I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able as days go by,
To look at myself straight in the eye.
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I’ve done.

I don’t want to hide on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
What kind of man I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself in sham.

I want to go with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect
And in this struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know
That I am a bluster and empty show.

I cannot hide myself from me;
I can see what others can never see;
I know what others can never know,
I cannot fool myself, and so

Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

Edgar A Guest

a beautiful mind…

a beautiful mind

Had been wanting to watch it for a long time. A line from the movie struck me really hard…

“No they’re not gone, maybe they never will. But i’ve got used to ignoring them. And they’ve also kind of given up on me. Its like our dreams..”

And that’s so true. There are times in our lives when our dreams take the better of us. They’re all that matters. They become almost an existence…sitting beside me, standing by me, walking with me…everywhere, all the time…egging me on, pushing me, reminding me of what i really want to be…or do. And then, life catches up and I start ignoring them, pushing them away, stacking them in some remote corners of my mind & thinking that they’re gone. But the truth is…they’re always there…some dead, some cursing me for having given up on them while I could have really taken them along; some still walking…though now at a distance…kept alive with the hope there still is a chance. And many more being born, every minute, at every turn of life.

Except…now they’re even more shortlived. Now they die sooner than they used to. Now…i wake up early…’cos now…I’ve grown up.

As for the movie…anything that made me think so much…is definitely good stuff! But yes…Russell Crowe has done better work.

The holy dip in gurgaon!

Warning: This blog has nothing to do with me being at Corp Office except the fact that it gives me time to write it. All names and characters mentioned herein are real.

Truly, this place doesn’t stop to amaze me!!

I’ve already shared the immense value addition to our (me, Divya*, Yang**, Amol***) capability to deal with corporate culture; courtesy the Corp Office experience. Recall marrying the widow & dropping the orphan.  

And this last Friday we actually washed our sins in this Mecca of Modernization (read the new Gurgaon) which has managed to hide the true colours of  the gaon that it is behind the malls and glass buildings that continue to crop up. But every once in a while the revolting old city makes its presence felt in its inability to handle traffic, the constant jams, the flowing sewers et al!!

And Yang keeps pointing out how there are not enough ‘adventurous’ people around and how we waste so much time just sitting indoors.

So coming back to the holy dip; (yes…you dint miss anything if you came straight to this!!) there we were, on a nice Friday evening with surprisingly nice weather post a generous shower the previous day, knowing not what to do. And as Yang keeps pointing out the lack of adventure; we decided (me, Yang and Kshitij****) to go for this movie called Dhamaal. And the best transportation you get in gurgaon is the rickshaw gods, when that is, their esteemed judgment finds it worthwhile to take you where you want at the rate he wants. So we reach the next traffic light and realize there’s a good 1 km jam. We decide to walk.

We walk determinedly, dodging cars and cows alike, jumping puddles, climbing pavements; till the roadside was walkable land devoid of the sewer water. And as Yang seems both happy and tired with our little trekking right here in Gurgaon, we plead to another rickshaw god to take us the next 2 km at a measly 30 bucks.

And as we encounter another of those traffic jams that goes on forever on these roads, Yang notices the side of the road with 5 inch deep sewer water and exclaims “eww! If somebody were to fall in that water wouldn’t he stink for life?!” Our rickshaw wala on the other hand has a revelation. He sees the water logged stretch with a car struggling to get through it. He decides his simplistic automobile and manly prowess will be better equipped to wade through it. We protest. The rickshaw god insists.

And as he pulls forth, his front wheel suddenly takes a 1 foot dip into a strategically located pothole. He struggles to get it out. His rickshaw screams at the overload. Before we realize what’s going on…his rickshaw rolls over like a happy elephant in a rivulet with all three of us thrown in holy water. Yes. You read it right. We fell. Full length. Into a giant puddle of sewer water. It really happened. The memory of it still makes me…well…stink!!

So there went our movie. Some Dhamaal we had!! We plead to another rickshaw god to take us back to the guest house. And after a good hour long bath we reconvene to have Thapa ke haath ka khana and to watch India take over Pakistan. 

And Yang is delighted. It truly was an adventurous evening.


(Use Axe. It helps get rid of stink well) 

*Friend at Pepsi #1

**Friend at Pepsi #2

***Friend at Pepsi #3

****Friend at PWC; co-working with Pepsi

Before sunset.

I just finished the second of two movies suggested by a friend of mine. Before Sunset; sequel to Before Sunrise which I had seen about a week back, and I had this sudden urge to write about it. It’s beautiful!!

I mean ya…its romantic yet real and all that stuff but that’s not what I mean. It’s amazing the way the before-sunset2.jpgcharacter is built up. And it’s a real character; he’s a guy that could exist and she’s a girl that I could bump into walking on a street one of these days. (Of course it’s the girl I would like to bump into ;)). And I guess the most difficult way to build a character is to…just let it be. I know the people I know for what they are ‘cos they’ve been like that all their life. That’s the way they are, the way they think and those are the things we’ve talked about…over the last few years that is. But this was done in 6 hours! 

Anybody can build a hero or a superhero. There are things you expect a hero to do. And what he can’t; you expect the superhero to do. Its easy telling a story about them for that very simple reason…the audience knows ‘who they are’! But you know a real person only when you talk to them. And that’s just what these movies have achieved so well! They just…talked!! 

