Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ज़िंदगी तू रुक ज़रा

ज़िंदगी तू चली कहाँ,

रुक ज़रा, थम जा ज़रा,

मंज़िल हैं अभी पाना,

अभी साँसे है बाकी,

ज़िंदगी तू रुक ज़रा,

ज़िंदगी तू थम ज़रा.

माना की तू खुश नही,

वक़्त भी कुछ ठीक नही,

घाम के सायें में है तू जी रही,

पर इतना तू जाने ले,

खुशी की छाया अभी कुछ दूर ही साही,

ज़िंदगी तू रुक ज़रा,

ज़िंदगी तू थम ज़रा.

कुछ एहसास अभी है बाकी,

कुछ पल मुझे अभी जीने दे,

खुशी भी होगी और घाम भी,

हर उस घड़ी को मुझे आज़माने दे,

ज़िंदगी है हर एक पल में,

हर पल में है ज़िंदगी,

आए ज़िंदगी तू रुक ज़रा,

ज़िंदगी तू थम ज़रा.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Back to where I belong

It’s been quite a while since I have been here. Been long since I have written what I felt or blabbered what I wanted to. The last ten months have been bizarre in ways more than one. It was perhaps the longest writer’s block I’ve ever had or maybe the longest period of time when I was disconnected to the things around me and my own self. But this period has been the most crazy and different. This was perhaps the time when I found a little more about myself, met a lot of people who made a difference to my life and altered my thinking. With so much going on in life it was quite difficult to put across my thoughts in a cohesive manner. So what brought me here after ages? It’s not a sudden blast of creative idea or a poignant idea thought (infact on the contrary, it is everything except that!) but a casual chat with an old friend and encounter with a new friend of mine. And so I am here at 4.00 AM on a Sunday morning trying to put my thoughts across and see what I have got to say ( I am sure a lot of you would argue that I do not have a life and so all this…. May be yes or maybe not!!)

It all started with an old friend of mine saying that I haven’t changed a bit in years. Inspite of meeting her after ages, she was quick to observe that I have not changed in years. A remark that made me wonder if that meant good or bad. This friend has been with me since ever and has known me quite well over the years. For a moment it struck me as a comment that I wanted to chide away from. After all aren’t we supposed to change over a period of time? Aren’t we supposed to “evolve” with time and age? Or is it important that you don’t lose your true self irrespective of years and age? A perfect dilemma prevailed. We spoke at length about how things were back in college and how I was the “devil-may-care” and the go-getter kinda guy. A facet of mine I thought I had let go a long time back. In all these years after college I have had people tell me about me my passiveness in life and myself concerned approach. The fact that she still sees the madness in me made me realize the false impression I was under. What was more surprising was that I was under the biggest misconception that I have changed till someone else came and told me about me! I guess I was too lost within myself that I lost track who I was in actual. A good long talk with her made me realize that I need to come back to myself.

The next person I am talking about is a friend called Aditya . I met him sometime back at MAD and was quite surprise by his brazen yet considerate attitude. After speaking to him for some time now, this boy reminds me of what I was 5-6 years ago. His constant urge of being happy and not accepting the stale yardsticks of the society at large keeps reminding my years at college. My numerous random conversations with him made me realize carefree and fearless being I was. The mad quest to seek sanity and yet have the ability to be insane at times made me realize things I have let go of and helped me comeback to my old self.

It’s been a crazy few months for me, but the bright side is that I have probably come back to where I belong. Well at least I Hope!!

It’s been a comeback to self in a lot of ways! Hope this lasts for sometime!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Its been a while!

Okay..So here I am almost two months later my last post!! I was out, lost and mad in the chaos of life. It is sometimes to tiring to make things happen, to take control of life and steer it the way you want it to. So i decided to go the other way .. I decided to go with the flow, for a change i followed life where it took. And boy these two months have been terrific!! So as I said, I am back finally !!

