Saturday, February 21, 2015

कुछ मुस्कानें हिंदी में

मेरी मिड-लाइफ क्राइसिस


शायद पिछले किसी जन्म में मैं एक सुखी-सम्पन्न बूढ़ा पिता था और उसके कुछ संस्कार बाकी हैं; या फिर ये मेरी 'यूनिक' मिड-लाइफ क्राइसिस है। काफी समय से जब रनबीर कपूर को देखता था (पर्दे पर) तो वो मुझे 'बेटे' जैसा लगता। :) पर हद्द हुई जब मैंने जैकलीन को फिल्म 'रॉय' में देखा (शायद उनकी पहली फिल्म मैंने देखी), तब से वो मुझे अपनी 'बहू' नजर आने लगीं। :) ऐसे मेरे इमेजिनरी परिवार में सोनाक्षी सिन्हा मेरी बड़ी बेटी हैं और आलिआ भट्ट छोटी बेटी। :) जब भी इन दोनों को देखता हूँ, मुझे बेटी जैसी फीलिंग्स आती हैं।  :) खैर, अभी देखते हैं कि ये 'परिवार' कहाँ तक बढ़ता है :)

कौन होगा मेरा दामाद?


कन्वेंशनल विस्डम है कि कोई व्यक्ति जैसा खुद नहीं बन पाता वैसा वह बेटे को बनाना चाहता है। पर मुझे ये कहावत ठीक नहीं लगती (बिना अपनी दिमागी ट्विस्ट डाले)। जैसा कोई व्यक्ति खुद नहीं बन/कर पाया वो उसका 'डाइल्यूटेड वर्जन' कैसे बन/कर सकता है? :) मुझे लगता है कि व्यक्ति जैसा खुद नहीं बन सकता वैसा वो 'दामाद' खोजता है। :) आखिर शौक बड़ी चीज है! तो आप पूछेंगे कि मैंने अपनी काल्पनिक (फ़िल्मी) बेटियों के लिए कैसा दामाद ढूंढा है? मैंने एक तो ढूंढ लिया है - कोई और नहीं बल्कि 'रणवीर सिंह' को! अगर वो मेरा दामाद बनने को तैयार हो जाएँ तो उन्हें जैसी लड़की पसंद हो मैं वैसी लड़की को अपनी (काल्पनिक) बेटी बना लूंगा। :) अब ऐसे में वो "ना" कैसे कह पाएंगे? :)

हाय मेरा रसगुल्ला प्रेम


हाल ही में मैं अपने साले-साहब की शादी में सम्मिलित हुआ। विधि-व्यवहार के अंत में शायद "कुछ मीठा हो जाए" के बहाने वधू पक्ष की महिलाएं दूल्हे के भाइयों के मुँह में एक बहुत बड़ा सा रसगुल्ला ठूस रही थीं। मेरी बारी आई तो मैंने जल्दी से बड़ा रसगुल्ला गटकाया और मेरी ऑंखें उस ओर अपनेआप चली गयीं जिधर रसगुल्ले का डब्बा रखा था।  :) मैंने सोचा क्या पता एक और आ जाए; पर हाय निराशा! :) ये सारी दुनिया पेटुओं के टैलेंट को अंडर-एस्टीमेट क्यों करती है? 

