Saturday, June 23, 2007

Say cheeeeeeeeeese……..


So finally the wait is over. My braces are gone!

That was a surprise that dawned on me when my dentist, with a child-like excitement, held forth a hand mirror in front of me, after he was done with the routine check-up and smiled playfully. Initially I took the expression as the dumbest visage one could ever exhibit. I gave him a frowned look as I was already disgusted with my aching teeth after going through a grueling clean-up. But that was usual. So I didn’t bother and never in my wildest dream did I imagine that this day will put an end to the enormous torture, my teeth had gone through in the last five years.

But as I held the mirror, my left, arched eye-brow gradually scraped the ceiling. This usually happens when I am expecting some nuisance to happen. You know lady instinct! But this time around, exceptionally, my instinct did not work like a charm. I was quite bamboozled by it. The mirror reflected something that was long dismissed from the mind. The look that was under wraps for a long time could now be seen free and clear.

It was weird in the beginning, but as I went home and sported that forgotten smile, it was déjà vu.

I thank my Chacha, who patiently awaited my discharge from the regular and annoyingly lengthy clean-ups and also consoled me when I was fed to the teeth (both idiomatically and philosophically) with this tacky regimen.

At the end of the day I happily miss my braces!

Smile Amigo!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Every year father’s day crumbles back to remind us of that special being who is so close to our hearts. At least there should be some day to make the fathers world over celebrate their fatherhood, right?

In the rush and din of our daily lives we forget to light up that endearing old candle, which we take for granted all through the year and consequently miss out on the inestimable fun we could have bargained for good.

The candle, which seems to have waited for ages in the hope of getting the slimmest of your attention and, is melting away without even being illuminated, craves for this special day to rediscover its lost identity as a guardian.

Father’s day convulses the soul to become cognizant of its atrocious crime of ignoring the man who proudly dealt with the rough and tumble of fatherhood from seeing his child all toothy and smiling to seeing her grow into an educated independent individual.

I dedicate this article to my Dad and it gives me mighty pleasure to write for the man who taught me the virtues of self-discipline and hard work, to walk tall in the society apart from many other things.

I request you to reach out to your dad now and tell him how much you love him and that you care and I know the loneliness that still looms large in his world without you will vanish forever.

I did that too and I would like to put on record, upfront and no strings attached that I am proud of my father who’s always been my teacher, my navigator and my life, unfailingly.

[The tradition of Father's Day actually came out of Mother's Day. It was at a Mother's Day celebration in 1909 that Sonara Smart of Washington found herself thinking of her widower father who had single-handedly raised his three kids. On his birth date the next year, she held the first ever Father's Day and ever since then, the third Sunday of every June is officially observed as World Father's Day.]

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Success-fool’s paradise

Who cares how you define success? If at all it matters, it just matters to you. Why to impose your definition of success on others? It’s just unreasonable. To you success might be the fruitful outcome that you savor after spending years in taking a swarm of nightmarish rides in the overcrowded locals from Borivali to Churchgate.

Or to you success might be indulging in an ostentatious show of owning a luxury yacht, being surrounded by fast cars, beautiful women, designer houses, horses, jewellery and art just like the loud Richard Branson of India, Vijay Mallya.

Another definition of success could be the glam-doll way, chosen by the high-profile who’s who of Bollywood actors. The actors (most of ‘em) flaunt their bodies; earn bucks for being brazen in front of an entire audience of the nation of dignified discourse and celebrated sabhyata. And then they call themselves ‘successful’. (Do I need to specify the likes of Imran Hashmi?)

Whatever it might be, but that is success to you. Everyone, absolutely EVERYONE is free to relish in his own world of accomplishments. And EVERYONE in this world has to deal with his own set of struggles, which to you might not be a struggle in the first place!

By trying to convince others to accept what you think of success is simply disgusting. With no offence, I don’t buy the success stories of any of the aforesaid people. I think it’s a total waste of time to live life that way. But that is my opinion. People feel it’s an alibi for not working hard. You can think so too, if you have time. What’s the point in having everything from alluring looks to a walloping bank-balance and still hitting the rehab centers, more often than not? (Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears….)

Because you’re reading my blog, I will take the privilege to define success in my own way. And I don’t force you to comply with my definition. My definition of success is not at all materialistic, it’s very abstract. Success to me is more in trying and less in achieving. I believe in destiny. I am a theist. Your trying can be equal to your destiny, not more than it. A beggar on the road can dream of becoming Bill Gates one day and he may invest all his available resources in fulfilling his dream. At the end of his life he may not find himself scoring that high in his fervent hope, but his efforts will certainly give him an immense satisfaction and indescribable delight, which will in turn effectuate a tranquil and not disgruntled demise.

