Monday, January 29, 2007

Floyd 1975

"Wish You Were Here"

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

~Roger Waters,
'Wish you were here' 1975 Pink Floyd

This has been playing on my mind and my music system this weekend. As usual, there is a song for every weekend I spend alone. One week down and 9 to go!

Friday, January 26, 2007


The fundamental values and the guiding principles on which the Constitution of India is based. Reflected here in the Preamble to the Constitution:

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;
and to promote among them all
FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;


This came into action today, 26 January. India celebrates Republic Day, 60 years of being a Republic. 60 years since we promised ourselves what we wanted as a nation. 60 years of moving up, ahead and onwards. In the name of progress and development. In the name of nation building.
The definitions of justice, liberty, equality, fraternity are the same, the applications of them have changed.
We said we are a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic. The secular bit is something that sticks in my many of us really believe in that..after Kashmir, Gujarat and Punjab problems! But let me not throw a damper on the celebrations, and just use this to remind those who think of India as a Hindu nation - that we are not Hindu (Nepal is), we are a secular country of many shades and many religions. A tolerant nation that has never started a war, has never dominated territories, has never enslaved any people..we are India. As promised - above!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Snow fell last night, leaving a thick white squishy blanket on my world last night.
Walking on untread snow gives me great happiness, I cant figure out why!
I dont know what it is about white and purity and the semiotics of white as a colour...and where it starts thinking...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Past, Present and Future.

Look back and you shall see the wisdom of hindsight. You will see where you should have turned left when you turned right. And got lost. And you did see the signs, which were bright but you did not want to read them. This is when you see how much you have grown up and changed to what you are now.

Look in the mirror now and you think, much has changed, and a lot of evolvement of your brain, your heart and soul has taken place. You will always think, I am so much better now than I was before. Reflecting on the past is almost akin to seeing teenage photographs and cringing at your appearance. But on a whole new level, where you see how you have moved up and on in your thinking and behaviour, the changes are there, some would like to think, they never changed and they are just the same. That is just not possible. Tiny changes in your thoughts and perceptions, in your actions and words occur. The past handed the baton to the present, and that shift changed you.

You will always think, that I shall remain this way into my future. You have improved and changed to the best of your ability now and any further changes dont look right or seem to be needed. Your thoughts shall be as refined as they are now and will hopefully follow the same pattern in the future as they do now. Which is a good thought, but not possibly workable. You will change, your future that seems far now and which you can probably picture somewhat clearly will not be a replica of your thoughts. It shall be different because you shall be different.

People change, most times for the better. Your current environment and thoughts hold shades of the past, which now blend seamlessly into a new hue of the present, the whole colour shall change in the future, but in essence it shall remain the same. Change is not wrong and it is unavoidable. Your intrinsic personality and heart does not change. The shades on the epidermal level change as you learn, grow and evolve, in an attempt at being a better human being. Some changes are more permanent than the others. Dont look back to sigh, dont sit back complacently in the present, dont worry about the future. Every day and every new experience teaches us something and leaves us with a tiny mark, its up to us to learn from it and change when needed, and more importantly not resist change when it pushes you.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Can't Smile

My heart strings have been stretched like never before..and this song has been going round and round in my head all weekend. It reflects how I feel right now!

You know I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm findin' it hard to do anything

You see I feel sad when you're sad
I feel glad when you're glad
If you only knew what I'm goin' through
I just can't smile without you

You came along just like a song
And brightened my day
Who'da believed that you were part of a dream?
Now it all seems light years away

And now you know I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm findin' it hard to do anything

You see, I feel sad when you're sad
I feel glad when you're glad
If you only knew what I'm goin' through
I just can't smile without you

Now some people say happiness takes so very long to find
Well I'm finding it hard leavin' your love behind me

And you see I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm findin' it hard to do anything

You see I feel glad when you're glad
I feel sad when you're sad
If you only knew what I'm goin' through
I just can't smile without you...

-Barry Manilow

Friday, January 19, 2007

Do you know?

How well do you know the one you value the most/ love the most?

Do you know what they think about when they are glazed over and spaced out?
What they really wish they could change about themselves?
What one liner or thought always makes them smile?
Which of your friends they like the most?
Which place and memory is they cherish the most?
What upsets them the most?
What is the one thing they would love you to do without being told?
What worries them the most about you?
Which parent or sibling do they really like?

After being together for a longish time people tend to either forget about such things or forget what they knew a long time ago..when it comes to men and women, men often dont know..or what they knew during the dating phase about their love would and could have changed as time passes...

Whats her favourite flower?
What is her favourite song?
What would she really do if you were to give her complete control of a holiday?
Which photograph of yours if her favourite?
Does she like surprises?
What does she remember about your first date?
What was her first impression of you?
Does she have secrets that you dont know but she would not mind sharing?

Small things, that make a difference, that reveal the difference between constant love and growing love. That show that you are still interested in the woman next to you, that you dont know her in entirely but are willing to spend your life unravelling..

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Avoiding the Bye!

There seems to be an allergic reaction in the family for Good Byes!
Nani (maternal Grandma) never went to see her sons off to the train station when they returned to their postings. She had lunch with them and then went for her afternoon nap, which was when they left home. No good byes.