छोटी बच्ची - बड़ा चप्पल 



सुबह की सैर पर एक छोटी बच्ची को अपने दादाजी के साथ रस्ते पर जाते देखा। उसकी कानों में चांदी की सुन्दर बालियाँ थीं और उसके ऊपर-नीचे करते छोटे पैरों में टुन-टुन की आवाज करती प्यारी सी पायल। उसके एक हाथ को दादाजी ने प्यार से थाम रखा था और दूसरे से वो शायद अपने पापा के मोटरसाइकिल की चाभियाँ लेकर चल रही थी। शायद सुबह-सुबह उसने पापा से मोटरसाइकिल पर घुमाने की जिद्द की होगी और दादाजी उसका मन रखने के लिए उसे अपने साथ सैर पर लेकर निकले होंगे। पर सबसे मजेदार बात ये नहीं - उसके चप्पल थे! उसने बहुत बड़े-बड़े चप्पल पहन रखे थे - शायद अपनी माँ के! उसके नन्हें पैर जब बड़े चप्पलों के साथ चलते तो लगता मानो प्रकृति उसकी पदचाप से गति मिलाकर अपनी साँसें ले रही हो। बच्चों को बड़े होने का बहुत शौक होता है, है ना? पर वो ये नहीं जानते कि बचपन ही उनके सबसे मजे के दिन होते हैं! पर शायद उनके न जानने में हीं दुनिया की भलाई छिपी हो - क्योंकि अगर वो ये जान जाते तो शायद कभी बड़े ना होने की जिद्द ठान लेते! फिर तो कोई दादाजी भी उन्हें मना नहीं पाते। :)

© राहुल

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mornings in Joggers' Park

Below are some scenes this morning from joggers’ park near our residence. Entry is free in the mornings and in the evenings you have option either to do check-in through the main gate by paying Re 1 or make privilege pass though a broken wall. The best part about the park is that it is scarcely occupied in the mornings. Though in the evenings it is full of children of all kinds. If you get tired walking or jogging, or pretending to be running, you can always sit on the benches and watch (other) kids having fun on a dozen rides and interesting playthings. The park also has an amphitheater where school kids gossip, a meditation center where I can't claim what happens and a running water tap for poor people to smuggle water out of it. Every weekend some RSS volunteers come and teach a group of people from all ages some fitness exercises and self-defense techniques. Disclaimer: I have not joined it (yet). Btw, they are repairing the broken wall and after that the park is expected to look more lonely. 





 





 

© Rahul​; all pictures above are taken by me today.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Random Thoughts - Life Goes On


Virat Kohli and his Nose


Some 'models' look so picture-perfect in some ads, that it seems the whole world conspired to make them be there and do that (role). Red-nosed Virat Kohli in Vicks VapoRub and Vicks Action 500 ads is one such. I think if there were a contest for longest running nose, Virat will give Delhi's CM-in-waiting a run for his muffler. I guess his fans would be going cold feet just to appear like him. And he would hit sixes and faster centuries just to be able to reach washroom to nurse his (red) nose syndrome as soon as possible :). 

Being red nosed might have come to his rescue if he was a boxer - his opponent would get distracted by looking at his (swollen) nose. I also think Virat's biggest weakness has something to do with his nose - as the proverb says, 'naak par gussa rakhna'. 

Now before my mouth breaks my nose, it is time for me to run smile emoticon All the best Virat and Indian Cricket Team!

[Disclaimer: Stay calm and use your sense of humor]

~~~


PM Narendra Modi


Saw two news items on TV about Narendra Modi today. 

Modi invited Delhi's CM-in-waiting on tea. PM Modi rose from his chair, presented a bouquet of flowers and warmly congratulated the later for reelection; this was the same man who went till Varanasi to stop Modi at any costs from becoming PM. Gandhi ji would be proud of Modi for this.

At some other place, people had constructed a temple with Modi's idol as deity. Modi called it "shocking and appalling" and made them drop the plan before inauguration, saying we should worship only God, not living people and such a temple was not according to our country's traditions. So now there will be Bharat-Mata's idol in the same temple.

I think such little gestures and incidents tell a lot about the man's character...


~~~

Man can’t fly


It all started from water. Then some came on land. Some went inside the soil while some on the trees. Humans are said to be most evolved. But even humans remained on the land and evolution did not teach us how to fly. Why? I think it was so that we all don't just "fly away". 

Nature conspired so that we could remain grounded and be in touch with the soil. Even birds have to come down to earth to take rest every once in a while... "Bringing us down" and not letting us "fly away" seems to be a natural law of humbleness. 