In the words of Alex Noble -

“If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.”

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The mature innocence

For heaven’s sake, somebody please tell me where has the adorable innocence of childhood gone? Instead of reading Little Red Robin Hood, sitting on their mother’s lap, kids today are busy vrooming with their Playstation steering wheel, plopping on a racing game seat! The other day my young niece, who’s just 9, surprised me when she said she wants to color her hair because then she would look more ‘cool’. Now children as young as that are busy upping their cool quotient.

I remember when I was that young, I used to potter around in the house in my pinafores. I decorated my doll house and found pleasure in such ‘uncool’, gizmo-unfriendly things.

Now kids don’t shy away from flaunting their ‘adult’ outfits. Even before they learn to spell their father’s name, they learn to say ‘don to patadna muskil hi nahi, namumtin he….’. They worry more about their own weight than their schoolbags’, they wear make-up to school (can you beat that!), they sing romantic tunes in the living room right in front of your guests when they are told to recite some poem and leave everyone in the house dumb-struck. (And yes baby, they could well comprehend the meaning of any damn Bollywood song in their own way.), instead of spending quality time with the family they chat on the internet or keep sms-ing ‘stuff’ to their friends. No wonder their teenage might find them on the wrong side of the sheet.

If parents ask them to act their age, they feel left-out, as other children in their group are busy giving us adults the shocks of our lives. And some take pride in showing off their kids’ stupidity. The ‘alpha’ society too hasn’t left these vulnerable kids untouched. Markets today offer thongs for children and skanky toys are profusely available for sale. Kids market is flourishing like never before. But the saddest part is it is awaking a dormant phenomenon, which could cause an unforeseen damage to the world & blow up an entire generation in ashes..

I don’t know who is to blame for all this; the parents, the media or the changing trends?

I think all of these hold a responsibility towards gardening and protecting the future of the Gen-Z. It has to be a combined effort. The negative rippling effects of this change have to be fielded together, with care.

Monday, June 4, 2007

When history comes alive…

If by any chance, some of our heroes of older times happen to cross the lengthy bridge of time and arrive in the present, maybe in a more contemporary look, would they be getting the same respect? What happened to Lage Raho Munnabhai when the film tried to bring alive our Rashtrapita? And what about the fancied and very in ‘gandhigiri’? It’s getting obsolete already! The film was enjoyed, gandhigiri appreciated and even followed by many. But then what?

Earlier it was Bhagat Singh, then it was Mangal Pandey, then Gandhiji and now it’s Prithviraj Chauhan (Star Plus’ show, brought to life by a flawless performance of Rajat Tokas). Media creates magic in all its forms to attract the audience. It’s the frozen history, which is time and again digged out of the graveyard, praised, admired but is then sadly buried back into the weathering pages of yesteryears.

Many heroes were made out of time. And we remember those times by the heroes it featured. ‘When gandhiji was alive’, ‘in the days of prithviraj chauhan…’ this is how we describe time. So, do the great heroes, who have redefined time, deserve to be forgotten?

If the heroes walk in today, amongst us, all they would get is disappointment. They would get notice, all right. The media would be brimming with THE NEWS. People would be happy all around. Not because our heroes are back, but because our economy is going great guns. Masses would be cashing in on the big news. News channels, film fraternity, sponsors, everyone would beeline for a single byte or for a small appearance of the old protagonists. All business! And that too will end soon. Because things are changing fast. In no TIME. Yes, the same TIME, which used to make heroes out of ordinaries. The same heroes, who are now struggling for an identity in this bizarrely mutated world. Because the people today are all hassled-for-time. They remember the heroes, not because they should but because they have to. They want to clear their entrance exams, they want to be IAS officers, they want to push their children a grade further, or they have to deliver a fabulous speech on any of these forgotten legends and win accolades. How mean have we become! Probably this is the reason why TIME has ceased churning out great INDIVIDUALS, like the ones who were endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for their bold exploits or those who were favored by Gods…

But is it really our fault? Do we really have TIME to keep praising the great history? We HAVE TO BE mean today. We can’t carry a goody bag of commendation or wear a mask of pseudo-patriotism all the time. After all we, the people, make the nation. And individuals make a society. So INDIVIDUAL comes first, then the society and then, the nation.

But at least we can be thankful to those individuals of yesterday, which have made us the individuals of today. At least, we can stop dirtying our hands by playing corrupt politics in the name of our pristine past. And undisputedly, we do have TIME for that!