ones.
So often all it requires is the courage to accept the responsibility of knowing you are bigger than your smallness."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The road,
You shall follow it.

The fun,
You shall forget it.

The cup,
You shall empty it.

The pain,
You shall conceal it.

The truth,
You shall be told it.

The end,
You shall endure it.

- Markings, Dag Hammarskjold

Work up the charm quotient babe! Suck up more. And all the goof-ups are taken care of by the charm quotient. Nothing else succeeds like charm, you see.....

Nah, I don't actually see....

Friday, April 03, 2009

yeh dilli hai meri jaan...

Seems like yesterday when I set foot at the Delhi tarmac on a chilly grey morning in January and almost by the blink of an eyelid, its one month now...And no, I have neither visited Agra nor done the usual touristy things in full measure, though definitely I can be held guilty of visiting Dilli Haat couple of times and hogging momos, dhabeli and misal pav at the food stalls there.

Huh! I could n't resist, after all!

To think I started writing with the noble intention of penning down my experiences in Delhi and not speak of food, but hey, hold on a second...How can one be in Delhi and not speak, think, wonder, talk, smell, listen to or (finally!) eat the food in Delhi? Not unless one is totally indifferent to food in the overall plate of life!

Delhi is truly not just our national capital but our street food capital as well. Life of the common man revolves around food. There is potato and panneer in almost everything. Sample this: Morning starts off with aalu parantha for breakfast, and typically it is served with some dal/gravy which has some pieces of boiled potatoes floating in it. For lunch, the menu is for your asking - rotis (made of wheat flour with a drop of ghee, thankfully!) And along with that is always one of the above in the combination as below :

A) aalu gobi/ aalu capsicum/ aalu matar/methi aalu/aalu jeera ...or

B) matar panneer/ panneer capsicum/ panneer butter masala/ palak panneer...

On some lucky days, I get vegetable korma which is sinfully rich, being made in cashew paste and having a generous portion of aalu and panneer besides carrots, beans and cauliflower.

I got frustrated by this overdose of aalu and panneer and ordered chana bathura one afternoon only to stunningly discover that the bathura had some small pieces of panneer stuffed in it and the yummy chana masala had couple of big pieces of boiled potatoes in it (which of course got the cold shoulder treatment from me)!

Oh, by the way, if you do get bored with aalu and panneer, there is always chole masala, dal makhani and rajma masala. And over and above all this, there is the delectable world of chaat! Samosa, Papdi chat (ok, that also has boiled potatoes in it), bhel puri, sev puri, dahi bhalla, kachori....

Having not one sweet tooth but many, how can I not bring up the gala array of desserts available - the hot moong dal halwa or the gaajar ka halwa, the hot, juicy and succulent gulab jamun or the crisp jalebis, just out of the kadai! My tongue just swirls around the malai and milk based sweets (I can't even recollect their names any more, just their taste lingers in me). Not to even utter a word about the creamy kulfis and the rabri falooda....

If a way to a woman's heart is through her stomach, Dilli sure has captured my heart!

With temptations galore and my succumbing to them with full gusto, am on the fast track to becoming an aalu or a shapeless block of panneer!

Ce n'est pas juste, mais c'est la vie! :(
- 1st March 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"There is no golden past. Yet we seek it ultimately.

We want to leave home, and then, one day, we wish to return.

But we can never go back to the same. Because, home has changed and in many ways, so have we."

Leaving Home. Indian Ocean

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


"Walk the trodden path, that's what we all did, so follow it".
Why is it that if one aspires for something to be more than perfunctory, it is branded something else?

It does not matter, does it, if one is educated or uneducated? Or perhaps the goal of education is just to earn us bachelor/master degrees and get a job? Earn our bread and butter, not to mention the cheese, jam, pickle and sauce as well… :( This is how it happens and this shall be IT!

Useless to even strive to let education open one‘s mind and look at things in a lateral or pragmatic fashion. The ‘old stone-age’ customs cannot be brushed away in one simple stroke, huh ? And the values one holds on to are quietly buried somewhere in the midst of the resultant chaos.

Who cares ? Just smother it, my dear!
The purpose of education is to manufacture brains which think in a similar way, the way society wants: not to foster independent thought processes or beliefs. After all, would (can) such independent thought processes or beliefs stand against time tested practices and beliefs ?

In the midst of all this, one sits- frustrated, confused, bemused and irritated with one thought ringing aloud :
It’s better to be a cow than be someone with a mind of your own.

Life is perfunctory.
If you want anything more, go to Utopia!

PS : Holy Cow! Donkeys are way better, actually......

Saturday, January 31, 2009

ek sheetal si hai bhavna,
bhavna pyar ki;

ek masoom si arzoo,
arzoo aman ki;

ujaale ki tasveer hai,
motiyon se bhara taal hai;

ek ujaale ki tasvir hai,
shweth phoolon ki bhed hai;

Ab yeh srishti bas ek mantra hai jaanthi
shanti shanti shanti shanti.