But if nature only wanted us to be humble, why did not it make us like some creatures who have no other option? May be to make us learn the importance of pride and respect... 

~~~

Plucking Flowers for the Deity


I think human beings started living in multistory apartments because no one could steal flowers from balconies (except pigeons who could whitewash them). I remember how people in my childhood days used to wake up before sunrise and maintained healthy lifestyle of going on morning walks just to pretend doing something other than - stealing flowers from others' gardens and offering those to God (so that God could grant them their selfish wishes; perhaps they made a contract with God that stealing-flowers was blacklisted from the sinful activities list). Still no one wrote "dogs, salesmen and flower-pickers not allowed" on their gates - and I assume it was because they believed that flower-pickers won't be literate; and if they saw a naive notice like this on the gate, they would know for sure that they had met a perfect victim (who had seen being there and doing that in the past).

If I had to write an article on this in a Hindi newspaper, I would title it, "Who is greater: one who sows or one who reaps?" (I hope the blog shows you its translation by Bing). If we planted a flower plant, and if those flowers are reaching a deity, could God be happy only with the carrier and not the sender? But for that we would have to have the heart to allow the thieves to take away the flowers; otherwise if we chase the devotees seeking flowers with a stick; we can't claim liberation later on by virtue of failing to snatch the flowers back into our yards...

~~~

How is Weather in India?



In a conference call with client, a lady client started the call by describing weather at her location. She described it in such an interesting manner that we started feeling cold, breezy or dizzy depending on the words she chose. In India we are accustomed to listen to such voices only in airplanes by the hostesses. I don’t know if she had done some weather forecasting training for TV shows before, or if she was trying to break the glass ceiling (historically discussing weather has been a middle-to-old-aged-male forte). One of her male colleagues at some other foreign location complemented her by saying a few words about weather at his place; which we ignored quickly (no one gets fired for ignoring males). Then in the end they remembered their partners (syn. servants) sitting in India in odd hours of the day to earn bread for their families (and banks). 

A colleague from Chennai proactively took the cue and said, “It is pretty hot here”. Client said “ok!” in a bit surprised tone given the month the calendar showed. Then my dear colleague completed what he wanted to say, “It is actually hot during the day time and cold during the nights.” Client said, “ok!” I prayed to God that my colleague should not start giving us science lessons from his son’s school books about how Sun rises in the morning and sun light is the source of heat and energy on earth; and while Chanda Mama reflects some light for us during the night but we are spared from the heat. If he keeps thinking seriously, he may invent some new theories on relativity (of temperature). My other Indian colleagues were wise and they did not start describing weather at each of their locations; it could have confused our client so much that she would have to take a vow never to ask "how is weather in India?" again!

© Rahul

[Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect views of any organization author is associated with. Pictures used on this post are taken from multiple web sources and copyrights are with the owners. Detailed disclaimer.]

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Travelogue: Gorakhpur, Ayodhya, Lucknow, Delhi

Recently I and family were in Gorakhpur to attend a family wedding. It was my second visit to Gorakhpur; the last one happened when I was too young. Still I had some nice memories of it, especially of our visit to Gorakhnath Mandir and its pond (in which we did not have boat ride), and hence I was excited about it. As soon as I found a dull moment in the daytime, I ran to grab the opportunity and excused myself. I had to go alone and I had chosen to go by public transportation.

Roads in Gorakhpur were in good shape. The city itself is a mix of old buildings and new developments. Very good multistory apartments were seen with quality construction, something which is missing in the new construction wave in tier-II cities. And nearby those we could find some very old buildings too. We could see good localities and in general I liked the city. For public transportations we have shared auto-rickshaws as well, apart from some city buses which were few and small ones. The shared auto-rickshaws are very convenient and too economical for our pockets. People are friendly and they are willing to help us find directions. I reached Gorakhnath Temple by changing shared auto at Dharamshala.

Homecoming to Gorakhnath Temple

I don’t have very clear memories of my last visit to Gorakhnath temple, but I remember we had avoided putting our backs towards the holy temple when someone clicked our photos; and we had chosen not to ride the boats in the beautiful pond, something which we siblings wanted to do. Visiting it this time refreshed my memories.

The approach lane towards the temple, inside the main gate, is full of shops and it is like a permanent fair (melaa) for visitors. The pond was still so beautiful.