I’m not talking about whether I like the ending or not, whether it can actually happen or not; what I’m saying is…I know who she is!! Isn’t that just what a writer hopes to achieve when he tells a story? And isn’t that just what a director hopes his audience to go home with when he makes a film? Well this one did! So full points to them both!   And for those of you who were expecting something more intellectual out of this…really; this is all I had to say. Just…random…musings. And if you haven’t watched the movie and are the type who can bear watching two people talk for 6 hours…give it a shot. 



PS: Thinking about it now, I realize I don’t know them, I know her. And I guess 1 simple explanation to that is; She talked more than himJ.  

Man…The Machine

Billions of years ago there was a big bang in the universe. Earth happened. A few years later it got bored. Life happened. And today there’s countless species of ‘animals’; most of whom will die without knowing that most of the others ever existed at the same time.

The ‘most evolved’ of them took to the task of knowing his world and telling other ‘most evolveds’ about it. One of the ‘most evolved’ has written this piece hoping that some of the other ‘most evolveds’ would take out time to read it. Time; that they’ve saved. Saved because some other ‘most evolveds’ thought it was the most valuable thing in this universe. Saved because they made cars and trains and planes so you won’t have to spend so much of it just getting around. Getting around to places where more such time is saved. Places where they make phones so you don’t have to write a letter and depend on some postman to spend 5 days delivering it. Places where they make microwaves so you don’t have to wait long minutes for your breakfast to get ready. So you can have a breakfast in seconds and save more time to reach another of those ‘time saving places’. Places where they make refreshing drinks that you could drink in some of those saved minutes. Refreshment that you need ‘cos the ‘most evolveds’ are not capable of working the hours that they thought they could. Working days and smoking the nights away ‘cos they have to work the hours that other ‘most evolveds’ set out for them. The other ‘most evolveds’ who travel in air conditioned cars ‘cos they can’t stand the heat the time saving cars end up trapping. Trapping ‘cos it’s so unbearably hot outside ‘cos of the fuel they guzzle. He works in an evolved glass building; an air conditioned glass building ‘cos obviously glass lets in too much sun. Glass ‘cos some other ‘most evolveds’ in the more evolved parts of the world discovered its much more time saving to use glass instead of concrete. He gulps down 3 cups of coffee in 3 hours ‘cos it keeps him awake, increases his productivity and of course saves so much time at work. He grabs a quick lunch in office ‘cos it’s so much more time saving than going home for lunch.

He saves all this time so once in two months he could have time enough to splurge it on a break. Time enough to go to a ‘less evolved’ part of the world and relax. Time enough to go and see the pelicans that travel half the world just to suit themselves to the environment. Time enough to go see polar bears that hibernate ‘cos they couldn’t raise the temperature of the poles. Time enough to scuba dive and see fish who camouflage to suit the surroundings so they could hunt or avoid the hunter. Time enough to see the giraffes in Africa who’ve stretched their necks to eat the highest leaves ‘cos they couldn’t bring the trees down. Time enough to see the kangaroos in Australia who’ve made themselves a pouch to protect the helpless new born. Time enough to see the camels in the Sahara who carry humps of water so they could survive the heat.

Time enough to see the star spangled sky and hope, that somewhere out there there’s another planet that’s ‘not so evolved’.

That someday he’ll save time enough to go up there.

Time enough to never have to save time again.

have you seen the stars today?

 Oh no! I’m no Deepak Chopra and this is no soul stirring-conscience knocking call on your already stressed selves! I’m no astronomer on my quest for a hitherto unknown new planet, where I could travel…in search of peace…of mind and a piece…of land (that…by the way I AM looking for; so any leads in NCR would really help!) to build my own home on! And God no…I don’t in the least intend to challenge the heights you’ve reached in your stint with life…who am I to ask you what stars, or moon if you like, you reached for and whether you made it there or not.

It’s a plain simple question.

It is.

Ask yourself! Have you seen the stars today? Or yesterday? Or the day before?  Let’s see. I go to office in the morning, there’s no stars. I come out for the after lunch walk; no stars. I wait for the cab in the evening, I take exactly 5 steps to get in; still no stars. And I spend my time watching TV, trying to read, and restart that book ‘cos I lost track of where I was, have food and go to sleep. No, no stars. See! Told Ya!

“Well it’s OK” I say to myself. “What’s with the stars anyway? Stop acting funny and get back to …what was that new thing you said you were selling? You got a workplace, internet to stay in touch, pizza discounts and now a recently opened Landmark store so you know which books to look for at the footpaths in Sector 14; you got all u need!”

Do I?

And then came Saturday.

No work place, a retarded internet connection, a dysfunctional bike and Gurgaon public transport.A few unexpected phone calls to friends…unexpected to them that is; and the pizza lunch did try to fill up the day.

And then I discovered in addition to the mess and common area – the listed areas of ‘recreation’, the guest house had a terrace. And a few plants.

I looked up… and there they were. So many of them. The Ursa Major was there alright. And the Orion. And the Pole Star.

I went back and started reading again.

I knew I could finish this one without restarting.