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26 October, 2010

Good Over Bad

I have been thinking of an incident that will do justice to this topic and I have at last decided I will narrate something we witnessed during our childhood. The names have been changed well enough to disguise the religion, race or any other clue that will give away the details of my friend.

Around 15 years ago, Rameez’s father demised given the alcoholic he was. They were rich, his mother young and beautiful and without a guy to man the house. His relatives were trying all sorts of tricks to grab his father’s property – trying to marry his mother to one of his uncles and also trying to get Rameez engaged to one of their daughters, at such young age of 10-12 years.

Being kids, we didn’t realize that this was a serious predicament, but now when I retrospect, I have profound empathy for his mother. Fed up of constant bickering, they decided to relocate and that is when they shifted to my native, three of them; Rameez, his mother and his granny. They rented a small house and Rameez was admitted to my school.

They say little enemies and little wounds must not be despised but what if fortune has stopped being your friend and luck has a decidedly grudge on you? They were successfull in running away from those nasty relatives of his father’s but there was no hiding from misery. Within months, a goon started troubling them, threatening them to vacate the house as his uncle wanted to occupy it. Rameez’s granny was a woman like I had never seen before, she was determined to protect her daughter and grandson at any cost. She put up a brave fight, daring the goon legally. The goon was bound by law and they continued to stay at that house but the goon had decided to not to let go of this insult so easily. Life became harder for them so much so that, I even doubt his mother repented her decision of leaving her husband’s town.

But things changed, the goon’s family was faced with adversity; I am not very clear on what went wrong, the best I can recall is that one of his victims had set his house on fire. No one wanted to show mercy to him given his track record. Rameez’s granny stepped in, she provided his family with food and shelter. She also lent them money to reconstruct their house. Kindness, like grain, increase by sowing. This was the grain his granny had sown. The goon went on to become the greatest strength of Rameez’s family. He helped them get back to Rameez’s father’s house and own what was rightfully theirs. With this goon fellow on their side, Rameez’s paternal relatives preferred to stay away from Rameez and his mother.

It has been almost a decade since I lost touch with Rameez but I am sure the good of his Granny, the kindness she sowed would have enveloped the paternal relatives as well.

15 October, 2010

Blog Action Day 2010 - Water

I generally do not write travelogues, it's not my cup of tea. But today I want to quote one of my experiences in Zurich, Switzerland. I had been to Switzerland on a company sponsored visit. It is an awesome place,nothing less than a dream land. Of the umpteen number of things I have observed here, is that a bottle of beer is much cheaper than that compared to a bottle of water. 

This struck me deep and I always wanted to join a cause to help save water and  help reach it to the needy.Blog Action day is conducting this water day on 15th October 2010. I request all my dear friends to sign the petition and help this  noble cause.

12 October, 2010

A Million Little Pieces

Author: James Frey

Genre: Biography, Drug Addiction, Rehab

Guidance: May not be suitable for Kids

What do you know about addiction, in particular, addiction to drugs? You have seen it in cinema and sometimes you would have read about it as well. But do you really know what addiction to drugs is? What exactly it means to try and get rehabilitated? What and how are these rehabilitation centers? What kind of a fight a rehab patient puts up against the temptation to do it again? Just once? In a small quantity that wouldn’t hurt?

Yes, probably you could have read and seen it on TV or in movies but, this book takes it to next level. Intense, unpredictable, explicit and face-the-truth-in-your-face story of Mr. James Frey during the days of his addiction as well as during the rehab, ‘A Million Little Pieces’ is a true account (with a bit of creative freedom) of James Frey’s life.

Though there are many rumors of the facts being embellished, the book makes for an engaging read. It talks of all the troubles an addict goes through, his rub off with the law enforcing bodes, criminal charges against him and despite all these he manages to go on. My words may not do enough justice to the story, so let me quote few of my friends’ take on this book.

“The book made me laugh, made me ill, it shocked and saddened me, and I cried at the end. It made me appreciate NOT having to go through what James Frey went through”

“A Million Little Pieces is an uncommonly genuine account of a life destroyed and a life reconstructed. It is also the introduction of a bold and talented literary voice.”

I will let the book do rest of the talking, go get hold of it for if you are a connoisseur of good writing, you will never regret having bought this book or having read this book.

09 October, 2010

The Receptionist

Context: The below wordings are the musings of an inebriated drunkard to other drunkards he is partying with

There sits a lady wicked
At the gates of heaven and hell
She wears high heels, huge ear rings,
Dark lipstick and rimmed glasses as well.
She has dark eyes, crooked jaw
And sports a snotty smile.
She is corrupt, she is cunning,
She is uncouth, prejudiced and vile.