Now something about Gorakhpur and Gorakhnath temple's history:

Gorakhpur is an important center of Hinduism. Gorakhpur was part of the famous kingdom of Koshal, one of the 16 maha janapadas in the 6th century BC. Gorakhnath Temple and Math at Gorakhpur is built at the place where Baba Gorakhnath (Go-raksh-Nath), a 11th century Yogi of Nath tradition did austerities for long. He traveled a lot - from Afghanistan to Assam, from Maharashtra to Sri Lanka, and wrote many important books. He is believed to be a yogic manifestation of Shiva. The main deity at the temple is Lord Shiva - and Shiv ji's idol is very peaceful and blessing to look at. Gorakhpur city's name is derived from Baba Gorakhnath. Gorakhnath Matt runs one Gorakhnath Temple in Nepal in Gorkha district (word also derived from Baba Gorakhnath's name). (I read there is a historic Gorakhnath temple in Pakistan which has been vandalized many times). Followers of Nath traditions don't follow caste system and hence non-Brahmins are allowed as priests in temples. 

The present Mahant or Chief Priest is Yogi Adityanath (the famous BJP MP from Gorakhpur and founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini). When we were in the temple, we saw him visiting the temple with many policemen making sure of the security arrangements around him. 


It was wonderful to visit Baba Gorakhnath temple. The huge temple complex has many temples, shrines, and also a beautiful pond where ducks swim and you can also do boating. 


At one place statues of so many Yogis and sages doing tapas is kept under one roof - I have not seen something like it anywhere else:



I am sure if you visit here once, your wonderful memories would never leave you.

Passing By Ayodhya

We were on road trip from Gorakhpur to Lucknow. I did not know that Ayodhya​was on the way. I did not believe my eyes when I started seeing the milestones telling that we were approaching the holy city. As we almost reached it, a lot of mosques with minarets were visible from the highway. I asked the driver about which were the old temples in Ayodhya and if we could visit some temples there. He said there was a big Hanuman Garhi which was most famous and then there was Ram Mandir but it was closed at that time of the day and would open at 5pm for aarti and we couldn't wait till then. I thought - may be next time.


Ayodhya is described in the Vedas as "a city built by God and being prosperous as paradise itself." For centuries it was capital of the Surya Dynasty (Suryavansh) in which Lord Ram was also born. The perfection of a democratic state is seen in "Ram Rajya" and Ayodhya must be so prosperous in the past. In its current shape, I am not sure about it. But then I remembered how so many ancient civilizations from across the world simply disappeared without trace; how even godforsaken places like Iraq trace their origin to civilizations like Mesopotamia with perhaps nothing being preserved. In that sense, Ayodhya is still lucky because it still has so many Ram Bhakt Hindus living there. One day we may get a big Ram Mandir reconstructed at the place and along with it may old prosperity return to the place. But before that and foremost may its people become deserving of it... Because no matter how much prosperity and blessing is showered on us, we shall keep it only if we deserve it...

Delhi, its Auto-Wale and Dilli Di Politics

Auto-rickshaw drivers in Delhi are a bit more corrupt than others in Mumbai, because they refuse to go by meter more often. The antique meter-boxes in their green autos look like stolen from some ravaged Iraqi building; due to privilege of not being used. 


A day before recent assembly elections, I was in Delhi. I felt too proud of my luck when one auto driver agreed to go by the meter. As soon as we started, he asked "Should I go by route X, or route Y?" I gave him a big smile - since it occurred to me that his 'game' had started! I asked him to take one of the routes. Next turn came and he asked if he should go left or right. Becoming The Frustrated Indian I told him that I did not know the route and he should take whichever was the shorter one. He said, "Don't worry, I won't cheat you." And then he said, "I am a follower of AK49". I said, "Yes, I know, all auto drivers are his followers". It was meant to hurt his ego which comes from 'exclusivity'. Obviously he took the longer route, since I was not getting anywhere nearer to my destination. I chose to continue rather than getting down - as I decided I did not mind getting cheated by a supporter of AK49, since that would prove my theory right :) After a while I gave up my patience and started probing him, to make sure he was going in the right direction. From my probe and tone, he knew that I knew that he was cheating me. Now he made a u-turn by saying, "Sometimes our 'imaan' (conscience) goes sleeping. But sometimes something said by passengers hurts and our conscience wakes up. But it does not remain awake for long and hence we take longer route." After saying this he took a short-cut and reached the destination in approx. the same fare as it ideally should be... I call him a man of "blinking conscience". Imagine what would Kiran Bedi do with them and their games if she came to power? People like you and me can flirt with ideas; but poor people know their 'right' and 'wrong' just too well. They don't care if you like it or not…