Mum is not too far off, there are always big fat tears in her eyes when I leave, when my sister leaves, or for that matter when anyone leaves from home. Bearing in mind I am in India every 4-6 months and the sister is back home every few weeks, it is a bit strange. Mum starts counting days and weeks and soon it is a conversation which starts with ' its only a matter of 10 weeks or 20 weeks'. Counting in months sounds painfully long and so we seem to be developing a tradition of counting in weeks in the family. Every good bye is tear filled! Every time..and cynical eyebrow raising or cheeky grinning about her tears has a standardised response too 'when you have children of your own you will know!'.

I recently followed my heart to Edinburgh and then to Leicester and then to Delhi and then to Pune. Just to avoid saying a good bye at the above four location. Got stuck with Pune where the inevitable Bye had to be faced!
I think the allergic bye legacy has been transformed from being any kind of bye to being slightly more specialised. I think I am happier saying the Bye and going away then being the one left behind. Abandonment, though an inappropriate term for short time spent apart, is a nasty feeling..even if it is for a few weeks and its not abandoning as such.
Much as I hate saying the 'Bye' word, being left hanging around a metal railing while the traveller disappears into airport check-in is by far the saddest feeling! Holding on till the last minute and waiting for a final call, while your heart is begging, pleading and whispering silently, 'Dont go! Please dont go!'
Hate this good bye thing! Wish I was cool about it! But I aint a cool person anyways!

Monday, January 15, 2007


I have heard so much about Pune in Maharashtra from friends and friends of friends that I went for a short visit. Its a nice-ish place, polite retired person's city. As compared to Delhi it was hot, about 34 degrees in January, which made me worry about what the summer would be like.

Not unlike Bombay the roads are terrible..and make all conversations turn into grunts! Not unlike any other city, Pune has malls by the tonnes, since I dont like the Mall concept of hanging around trying to look cool, I did not appreciate this aspect of the city either. Not unlike other cities flyovers seem to be coming up in every corner of Pune. Local people moaned about the 'bad traffic' in Pune, they really must try the South Delhi to Gurgaon trip at 8am to know about bad traffic where you might just move about a km in one hour..maybe!

The armed forces base at Pune makes is clean and green in many places. IT and related sectors offices like T Systems office and other such glass buildings makes a visitor like me wonder what Pune looked like before the IT boom hit it.

Suburbia of Pune is built in the same way as any other city suburbs, inconspicous, badly designed (externally) buildings and housing societies in dusty areas seem to be visible everywhere. With a growing population the housing market is huge, but badly organised. They seem to lack planning in terms of design and infrastructural backbones! One such example is that Thursdays are powerless days for some reason in most of Pune. Immensely frustrating for a so called developing/ developed city! Pollution is high in the city and most of it is dust! The CNG concept has not reached this city yet..and it shows.

What I did like were the well hidden local markets and forts, statues of the Maharashtrian fighters, old curved stone bridges which are sinking into a very dirty river. Old architecture is easy to see if one looks up, wooden carved balconies and jharokhas, parapets carved out of stone. But the best thing was the plethora of all kind of dieties from Dagru Sheth to Hanuman with Chatursringi in between. The temples are gorgeous and a Ganpati can be found just about everywhere. Exteremely nice for people like me who enter every temple that is open!

What else is nice about Pune is the amount you can eat, and not a sky high price like Delhi. Food and people stuffing their faces at all times of the day was very clearly visible in Pune. Like all cities in South and West India..fresh flowers that smell heavenly are easily available, so if you are the kind that likes a Lei in the hair that freshens you all day..Pune shall not disappoint, whats unique though is that the flower girl or lady shall be only too happy to weave flowers into your hair for you, something I was keen to get done...everyday!

The drive from Pune to Bombay via Lonavala was my exercise in learning Marathi. Drive Slow, Speed breaker Ahead, Do Not Stop in the Tunnel, Observe Lane Rules, Tunnel Ahead, Food and Fuel Ahead, Speeding and Tyre Bursting Causes Accidents..etc etc...all written in now I know how to talk to a traffic cop in Maharashtra! I have got the 'ahe' down to a pat! The funny head nod in a half clockwise and half anti clockwise shake which can mean - yes, no and whatever is something I need to practice in a mirror!

All in all it seems like a quaint laid back place full of new money and little infrastructure to support its booming population. Had I not been used to living in a huge Metropolis for most of my life I would have probably liked Pune. Its too small, too slow and too focussed for its growth on IT to make it interesting to anyone else. It lacks the 'life' that is there in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and other bigger cities in the world. And now (post the IT boom) it seems to be hiding the 'old world charm' that accompanies most small cities in India which are steeped in history.

Old Pune might have been nice, this in between stage where its a wanna-be city with is flashy malls and glass tower blocks, stunning temples but no place to walk, big cars and narrow roads, leave Pune in the middle of nowhere.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Busy-ness as usual. Holiday my foot, this trip is turning into a roller coaster ride. Meeting people I have only heard, seeing people I did not know existed and dining with people who I have never seen before! One big mish mash of people, places, trafiic, eating, shopping and very little sleep :(
There is a background of illness and tension.
There is a feeling of time ticking backwards till it runs out and I shall be away from the people I love the most to complete something that matters a lot.
I am happy though..and I guess that is what matters.
India..what can I say...everytime I come here I always have one question...
what makes the people tick?..cant figure it out..not just yet!