Sitting behind the ominous desk,
She helps people to their place in afterlife,
Some accept happily
And some others grimace.
There are those who cajole her
Either by gifts or by praise;
To let them pass by
Through the forbidden gates.

We can do the same, my brethren
And change our luck,
Because the game of fate
Is won or lost by a nip or tuck.
There is hope my people
For now let’s sin and rejoice
We can win over the receptionist,
With a deception or devoice.

04 October, 2010

My First IndiBlogger Meet

Do you live in a dream world? I do.

Brandbull, msigeek, Leo, Avada kedavra, Evil Me, anshprat, dhempe, dkris, flyfiddlesticks, addy, Mag[m] are few of the people I know by name. I had not met them, not before yesterday. I knew they were of my kind, unique and special –netizens, bloggers and crazy freaks. I had known them through blogs, twitter and other online social forums. I related with them and I knew they relate with me.

When Indiblogger announced that there will be a blogger’s meet @ Bangalore, it was a special feeling. I was participating in an Indimeet for the first. I would at last meet these people in person, see them in blood and flesh, talk to them, share with them and enjoy. It is rare to spend time anticipating what all could take place when you meet the people for the first time.Especially with the kind of work pressure my Mundane and routine jobs offers me. But I happily whiled the time day-dreaming and believe me it was worthwhile.

There will be many posts detailing the nitty gritty stuff about the meet and I do not wish you add extra garbage bytes to the digital memory space this post will take up.

I will try and make it different. Someone made a comment that we are a diverse group and oh boy! It was diverse group of about 250 odd people sitting there on the 7th floor of Fortune Park JP celestial.

Diversity of religion – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Chrisitan and atheists.

Regional diversity –Kannadigas, Tamilians, Malyalis, Punjabis, and many from north India

Professional Diversity – IT folks, PR, branding, creative directors, students to revenue officers

Age classification – The youngest fellow was 16(not sure if it was 14) and (g)oldest was 63

Sex – Male and female period.

Thanks to the HP folks for helping make the event techjazzy and of course the effort of team Indiblogger to have live streamlining of tweets and tweeples in laudable.

Mr. Anoop was one of his kind breed. He irritated, insulted, abused, annoyed and agitated people but his words made us laugh and roar. He has a good sense of humor. The introductions round , 30 seconds of fame, gave insights into what everyone of us is and it was a fun event, everyone showing of their lighter side; trying to make people laugh. Few succeeded beyond measures and most of us were Dud failures to make people laugh.

Next we had the famous write-on-your-back Live and let live comments round for more interactions with our fellow bloggers followed by snacks –delicious Samosas I say. Then, there was a presentation by HP followed by a session on Moblogging and appeals for social causes; not to forget indipolice putting forward the issues about content on Indiforum.

The presentation by HP about next gen data and printers was simply awesome. It gave me insights as to where we are heading. I am glad they launched their cloud printing concept in our meet. It was a great honor to be a part of history in making. My friends simply loved the cloud printing concept when I mentioned it to them.

I simply loved the segment (which I believe was not on Agenda) were appeals were madefor social causes – Sanskrit Online, Civil Defense, pollution prevention and a case study –opportunities for different ability people on the net. Who says we the crazy freak bloggers are not socially conscious?

I want to thank HP for whole heatedly for showering us with the printers and other gifts (though I won nothing but the IndiShirt that was given to everyone). There was a photography contest where people where capturing Photos and mailing them. Tweets were flowing around and people were blogging right from the venue.

If I was Harry potter then this would definitely be my Howgrats. I could never thank Indiblogger and their partners/sponsors enough for giving me this opportunity to meet my kinsmen.

My friends at the event were carrying all kind of gadgets – Ipads, smart phones, iPod etc. Everyone was busy growing their network - taking snaps, mailing them to one another; exchanging the twitter handles and tweeting right away, getting the facebook IDs and making friends online. You won’t believe if I say that there was a tweet about going to restroom and another tweet asking not to tweet about your restroom adventures. Amongst all this Euphoria, I was running around as a person from another age and another period, carrying a pen and pocket book to make friends. No, I cannot use my phone to do all this, probably it is the most primitive mobile phone available in market, I am not even sure if it is available these days.

That is when I realized, I needed a smart phone that would help me lead a life like I want to. Make friends on the fly, tweet whenever I feel like, capture the precious memories as photos and mail them to friends. And what better than the new One touch Net Docomo Alcatel Phone.

