Friday, August 31, 2007

The Sonipat Trip

The ping pong (http://baxishweta.blogspot.com/2007/08/kudos-to-you-sagarika.html) between my two avid readers has instigated me to write. Write again. Return from this long long break. Guys I am back. Wasn’t in a hidey-hole. I was visiting my parents at Sonipat....and experiencing ultimate prasannata. Mauli had a gala time with nana nani and enjoyed their time and attention. The evening ghoomi ghoomi sessions (outings) were as much a delight to him, as they were to his mom. I love to stay rooted, wish i was still at Sonipat, with Mauli getting his share of pampering from nana nani, and me having someone to fall back on - when the going gets touch.


Feels good on the chaarpai - with nani at kakroi village



Sunday morning was a religious reunion. All in the family performed a hawan together...afterall there was motivation for the same - N number of gifts that we received. Thanks mom dad for everything, especially the lovely Topaz. Afternoon too was packed with fun. The IMA (Indian Medical Association) get-together in a guest house in the midst of kakroi village was ultimate. Buffaloes, a small canal in the vicinity, little huts with khaats to rest on, golagappas, chat papadi, pakodas, and ghewar to savor, men applying mehandi, swings suspended from the trees….oh God I loved it.

Monday was a day spend on the streets - freaked out in the local market (umm the pleasures of the small town market, the bante waali nimbu lemon, the roadside khaana). Small town markets still wear that festive spirit for local festivals. The market was abuzz with colorful gifts and at the end of the day, my wallet was lighter by a kilo.

On Tuesday, the journey to my nani’s place in Indrapuram was fun indeed. It was Rakhi, and as always, we were witnessing (and having fun at the expense of) all the behane with all the jhatak matak, dressed up for the occasion. At Indrapuran it was a happy, but emotional reunion...meeting up with Nani…God cure her of all the pain.

Life cannot be all fun. Mauli had an upset stomach and the evening went down potty cleaning. Poor baby. Wednesday morning saw me back at work after the Taxi wala drove me to office from Patparganj in a record 3 hours only to be able to charge me for that long ride along munirka, vasant kunj, vasant vihar, mahipalpur (it looked like a delhi darshan trip). While quietly speeding and missing the Chirag delhi and Essex farm turn for Gurgaon and taking we way too ahead, little did he realize that it will not be an easy game with me. It pays to stay informed and hold on to your assertiveness (aggressiveness). After a verbal bashing from me, the bechara driver had no words to argue after I handed him an amount much lesser than the exorbitant amount he asked for, with a loud warning “dobaara kisi lady ko aise pagal banana ki koshish mat karna”. Alls well that ends well.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The mid week chutti

Life may not give you enough reasons to celebrate…you need to create some. Yesterday was like a celebration. The entire evening was spent in trying to manage a luxury dinner for Anuj on the eve of his birthday. The little cake, the gravy laden subzis… an attempt in which even Maulik actively participated. Dressed in saffron, green, and white (my little tiranaga) he knew it will be papa’s birthday when he returns from work at 1 in the night. Cake cutting, followed by a nice dinner (TV lit dinner that is) was just the perfect ending to the day. Happy Birthday Anuj.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I love India











Freedom

Freedom to me is a state of mind. The faith in the world around and being able to survive the way I am, without any fear in mind and body. Freedom is the confidence that I will get what I deserve. It is the trust that I can walk around on the streets in the middle of the night without attracting any stares and remarks. It is the feeling that I will get any and every support from the government machinery, something that I so rightly deserve. Freedom is a thought that I care less about what people expect me to do, I do what is right. I stand to take the first step and can see people leading. Freedom is my tool to say No, No to everyone who is trying to violate my right as an Indian. Something that comes from TOI today: you are not in a Traffic Jam, you are the Traffic Jam. So as feeling, experiencing, and enjoying freedom is a way of life, Freedom should be an initiative to stand and make a move in the right direction…an endeavor to do the right thing and a struggle to make others do the same.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Chak De India II

My new ringtone is Chak De India. Just the right starter for the Independence day meal of patriotism that we will soon have. As the country gets ready to celebrate its 60th birthday, it is a great feeling to look back and feel proud for the journey that India has traveled on the path to development. The media, for a change, is getting creative as the three Bs (Me: the media critic) are taking a backstage. From discussing about the technological breakthroughs to economic liberalization to social acceptance of things that were considered ‘western’…there are many good programs and analysis to watch out for. An NDTV poll had interesting answers for the most popular song: the final two options were Ae mere watan ke logon and Kajra re!!!

While one channel talked about the biggest incidents of shame in the history of India another channel discussed the biggest shame of the modern times. Hunger and Bribery were indisputably on the top. The Citizen X story of IBN was good – just the right time to illustrate the extent of corruption in our country and show how vulnerable the country is, to any anti-social activity. For a person who does not exist, the team was able to secure a mark sheet, pan card, deriving license and a passport…all at a cost of 30 something thousand.