Since it was election eve, I looked around to see its ‘signs’. At one place I could see a number of auto-rickshaw wallahs standing with garlands in hands and erecting a big cut-out poster of their cult leader. Nearby a dozen kids from the slums ran and played around wearing the same party’s caps and carrying its flags. The party must have harvested so many souls in the slums; and I was sure it would give dividends during elections. I saw only one man riding a scooter which had BJP’s flag tied to it. And I saw no sign of any other political party. (PS: Election results were to prove this observation so visionary).


- Rahul​ 

[Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect views of any organization author is associated with. Pictures used on this post are taken from multiple web sources and copyrights are with the owners. Detailed disclaimer.]

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hindu Temples I have visited (Part-6)

Maa Samaleswari Mandir, Sambalpur, OdishaThis Devi temple on the banks of Mahanadi River is dedicated to Ma Samaleswari who is the presiding deity of Sambalpur and the temple is highly frequented by people from western part of Odisha and Chhattisgarh apart from other places. Important festivals of this temple are Nuakhai and Navaratra Puja. It is said that when Afghan invader Kalapahad camped near this temple with plans to destroy it, a milkmaid appeared selling milk, curd and cheese in the army camp. Next day entire army including Kalapahar suffered from cholera and had to abandon the invasion plans. Kalapahad had destroyed Konark and Puri temples. Tomb/graves of Kalapahad and his soldiers lie in Sambalpur. This temple is an important Shakta centre in the state.


Shinde Chhatri Mandir in Pune. This is a Shiva temple built by Great MarathaMahadji Shinde in 18th century. It was beautiful experience to worship the holy Shivlingam in the temple. Late Sri Madhavrao Scindia of Gwalior who was a descendant of Mahadji Shinde built the hall and samadhi outside the Shiva temple in memory of his ancestor. The hall has paintings of Schidia/Shinde family members including Late Madhavrao Scindia. The design, architecture and art are extremely beautiful and this remains one of the finest Temple complexes we have seen so far.


Kondhaneshwar Mandir near Pune: This Shiva Temple is inside Singhgad Fort near Pune. The statue of Nandi outside the temple indicate the wear and tear due to weather and destruction: 



Mahabaleshwar Temple in old Mahabaleshwar near Pune: 



Sri Panchganga Temple in Mahabaleshwar. Krishna river originates from inside this temple: 




Jagannath Mandir in Puri, Odisha: It is one of the four sacred Char-Dham pilgrimages. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu or Krishna, the temple was built in the 12th century atop its ruins by King Anantavarman Chodaganga Deva of Eastern Ganga dynasty. The temple is reported to be invaded and destroyed 18 times. In 1360 AD Feroz Shah Tughluq invaded it from Delhi. In 1509 AD, Ismail Ghazi, commander of Sultan of Bengal and in 1568 AD assistants of Sulaiman Karrani, the Afghan Sultan of Bengal invaded it. Thereafter several invasions and plunders on the temple happened by his successive rulers namely Bayazid, Daud, Kuya Khan and Kutlu Khan Lohani who ruled over Orissa one after another. When Ramachandra Deb established an independent kingdom at Khurda in Orissa, the temple was consecrated and the deities re-installed. Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh had donated massive amounts of gold to the Jagannath temple. The temple is famous for Rath Yatra. In our visit we could see preparations going on for next year's big event and festival. We also liked the temple surrounding and items being sold nearby. Also visited beautiful Puri beach...