So, whats this post about? Well.. Today, the 11th of June 2010 marks 3 years of my work life !! Yes It marks the 3rd successive year of my tryst with the big ' C ' - The Corporate!! This day reminds me the day I graduated from college and this day makes me feel old year on year!! lol!!

I cannot believe its been three years since i've started working. Just feels like the other day when I stepped into the big bling world of Indian IT with glittery dreams !! It feels like yesterday when I got my first paycheck and was on the top of the world. It feels like yesterday that I was told that I was not more a student!! :( . These three years have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride. Having joined the corporate in the times of recession, I had my share of woes. And yes the Satyam Saga made me realize that no matter how big you are , one small mistake can bring you crashing down. Being with Satyam ( now Mahindra Satyam) for the last three years has been a great learning for me. It is here that I got to learn that no matter how hard you work its the "visibility" that counts. phew!! . This place has been an every day coaching center for me. The last year has been especially exceptional. This organization has taught me the most important lesson of my life - It taught me that no matter how tough the situation is, if you have the will to fight back, you can turn the tide in your favor. It is here that I experienced the highest highs and some abysmal lows. The grit to fight back, the mad quest for innovation and the attitude to win is what i learnt in these three years!!

I still remember those training days at office! Decked up in formals, I felt like a clown and was laughing at myself! The three month training seemed to last for eternity and the weekly exams were nothing less than thriller! The weekends at friends place and the parties were the norm of the day. The Chennai - Pondy trips were an integral part of our existence ! Boy did we have fun!! These three years gave me a chance to go places, meet people and make some amazing friends!!

I do not where I go from here. I do not know where I will end up another three years later. All I know is I have one life and I'm gonna live it large!!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

The yearly trip - North India Darshan

Its been almost two months since i've written anything! Well, blame it on the writer's block or the muddy office life i have, the fact was that i was a out of my minds to write anything! Life was just being monotonous and stereotyped. Just when I thought fun was all over, the Monkeeyz ( my school Gang! ) came up with an idea of a Tour. There were phone calls, discussions and mailers. Ultimately it was decided ; North India Trip - Nine Days! And boy was I excited !! Away from home, office and all other trouble for almost 10 days - Bliss i thought!! And thus on March the 27th, 2010 the Monkeeyz set out on their yearly break.

Mission : Cover Delhi, Shimla, Manali, Kulu, Byasi and Agra in 8 days!!
Assumptions: No Sleep, No Rest, Sight Seeing during the day and Travel during the night!

It was a six member trip to start with but midway through the planning stage, a very good friend Ayush Sharma dropped out for office issues ( damn hell!). So we 5 reached the railway station to kick start the journey. And we suddenly see Mr Sharma at the station!! After the initial hurray and euphoria, Mr sharma tells us that he still isnt coming to the trip and that he has only come to see us off - Felt like killing him!!! grrrrrrrrrrrr!!! Saala bekaar mein hopes dilata hai!! So after the "saale tujhe aane ke baat dekh lenge" dhamkees , we bid good bye to our dear friend and started off for the nine day wonder trip!

The entire description of the trip would be too long, so I will give you all the highlights of our amazing trip!!

New Delhi
To our luck, the train was an hour late and we were stinking ( we traveled in the sleeper class - imagine the heat!! ). Cursing the Indian Railways, we came out of the station and took a cab to the Old Delhi station ( that was where we had to take our next train to kalka the same night). We soon realized that it would be too late by the time we go there and freshen up. We still had to see the entire Dilli city!! So we decided to skip that and go to city tour directly ( Imagine no brush and no bath since 20 hrs!!). We asked the cabby to show us the city and he agreed to show us the major visiting places in the morning and drop us at the station by 6. And so Delhi Darshan began.

The Isckon Temple:
We started off with the Isckon temple of New Delhi. The place was mesmerizing. You are blessed with Peace and tranquility the moment you step into the temple. One is greeted with devotes singing lovely bhajans and few mins into it, you feel like almost catching upto them.