As a new republic is formed, here's to new freedoms and newer landscapes....for a peaceful and calming influence :)

Its after all just another day, for you and me, in paradise, ain't it ?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

An 'Obamination' of sorts ...


Heard in the corridors of a dental college from a young graduate intern!

This is exactly why Mr. Obama should do a special appearance in a Bollywood dance item starring the ever-so bootiful Ms. Aishwarya Rai, or perhaps simply 'shut up and bounce' with Shilpa baby.

Underdog millionaire, anyone ?

Wat say, Saucy Sardonix ?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A perfect Sunday evening!

Watched a wonderful french movie called "The Bears" on NDTV Lumiere on sunday evening.

Its about a bear cub who is orphaned and how he befriends another adult bear and they try to face the wilderness hazards - which come in the form of hunters (men), their pack of dogs and lastly a puma attack.

The film was full of understated yet poignant moments - my personal favourite of course was the young cub looking at the reflection of the full moon in the water body at night and jumping into the reflection in the water as if trying to scare the moon away! There was absolutely no dialogue here and yet the scene lingers on in my mind ...

The way he emulates the adult bear he meets, his forlorn look when he finds the two adult bears mating, his sloppy manner of unsuccessfully chasing a frog, his quivering in fear when the hunters are nearby and how he forms an attachment to its captors, the hunters is all brought out in a beautiful manner.

While at one level, it was a movie about this bear cub and how it outwits the hunters in the company of an adult bear, I could feel another sub-text running through the movie. This was not just the usual wildlife movie or a movie on animals speaking to each other (like in the animated versions) but at a level relatable to human beings, subtly. Of untouched beauty and innocence of the young. Of dignity and compassion which each one of us has within.

The movie ends on a peaceful note with the young bear cuddling up to his friend/saviour - the adult bear as it snows outside the cave....

And then the quote appears : " The greatest thrill is not to kill but to let live."

A winter's sunday evening could not have been spent more perfectly!

PS: of course, Saucy Sardonix could n't 'bear' it at all! Talk of pauvre tastes in life! Huh!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

the struggle/s of the owls :(

Shailesh Rao, Google India's MD, in an interview to Outlook Business (January 24, 2009 - Print edition) articulates it well when he says:

"I have a lot of nervous energy. Throughout my life, I've found it tough going to bed. It means I have to stop doing things. Its a real struggle."

Amen to that!

I can only add to that by saying as the clock nears/strikes/moves past the midnight hour, my indiscipline only manifests multi-splendoured hues! :(

Call of Conscience

Lasantha Wickramatunga, a leading Sri Lankan journalist and Chief Editor of "The Sunday Leader", was shot dead by unidentified gunmen riding motorcycles, while he was on his way to work.

He wrote an editorial apparently with instructions to publish it after his death and here is the posthumous editorial.

Quite quite remarkable, inspiring, with a raw honesty and incisiveness you seldom come across in the media circles of late. I could almost feel the passion of the man himself even though I have read just one article of his, till date (before this editorial).

About the role of a journalist and the media:

"Why then do we do it? I often wonder that. After all, I too am a husband, and the father of three wonderful children. I too have responsibilities and obligations that transcend my profession, be it the law or journalism. Is it worth the risk? Many people tell me it is not. Friends tell me to revert to the bar, and goodness knows it offers a better and safer livelihood. Others, including political leaders on both sides, have at various times sought to induce me to take to politics, going so far as to offer me ministries of my choice. Diplomats, recognising the risk journalists face in Sri Lanka, have offered me safe passage and the right of residence in their countries.
Whatever else I may have been stuck for, I have not been stuck for choice.
But there is a calling that is yet above high office, fame, lucre and security. It is the call of conscience. "

And the most inspiring part of it, which left me a bit moist-eyed and disturbed as well :

"People often ask me why I take such risks and tell me it is a matter of time before I am bumped off. Of course I know that: it is inevitable. But if we do not speak out now, there will be no one left to speak for those who cannot, whether they be ethnic minorities, the disadvantaged or the persecuted. An example that has inspired me throughout my career in journalism has been that of the German theologian, Martin Niem”ller. In his youth he was an anti-Semite and an admirer of Hitler. As Nazism took hold in Germany, however, he saw Nazism for what it was: it was not just the Jews Hitler sought to extirpate, it was just about anyone with an alternate point of view. Niem”ller spoke out, and for his trouble was incarcerated in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945, and very nearly executed. While incarcerated, Niem”ller wrote a poem that, from the first time I read it in my teenage years, stuck hauntingly in my mind:
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

At some level, parts of the essay ring true in the Indian context as well. Wonder what the supporters of Narendra Modi, Advani, Bal Thackeray and other members of our venerated political class feel about this.....

Saturday, January 17, 2009

my big "O"! ;)

The world may be singing "Jai ho" but I am totally fida over "O .....Saya" (or this as well)
Drums (the train rumblings), eastern/african sounds, pacey and brimming with high voltage.
This number just stands out in the whole album for its sheer flow .. much like how the melting himalayan glaciers come rushing down the mountains to the northern plains!


And it got me thinking about Bose speakers finally!