Lingaraj Temple at Bhubaneswar, Odisha: Bhubaneswar is mentioned as Ekamra Kshetra in Brahma Purana. Historians say the temple was built first by the Soma Vanshi king Yayati Kesari in the 7th century who shifted his capital from Jaipur to Bhubaneshwar. Parts of it were added in 11th century and it displays Kalinga Architecture. Lingaraj means "The king of Lingam", the symbol of Shaivism. Shiva was worshiped as Kirtivasa and later as "Harihara" and is commonly referred as Tribhuvaneshwara (also called Bhubaneswar), the master of three worlds - heaven, earth and netherworld. His consort is called Bhuvaneshvari. It is a Shiva temple but Lord Vishnu is also worshiped here (Harihara = Vishnu + Shiva). The temple complex has 50+ other shrines inside it. Once a year, an image of Lingaraja is taken to the Jalamandir in the center of the Bindu Sagar lake. It was wonderful and is one of the biggest temples visited...





Baba Gorakhnath Temple: Gorakhpur is an important center of Hinduism. Gorakhpur was part of the famous kingdom of Koshal, one of the 16 maha janapadas in the 6th century BC. Gorakhnath Temple​ and Math at Gorakhpur is built at the place where Baba Gorakhnath (Go-raksh-Nath), a 11th century Yogi of Nath tradition did austerities for long. He traveled a lot - from Afghanistan to Assam, from Maharashtra to Sri Lanka, and wrote many important books. He is believed to be a yogic manifestation of Shiva. The main deity at the temple is Lord Shiva​ - and Shiv ji's idol is very peaceful and blessing to look at. Gorakhpur​ city's name is derived from Baba Gorakhnath.  Gorakhnath Matt runs one Gorakhnath Temple in Nepal in Gorkha district (word also derived from Baba Gorakhnath's name). (I read there is a historic Gorakhnath temple in Pakistan which has been vandalized many times). Followers of Nath traditions don't follow caste system and hence non-Brahmins are allowed as priests in temples. The present Mahant or Chief Priest is Yogi Adityanath​ (the famous BJP MP from Gorakhpur and founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini). It has been wonderful to visit Baba Gorakhnath temple recently. The huge temple complex has many temples, shrines, and also a beautiful pond where ducks swim and you can also do boating. At one place statues of so many Yogis and sages doing tapas is kept under one roof - I have not seen something like it anywhere else. I am sure if you visit here once, your wonderful memories would never leave you. 







Tuesday, February 3, 2015

दिन जल्दी-जल्दी ढलता है!


हो जाय न पथ में रात कहीं,


मंज़िल भी तो है दूर नहीं -

यह सोच थका दिन का पंथी भी जल्दी-जल्दी चलता है!

दिन जल्दी-जल्दी ढलता है!

(Harivansh Rai Bachchan)





Monday, February 2, 2015

Movie: Hanste Khelte Featuring Rahul Roy

Happened to watch an old Hindi film ‘Hanste Khelte’ (1994) on TV where actor Rahul Roy played the lead along with Nandini Singh. I don’t remember watching any Rahul Roy movie in the past – perhaps at the time he was at his peak, I was too young (and studious). After watching this movie I realized what I had missed.

I wonder why I liked ‘Hanste Khelte’ where Rahul plays a Casanova like character who is ‘cured’ by his infatuation towards a sanskari girl Nandini. It is not that I have ever dreamt to be like his character; and though I liked Nandini’s character very much, she was not the reason why I liked the movie. I think I loved the movie because I loved the human side of Rahul Chopra – the character Rahul Roy was playing in it. His flirtings Vs his true emotions; his boldness vs his vulnerabilities; the movie had a soul in it. I also loved the manner in which good Vs evil debate was presented in it through internal conflicts in Rahul’s heart (though the Divine men Vs Shaitan aspects and dialogues were too irritating and boring and the movie could have been cleaned up from the boring comedy overdone throughout). One particular scene clean bowled me:

Rahul’s and Nandini’s phones had a cross-connection and they happened to talk anonymously some times. On one particular occasion, Rahul attempts to flirt with Nandini, who at one time tells him that she was “alone and happy” (akeli aur khush). The manner in which Rahul destroys her castle of imaginary ideas, ridiculing her “akeli aur khush” status – it was superb and so truthful! I just loved it and it is heartwarming to even think about the episode…

I don’t know why Rahul is not working in film industry. I read Wikipedia article in his name, and it indicates that after a few of his films flopped, producers called off his upcoming flicks in hoards. What a disappointment for fans of such a promising actor… We just look into his eyes and it seems those are gateways to a beautiful peaceful garden laden with flowers…

Thanks ‘Haste Khelte’ makers and Rahul, Nandini, for giving me a heartwarming and breathtaking experience… Wish you all a very happy life. This is what sums up my sentiments.  