Indira Gandhi Memorial: The next stop was the Indira Gandhi Memorial. We saw the house that Indira Gandhi lived in and the place where she was assassinated. The house was a memorial now and it was a great visit for me. It was amazing feeling to see hand written letters, diaries and photos of the Iron Lady of India. The archives and the photographs left a lasting impression on my mind.

The Rajghat :
Next was the trip to Rajghat. We saw the Mhatma, Mrs Indira Gandhi, Rajeev Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Paying Homege to those leaders was emotionally overwhelming.

The Road trip : Post the Indira Gandhi Memorial, we went to the Qutub Minar and took some snaps there. Looked around the place and gazed at the immaculate construction of the four storied Minar. The next agenda was to see the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, the India Gate, The Parliament, The Red Fort and the Chandini Chowk. Since its not allowed to stop at any of the above places except the India Gate, we Jump-Skip-hopped all those places taking photos and admiring the elegant structures. The road from Rashtrapathi Bhavan leading to the the Lal Kila was amazing. We see it every year on Jan 26 and Aug 15, but seeing it in person is a completely new experience in itself.

The last stop was at the old delhi station where we finally freshened up after almost 28hours!! We were greeted by the news that the train to kalka was late by 2 hours :( . Somehow we killed the dreadful 2 hours and reached Kalka the next day.

Kalka to Shimla Toy train: This was one the best journey's ever!! the narrow gauge train and the scenic valley around kept us firmly mesmerized. The entire stretch of the Kalka - Shimla track is filled with exciting views and beautiful sceneries. The only hiccup here was that we ran into some trouble with a fellow passenger family over a trivial issue. Keeping that aside, the train journey is worth every second of the 5+ hour drive. The early morning sun shines through the mountain tops creating ripples in the sky - that is simply an amazing scene. The valleys keep shifting sides based on the direction of the train and the young and old jump around the train with equal excitement!! I'd recommend every one to go that trip atleast once for sure.

Our shimla stay was pretty much truncated because the train was running late. We saw around the city main roads and the Mall Road ( the main shopping area) of the shimla and boarded the bus to Manali.

The Manali and Kulu trip:
This is the best phase of our trip by far and the most relaxed part too. The reason being the fact that we spent 2 days and one night there ( No, Not a honeymoon package !! :P ) which meant that we could have a one night's rest - a great incentive for our back breaking journey!

The Manali sight seeing was fabulous. The Para Gliding and the Ice Skiing were adventurous. The Snowy peaks covered by heavy fog were scintillating. 6000 - 8000 feet above the sea level , temperature close to 1C and 5 buddies playing in the ice !! it was heaven!! we made snow man ( a very bad one at that :P ) . and played around it like little kids. We were lucky to experience snowfall on that day. It is amazing when the sun covered by clouds and it snows. The whole atmosphere turns magical ! We saw the Hidima temple ( the one shown in Roja Movie), the vashishta temple and few other temples in Kulu. The return to the manali was even better coz the sun was setting down and the scenery got even better! We could not have asked for more!!

The Two day stay at Manali was the best experience i'd ever had! Now i know why is it the most sought after place there!!

The Haridwar - Hrishikesh - Byasi River Rafting:
If the Manali stay was leisure and easy, the travel from Manali to Byasi ( 30 odd Kms away from Hrishikesh ) was the most painful one. We changed two cars and a bus to reach there and took us almost an entire day to get there. We went to an adventure camp in Byasi. The camp was actually set up amidst a jungle on the bank of the river Ganga. The entire area was cut off from the civilization, we had no electricity, no cell phone, no music, no tv, not even wash rooms!! All we had was nature at it very basic best! the trees and the mountains overlooked while we enjoyed the kool Ganges shower!! the water was freezing cool and we took the holy ganges dip - and the sins washed away :P . The campfire at night under the clear sky was lit up by no artificial lights, but by the unpolluted sky full of stars. All the pain we took to reach there was seeming to pay off.