The weekend is fun. Chak De India and a lot of TV watching….patriotism is on a high, just as much as the urge of doing good and being good…only to last a few days.

Chak De India I

SRK is best - only when he forgets he is SRK. The last time it was in Swades and this time its for Chak De India. A good movie, engrossing, entertaining, its strength in its perfect pace and editing, not too much of SRK and his dialogues. The story (there hardly is any story) is said in a perfectly tight and no-nonsense way.

The underlying points that were beautifully depicted: women power can rule...only the first step is difficult, media can make and break, politics and bureaucracy is killing sports in the country, and the biggest lesson Stand United.

Aaj Tak was so real. The movie has an Aaj Tak reporter who accuses SRK of match fixing only because he gets irritated on his insane, Aaj Tak like questions. This is so real….just don’t understand why Aaj Tak wanted to make fool of itself in the movie.

An enjoyable flick…the winning goal for India did make the multiplex crowd clap in unison. The little thing to say…we are Indians, and we haven’t forgotten this.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kudos to you Sagarika

I have never liked Sagarika Ghosh too much. Only two reasons why I still watch Face the Nation: her aggressiveness and the fact that she happens to be Rajdeep’s wife. The same reason inspired me to read her book Blind Faith....but that really did not go well. Though I enjoyed the book and the style, I totally disliked the depiction of certain characters and the plot. But there are some very fine pages of writing. But every time I see this woman… (Jealousy thy name is..me!!)

Sagarika impressed me yesterday in Face the Nation. In a debate on whether the critics of Islam are victimized by their own community, the lady grilled Owaisi, the MLA belonging to Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, for physically attacking Taslima Nasreem during a press conference. Nafisa Ali too was on air, criticizing this confused party leader and telling him that Muslim community is defamed because of leaders like him. Owaisi was literally baffled when Sagarika hit him by saying that if he thinks the attack on Tasleema is justified, what makes him say or feel that the attack on Barbari Masjid was not the right thing. (I think the channel later felt it was too blunt and slap-on-the-face thing to say - that part of the discussion is missing in the online transcript). Rightly said Sagarika, if it is justified for religious fanatics to take the mob way, the Barabri Masjid attack can also be termed as one in the interest of the Hindu religion. The lady seriously lost her calm when the MLA repeatedly kept saying that he did try to attack the novelist but that was not physical violence. She also intelligently brought in the fact about Mr. M F Hussain, who in my opinion is almost done with his creativity and trying out with doing funny things - nude paintings and irritating movies – to attract attention. For more on this debate, do check out http://www.ibnlive.com/news/target-taslima-no-room-for-critics-in-islam/46563-3-p0.html.

Ironically, some of these community leaders were up in arms last week to protect the suspected terrorist Mr. Haneef, the same set of people today want to physically hurt a woman, who has just expressed herself in writing. Due respect to the Muslim populace of our country, these freaks are just defaming the beautiful religion of Islam.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Me: the media critic

Every second day I swear to myself that I will no more fall prey to these 24/7 channels. But as darkness envelops my house, the urge takes over my determination and my hands grab the remote control. The end result: I go irritated, at times frustrated...and then the remorse of being not into the world of journalism takes over.

This Monday it was the Haneef’s homecoming that did it for me. The **** was let go by the Australian police, not because they thought that he was innocent man, but because they could not manage sufficient proof to keep him back for long. But the pade likhe illiterate Indians need no reasoning to get melodramatic (did I hear -look who’s talking). The janta was welcoming him at the airport, garlanding him, and congratulating him and the to-be-proved terrorist stood there looking at the foolish people, and maybe in his mind, laughing at them. Media, as always, was going crazy…he, his wife, his mom, his dhobi…everyone was a star. His cousin who brought him back is stealing more limelight than SRK these days. To top it all, the seemingly wela CM of the state visited him and even offered him a job - terror management that should be. Amazingly stupid. Finally yesterday the Australian police disclosed the chat script between Haneef and his cousin Shoaib. The transcript reads that Shoaib told Haneef that nothing had been “found about him” and advised him to tell his employer that he was leaving to see his new-born daughter and disclose nothing else. He also told Haneef not to delay his departure or lend his phone to anyone in Australia.

For Haneef it was a transformation from a terrorist (oh I must say suspected) to a Hero…but for someone else it has just been the opposite. As Sanjay Dutt moved to jail to serve his sentence, IBN7 flashed an interesting Breaking News: jail mein nahi milega tandoori chicken. I respect the judgment but common yaar, he is the same person, media went gaga over after Munnabhai’s success. Today, for the heck of a story, they are making things embarrassing for him and his family. BTW, the story ended with the reporter telling us that he finally ate Moong daal and 3 chapatis…as if.

In the Ramnath Goenka Debate, some of the channel bosses actually said that since they want TRPs and business, masala kinda stories are so much needed. The verdict was unequivocal: serve the janta what they want.

Wait till the five Ws and one H of journalism changes to three Bs and a big H. The B will sure stand for Bhoot, Baba, and Balaatkar.