- Rahul

Friday, January 30, 2015

Take Two: Ronit Roy’s Interview in Pune Mirror

As I finished cutting papaya using an old sheet from a Pune Mirror issue as cushion over the table top, I glanced over the sheet that was still unstained. I must have done a clean job. What caught my eye was the picture of two persons along with title of the piece “Take Two”. It was an interview of actor Ronit Roy as interviewed by one reader Angad Singh; perhaps a gesture from the newspaper. Angad Sardar ji smiled contagiously in red t-shirt while Ronit looked dashing handsome in his black suit. “So how different an interview this would be given that Angad was said to be a digital marketing BD guy and not a regular journalist?” I wondered and hence I decided to read the piece…

Angad begins with asking Ronit which of his movies out of Udaan and Two States he loved most. I think this question was asked to educate the uninitiated readers about the fact that Ronit was about a well-known face in Bollywood. Next question horrified me, “What drives you to choose a role?” I remembered this question being asked to each actor or actress as if it was so very important; from the interviews of actors I read while waiting at salons (hair dressers; or stylists?) for my turn at our college joint. “Let me see Ronit’s reply”, I thought with skepticism. “I am not the kind that can make sense of a script and its potential. So I simply go by what the people involved in the making tell me. Moreover, if I have placed my trust in the director or producer, I let them take a call”, said Ronit. And then he adds that at times he gets convinced about a movie in less than a minute (is it when he is unemployed?). Later in the same interview he tells how he turned down his role in Two States twice but in the end when Karan Johar called him and said, “Trust me and do it”, he accepted the movie. I wondered why one would say all this…

Why would an actor, or better put an employed actor who is doing movies which are famous, like to tell the whole world including the directors and producers who could be reading this piece of interview that he could be tricked into a role in a minute or two if the pitch tells about personal trust and falling to emotional blackmailing is one’s weakness? What positive impression does such a revelation leave in the minds of businessmen who are running the show business? Wise men have told us the benefit of remaining plain face and not to reveal our thinking or strategy during negotiations! And here, an actor is virtually sending an open invitation to the bad people to come and cheat him? Obviously not every producer is a cheat and they don’t always need to convince actors so hard to make them agree to a role (because they always discuss the money), but still there are times when bad people do bad things and it is better for actors like Ronit to play safe…

Now let us think how this question is relevant for the “readers” of a newspaper like Pune Mirror? How does Ronit Roy make a decision to join or reject a role? Is Santa Uncle or Sammy Aunty interested in his answer to this question? Are we dreaming that one day we shall bump into a Ronit Roy in a shopping mall and the first question we shall shoot him down with would be “See Ronit, I have a role to offer you, and you can trust me and go for it.”? Do the journalists who earn their paychecks asking such irrelevant questions and wasting the time of both the celebrity actors and their thousands of audiences ever use their mind to think why and for whose behalf they are asking a particular question? As a reader, I would be more interested in knowing about Ronit’s journey in the acting world, about his struggles and successes, or when he speaks about his family and kids – that would make my heart warm. But what do I get? Which of the two movies is your favorites and how do you decide to take up a role? Such questions are for anyone but for readers… And to think that such questions were asked by a reader is more depressing. Perhaps it was edited by some seasoned journalist who has stopped growing up and hence the result.

Still, some portions of the interview are able to warm up our hearts. Angad asks the same stale, ancient, abused question “would you be more comfortable doing television over cinema?” And Ronit replies for our pleasure, “I would be most comfortable taking a walk in the hills”. That’s it! Even the actor is sending signals that the interviewer is being too boring.