The night was spent in talking, sharing experiences and enjoying the serene nature. It felt like being pure.

The day after was the most exciting part. River rafting 30 Kms to Hrishikesh! It was the best adventure i'd ever done. We had to cover a 30km stretch of fast flowing ganga with numerous rapid water currents and whirlpools between ( before embarking on the ride, each of us had to sign an agreement taking the responsibility of any accident on ourselves!! ) . That was the best adrenaline rush ever. Water splashing hard on the body, each of us had to row the paddle and work towards a common goal. It re-iterated the lesson of team playing and co-operation ( no wonder all the corporates take their employees to such places these days!) . It took us close to 3 hours to reach the final destination and boy were we tired by then!!

We spent some time there, gathered our energies and came back to haridwar. And from there we took up the last leg of our journey - "Agra".

Last Leg - The Agra :

The last day of our tour was at Agra. The agenda was to see the beautiful Tag Mahal , the Agra fort and shopping at the Agra bazaar. There was just one thing that we did not account for - The killing HEAT . It was so hot that we almost fainted by the time we reached the base of Taj Mahal from the buland darwaza!!

The grandeur and the beauty of Taj Mahal is capitulating. It makes me wonder about the technical expertise of the engineers back then. If they could have built such a massive beautiful structure at that age, its hard to imagine what they could have accomplished today had they live now!. It is not called the wonder of the world for no reason!!

We took a lot photos there and tried all the possible gimmicks ( touching the tip of the tomb and all!!) and walked around the Taj till we dropped tired!! Finally, we bid good bye to the world wonder and visited Agra fort. the Diwan -e- aam, the Diwan- e - khaas, the sheesh mahal were excellent. By the time we came out of the fort, it was evening and we were crust fallen with tiredness!!

We had hardly enough patience to stand !! So we quickly did the shopping. Bought some Agra ke Petha and came back to the station for our final travel. The Travel back HOME!!

The train fortunately was right on time and this time, we did the final good byes to the trip and took the train to home!! and thus accomplishing all that we set out to. We had the best time ever and saw some mind dazzling places!! It was a memorable trip. A trip that will be always special for it was with some of my most special friends!!

All thanks to Puneeth, Ravi, Rahul and Sai for making this trip the most cherish able time of my life! And Ayush - you better not miss the next one!!

It was a great 9 days of my life!!

P.S : I know by now , you might be cursing coz i've not put any pics !! But the post itself is so long, hence i decided to post some pics on my other blog http://maverickjunction.blogspot.com/. I've put some imp pics there. You can find elaborate pics on my Facebook account http://www.facebook.com/krbhardwaj . I hope you like the pics!!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Games They Play.

It has happened before, it has happened now and it will happen always - the great Indian tamasha of hate politics engulfing the true essence of our nation. Time and again the great politicians of our country have let the country and its people to unbelievable lows. The happenings in the last few weeks in Mumbai ( can i say BOMBAY ? or will i be beaten up ? ) and the last few months of mindless violence in Andhra Pradesh ( especially Hyderabad) are fresh evidences of the shamelessness of our so-called-leaders. It is such a pity that the greatest democracy in the world is having to fight battles with its neighbors and within itself. A nation that was the baton wielder of Peace and love is reeling under extremely stupid politics of hate and vandalism.