Docomo. Here I come. Keep my life (the smart phone) ready.

02 October, 2010

The curse of the Deserted Railway Station

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 15; the fifteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Jane and Jeremy, a middle class American couple came to India to realize their dream wedding. It was not going to be a big fat Indian wedding but it was their dream nevertheless. They had about a week’s time for the wedding and wanted to go around. They hired a tour guide cum driver Taposh Ranjan Das. To say the least, they were simply floored by his humbleness and honesty. For three days, he took them around to various places across north India including Taj Mahal. Jeremy wanted to know things about India that back home his friends didn’t know or had not been to, so he requested Taposh to show them some places which not many people know about or visit.

Being the true Indian host and humble guide, Taposh agreed. They had been traveling on a lonely road for about an hour now when the vehicle broke down suddenly. Both Jeremy and Taposh’s experience with vehicles put together didn’t help to start the vehicle. It was almost dusk and they were but curious to get going. Taposh went ahead to look around for help, the couple didn’t want to be left back. Jane realized that if they were to be kidnapped and killed here it will take people weeks to find their bodies. She shuddered at this thought and hurried to catch up with Taposh.

They spotted a building and when they approached near, they realized it was a forsaken railway station. There was no one around, the counters and the benches empty. Dust and cobwebs formed such thick layers that one may drown in it. The railway tracks were rusted, it should have been ages since a train passed on his track. The place was full of stench and the couple wanted to get back to the safety of the vehicle. So did Taposh. When they turn around to leave, the couple let out a shriek and fell down to the floor. Standing behind them was a lady. When did she come? They hadn’t heard footsteps, how did she land up behind them? Taposh was shivering all about. Her dark eyes with an overload of eyeliner, her ear lobes which were adoring hundreds of earrings and the weird bangles she wore made her look terrifying. She was catatonic with pronounced limp and when she spoke it was a coarse voice filled with urgency .

She said “Why have you come here? Is it your death that called you? Don’t you know this place is cursed? The mother and daughter will not let you go from here. You are finished”.

Taposh knelt down before her, his hands folded, still shivering he said ‘O holy mother, please forgive us. We were looking for help and we stumbled here’.

Jeremy didn’t want to be seen as a coward by his future wife. He manage to stand up and asked the old lady ‘Who mother and daughter? What curse?

She changed her gaze to Jeremy. Jane thought this lady was the from the horror show she was watching yesterday night.The old lady replied "Years ago, a mother tried to escape the rituals of Sati system with her 8 year old daughter. The girl was married to a 50 year old drunkard who died soon after marriage. The girl was to be burned alive with her dead groom. The mother wanted to save her daughter, so they escaped and were about to board a train to run away when they where caught and burnt alive, here, in this very railway station. Ever since, they have been haunting this place. No person who passes through this place will lead a happy life ever. The couples won’t have children and others would die of mysterious diseases."

Now Taposh was shuddering and shivering more than ever. He said “Please forgive us, we will go back and never return. Please save us from this trouble oh holy mother, give us a solution

There was absolute silence for about a minute and it seemed like ages, At last the lady spoke “You people should not be here. Get going. Give me money; I will perform prayers to ward off the evil and to keep you safe. Give me the money and get going."

Jane chose to speak at this moment "How do we believe you? What if you just want to cheat us and this story is a lie”. There was silence again and after some thought the lady closed her eyes and spoke slowly “You aren’t married are you? You come from a land from the far west and you are here to get married. Ain’t I right?” the couple nodded, she continued without opening her eyes “You have come here to be betrothed into the sacred marriage and your vehicle broke down and that is why you are here”. Taposh started prostrating before her and said “You are right your holiness. You are right” He then addressed the couple “She has mystic powers and I am sure she can ward off the evil. Please give her the money she asks for”.

The couple was still doubtful. The lady opened her eyes and started walking out of the railway station towards the vehicle. She placed her hand on the vehicle, closed her eyes and asked Taposh to start the vehicle. The very instant Taposh pressed the start button, the vehicle roared to life. The couple was convinced now. Jane ransacked her purse and handed over 300 dollars to the old lady “This is all we have now. Please pray for us and bless us for our future wedded life”.

The catatonic lady  accepted the money and blessed them; the vehicle moved on. After traveling a mile or so, Taposh’s cell beeped. He had a message; it read “Next time onwards, get better customers”.
A smile spread on his lips and he replied back “Ok Mom. See you later tonight. Keep my share.”

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.