After a while in the same interview, Ronit’s reply lights up our sparks, “I do television because it gives me the power to say no to bad cinema.” Wonderful and classy.

© Rahul

[Reference: ‘Take Two’, Page 21, Pune Mirror, January 11, 2015]


[Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not represent views of any organization author is associated with. You can also go through detailed disclaimer on the blog.]

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Random Thoughts - Life Not Beyond

Weird Birthday Wishes on Facebook


Facebook acts in weird ways. Sometimes I see - it is someone's birthday and his or her timeline is flooded with wonderful birthday messages... If one posted something on that day - it rains 'likes' & 'comments' on the blessed event. Next day the same person posts "thank you all for your wishes; you made my day" and stuff like that and guess what! Not a single like or comment! :) It looks so horrible and lonely! 

I think what it means is that people made that flash mob because of either facebook intimations or by virtue of facebook imitations. FB does not intimate them that you are thanking them for yesterday's wishes and hence the curfew. So in order to keep appearing blessed, we need not thank people for something which they did not do out of true heart :) (well, at least statistically)

~~~

Who should see what on Facebook


Did you notice that facebook started this feature where you can share a post with all while making it invisible for someone or for some people chosen by you? Perhaps it was facebook's response to your demand of providing a 'dislike' button. E.g. if you are posting a non-veg dish's picture, you can 'exclude' your vegetarian friends so that they don't get offended. But the same feature can also be used by cheating husbands and wives to avoid each other; by kids to remain hidden from parents' or teachers' snoopy eyes, or by employees who can make fun of their bosses without letting them know. Perhaps this feature was also designed to appeal to our habit of "talking behind the back" of people. So now if you start noticing some positive changes in some people's posts, you have reasons to doubt or suspect if the person has really changed or is it that s/he is just 'excluding' you from the negative posts?

Disclaimer: I have never posted anything through this mode. But if you want to try: for each post click on Who should see this -> More options -> Custom -> Don't share this with -> mention name.

~~~

Do Indians Speak Too Fast?


Someone said Indians speak too fast... 

I said they speak so fast because they think so fast. Can someone really speak at a different rate than the speed of thinking unless one spoke nonsense? And they have to think fast because if they don't; someone else will lock the door from inside in the washroom; someone will run away with their chair in the food court; someone will grab that last piece of roti; someone else will put a hankie on the last seat of a bus or train; someone else will stand in the aisle area of an aircraft as soon as the plane halted; or someone else would copy an interesting tweet or a whatsapp joke to get all the likes before they do! 

See, they have to be as fast for all such important things in life! :)

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Giving up Subsidized Gas Cylinders?


Govt has asked people like us to 'give up' subsidized gas cylinders and opt for non-subsidized ones at the market rate. It is expected to help govt spend more on the truly poor and needy. I fully agree to this gesture. And I have promised myself that I shall give up the subsidy when I shall complete repaying my home loan and will become debt free... And before that happens - govt should stop day-dreaming that I am a rich man and hence they can put burden of their noble expectations on people in debt like me.

Perhaps you won't find people celebrating their poverty so often, right? :)

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At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps?


I have kept something within me which I want to tell everyone today :)

When India got freedom at the 00:00 hours of 15 August, 1947, Pt. Nehru said, "At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom." And this speech is considered one of the finest in world history. But I did not understand how Nehru ji could not get it that when it is 00:00 Hours in India, people from rest of the world may not necessarily be sleeping because their local Standard Times are different :) If there were live TVs in those days, some of his counterparts from other nations could be watching him speaking exactly that while sipping their evening tea or coffee!

I thought people would get angry with me - that now I have started finding faults in Nehru ji also :) But don't you find it funny?

~~~

Karma or Destiny?



If two boys born under same circumstances in the same home with same genes can be so different; it proves that Karma counts more than Destiny... Let us not blame God for something which is in our own hands (and bellies).

[Pic: Anant and Akash Ambani]

© Rahul

[Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal and do not reflect views of any organization author is associated with. Detailed disclaimer.]