My city ( Hyderabad) has been subjected to some rather disgusting last few months. The extremely lively city is virtually under extreme stress. A city that was rated as the biggest emerging city in all areas is now facing sever loss of revenue, property and some lives too. And all this at the cost of the "demand" for a separate state. The last few months have been ridiculous - The city and state at large has been extremely volatile and sensitive. Bandhs have been the norm of the day and violence has reached its peak. The so-called-students have done away with books, diminished the sanctity of a respected university in India and ripped away the dignity associated with being a Student. All this has been done on the "call" from a certain political party which is demanding a separate state for telangana. The pearl city of India is now at the peril of becoming the most troubled city. Buses being burnt, people being beaten up, schools and colleges being closed, mindless display of hooliganism have replaced the calm and lively atmosphere of the city. The most ironic part of all this hoopla is that the areas being subjected to these extremism are the areas that are branded as less "developed". I wonder if these acts of violence will incite any new investments and lead to any development. I am not commenting on the pros and cons of forming a separate state for it should be decided by the people who are entrusted with the duties to do so - after a careful consideration. What i am irked about is the manner in which these agitations are carried out. For a state to form and function, the most important thing to have is "people" , the aam aadmi. This aam aadmi is being subjected to every day ambiguity about that day's position, the common man is forced to stop going to work or is being beaten up by goons each day. What scares me the most is the fanaticism in the youth today. I wonder if these students would be rescued by the political parties who patronize them, if they fail in the examinations and if the formation of new state would benefit them even an iota if they do not have the mandatory knowledge to take up any job? Would the so called well wishers of the students come to their rescue if the university debars them from attending the exams? worser still, would these politicians ever come to see these students once they win the election? There have been cases of students committing suicides for separate state. Has any one thought about the poor parents of these kids who killed themselves while their parents were living lesser lives to give every opportunity to their progeny? Would a separate state or anything else get back these parents their lost child? What in the world can alleviate the angst of a father who saw his son being burnt to death? What has the average bus driver done to bear the brunt of some mindless people. Who has given these thoughtless weeds a right to cripple the normalcy of the state - there by pushing the state into irrecoverable loss in already inflated times? What satisfaction would they get in seeing a city of four crore living in distress?

If i am worried about my place, my friends in neighboring state are not less disturbed. The senseless sena has spilled its venom yet again. This time again on a soft target - a rather extremely famous one at that. I would not go into detail for its already a cover page story now. What amazes me is the utter shamelessness of these self proclaimed protectors of marathi manoos. There was a show on NDTV last sunday that had who's who of cinema world and the shiv sena spokesman -Rahul something ( never cared to remember his last name. I remembered the first name because there was rahul "bose" the actor in the same show). The moment this representative of uddhav"ji" thackerey said that the sena reacted on behalf of the "nations" and "mumbaikar's" sentiments, there was a huge roar by the audience. A proof that sena is not a mouthpiece of the junta but only for the vote bank politics of Mumbai. There has been numerous such instances, but as usual our netas are born shameless - and have learnt to live in denial. I am surprised why do they not raise their concern over the bad infrastructure in Mumbai, the farmer suicides in Maharashtra or the acute water scarcity. What happens to voracious sena leadership when the need to stand up and act comes? It is such a shame that we are still fighting amongst ourselves when we need to fight bigger wars outside.

So who is it that is to blame ? The politicians? No obviously not. Infact they are the most deserving people to be appreciated. They are the only one's doing their job just fine. They are politicians - not leaders. And the only thing they have to do is to take sides, cash votes and create turmoil. Looking at the current report, it is only they who come out with flying colours. They have successfully created divide amongst two sections of society, two regions of a state and the people at large. These politicians sell their ideas and silly reasons to people who call themselves "educated" with such aplomb that could put the best of salesperson to shame! they could sell dreams to the most staunch pessimist ( If they ever want to make a career switch, advertising and sales are the best choices). The stupid junta who are supposed to go to work each day, study hard each day by into all that gibberish and participate in all this circus. Those who are jailed and lathi charged are these activists and not those "powerful" netas. While those activists are beaten to pulp by the police, i am sure the leaders are having premium drinks and happy sleep. It is the innocent people going to work suffering and the misguided youth's lives being ruined. The gullible young India today is lured into the crooked games they play!

It is such a disgrace when the world is talking green earth, development and world without boundaries - and we are drawing lines amongst us and killing ourselves. In times where slowing down is breaking down, we are stalling our progress for some unimportant reasons. If at all we dream to be the super power in the years to come, it is this attitude we need to change. If not, forget 2020, its not going to happen even in 202020 !!

Mumbai has woken up from slumber.. I pray Hyderabad does. I wish INDIA does !! May better sense prevail.

P.S : Few hours back there was a bombing in Pune. Two years after mumbai its Pune now. It can be any city tommorow. How will we stop them if we fight ourselves. May the souls of people who lost their lives in that incident rest in peace. I hope they dont make this another political game.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A failed script

There are some movies that are bad. They do not put you off for you would already know what to expect when you go into watch. Some others turn out to be marvelous when you do not expect anything out of them. There is a third category of films - Those that have a marvelous potential but falter right from the start. "Striker" is one such film. The promos of the film raised enormous curiosity and the trailer was extremely appealing but the end product was far from anything expected.

Set in the ghettos of erstwhile Bombay, the movie talks about the life of a kid Surya who dreams of a good life. The dream of happy life makes him reach out to seemingly greener pastures (Dubai) which culminates abruptly due to the "agents" scam. Left with little choice and redeeming the lost money the young man uses his extraordinary carrom skills to make a high living. All is well until he loses gold ornaments ranging into lakhs which is to be delivered to a merchant. his friend Zaid introduces him to a local goon who is into gambling and betting business. Though unwilling at the outset, Surya realizes the Game life is playing with him and decides to take it on with a striker in hand - In the process getting Surya to be involved with gangs, goons and police. The result of which Surya departs from his family.

Striker impresses in its set up, feel and originality. First timer Chandan Arora captures the ghettos in most believable way, making the city a character itself. The camera work and the dialogues have authenticity and are believable. The director has done an commendable job in sketching characters that are appealing and create an instant connect with the audience. The free spirited Zaid (Ankur Vikal ) lights up the screen with his infectious enthusiasm. Ankur delivers a superb performance as a man full of hopes. The friendship between Surya and Zaid is also sketched perfectly. The rest of the cast is also aptly chosen. Surya's sister played by Vidya Malvade, the scar faced goon played by Aditya Pancholi or even the elder brother played by Anoop Soni deliver believeable performance . Siddharth gives blood and flesh to the character Surya with his splendid performance. He is good with his choclate boy charm and fantastic during the emotional scenes as well. He makes us believe in Surya's desire for success.

What's really disappointing is the uncooked script of the movie. The side track of communal riots in mumbai is under developed. Both the love tracks of the protagonist are either unwanted or badly developed. Nicolette Bird looks pretty in the short role but is wasted. The south indian actress Padmapriya is refreshingly beautiful - but she could have chosen a better role to make a debut in bollywood. Singularly taken by each character, the movie might make a statement, but film fails to make to create any impression as a whole product. The film never has a moment that hits you. With a theme of gambling, underworld and a character such as Surya, you would expect an intriguing tale. But you would be utterly disappointed with the tame screenplay. There is hardly any scene that you would cling to your seats and marvel at it. The movie though two and a half hours, feels like a soap opera. The soundtrack of the movie ( being created by six music directors ) is better heard alone. The song "Bombay Bombay" is not even there in the movie. The song " Cham Cham" sung by sonu nigam is wonderful when you hear it alone, but it does not feel the same when you watch it on the screen.

It might be unfair for a first timer to be measured on a tough yardstick, but it is disappointing to see a movie with a great potential being robbed of its charm due to an undernourished script. A movie that could have been a Vishal Bharadwaj material falls flat on the face midway (or probably even before it) just because fails to captivate the audience.

If there is anything that you'd ever take away from the movie, it would have to be Ankur Vikal's exceptional portrayal as Zaid. Siddharth creates an impression too. Otherwise "Striker" fails to strike a chord.