Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Koi Lauta de mere beete huye din.....

Are you missing those days?.....those yester years??.... Sometimes I do....

Doordarshan Logo

Doordarshan's Screensaver

Malgudi Days

Dekh Bhai Dekh


Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

Turning Point

Bharat Ek Khoj

Byomkesh Bakshi

He Man & The Masters of the Universe

Salma Sultana - DD News Reader(the one & only) those days

Vicco Turmeric, nahi Cosmetic
Vicco Turmeric Ayurvedic Cream...

Twaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiinggggggg
Washin powder Nirma, Washing powder Nirma
Doodh si safedi, Nirma se aayi
Rangeen kapde bhi khil khil jaaye....

I'm a Complan Boy (Shahid Kapoor) and I'm a Complan Girl (Ayesha Takia)

Surabhi - Renuka Shahane & Siddharth

Initially on TV, it was only 'Krishi Darshan', 'Phool Khile hain Gulshan Gulshan', 'Chitrahaar' & a few other programs till the 70's.
Later came along 'Mungerilal ke Hasin Sapne', 'Karamchand', 'Vikram Betal', 'Yeh jo hai Zindagi', 'Mahabharat', 'Nukkad', 'Fauji', 'Buniyaad', 'Humlog', along with the english serial 'Star Trek' etc. All of these, kept us spellbound & hungry for more.

How did one survive growing up in the 80's and 90's?
We had no seatbelts, no airbags and sitting in the back of a truck was a treat…
Our baby prams had the most gorgeous lead based colours…
No such thing as tamper proof bottle tops…

Opening kitchen cupboards was a breeze… as safety locks were unheard off…
Cycling was like a breath of fresh air…
No safety helmets, knee pads or elbow pads, with plenty of cardboards between spokes to make it sound like a motorbike…

When thirsty we only drank tap water, bottled water was still a mystery…
We kept busy collecting bits & pieces so we could build all sort of things … and we were fearless on our bikes even when the brakes failed going downhill…
We were showing off how tough we are, by how high we could climb trees & then jumping down….It was great fun….

We could stay out to play for hours, as long as we got back before dark, in time for dinner…
We walked to school, or sometimes we even rode our was so much fun...
We had no mobile phones, but we always managed to find each other…. How? No one knows… was all so simple....
We lost teeth, broke arms & legs, we got cuts and bruises and bloody noses…. nobody complained as we had so much fun, it wasn't anybody's fault, only ours
We ate everything in sight, cakes, bread, chocolate, ice-cream, sweet sugary drinks, yet, we stayed skinny by fooling around.

And if one of us was lucky to find a 1 litre coca cola bottle we all had a swig from it & guess what? Nobody picked up any germs...
We did not have Play Stations, MP3, Nintendo's, I-Pods, Video games, 99/199 Cable TV channels, DVD's, Home Cinema, Mobile phones, Home Computers, Laptops, Chat-rooms, Internet, etc ... BUT, we had REAL FRIENDS!!!!
We called on friends to come out to play, never rang the doorbell, just went around the back…
We loved being let loose in the big bad world…without bodyguards…
We played with sticks and stones, played cowboys and Indians, doctors and nurses, hide and seek, soccer games, over and over again…...never tired or bored...
When we failed our exams we were given a second chance by simply repeating the same grade…without visiting psychiatrists, psychologists or counselors…
Such were the days…

We had freedom, success, disappointments and responsibilities.....
Most of all, we learned to respect others…

Are YOU from that generation?? If that's the case, then maybe, just sit back & revisit those memories,.... kept somewhere in an obscure corner of your mind....maybe connect back with your friends from that them up & check on their well would be such a pleasant surprise for all!!!!
Maybe this connect will help them forget the stress that surrounds us these days….and just for a few moments puts a smile to their faces as they remember what life was really like in the good old days……

And if you are from the current generation, get hold of someone from that era(not difficult at all) & ask them to relive those days with you..... I promise, it will be fun & laughter & a great way of connecting with them.

I had read somewhere, "Memories have a wonderful way of returning our favourite yesterdays".......

Keep Smiling !!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lights....Camera...Action.... errr sorry...Auction !!!!

It was indeed "" at Goa in the players auction for the 2nd edition of Indian Premier League - T20 tournament, scheduled from 10th April to 29th May'09. Its cricketing extravaganza at its glittering best. Players from all over the world would chance their arms & wield their willows to glory amidst all fanfare & glitz.
The action at the Auction under Lalit Modi, was enough indication of what is expected to follow, when the tournament starts. The focus was ofcourse on the English duo of Kevin Pieterson & Andrew Flintoff & the new cricketing sensation Jean Paul Duminy of SA. While Bangalore Royal Challengers bought off Pieterson, the Chennai Super Kings managed to bag Flintoff & Duminy was picked up by the Mumbai Indians. However, the toughest bidding fight came from unexpected quarters, as Kolkata Knight Riders & Kings X1 Punjab slugged it out for the Bangladeshi pacer Mortaza Mashrafe, with KKR finally nosing ahead & clinching the deal. Mortaza must be over the moon at having got more than 10 times his initial bidding price.

The event had enough glam value despite the absence of King Khan. With Preity Zinta along with beau Ness Wadia showing up for Punjab X1, Juhi Chawla coming up for KKR & new stake holders for Rajasthan Royals(champions of the 1st edition), Shilpa Shetty was smiling merry at the clicking cameras. There was also the elegant Neeta Ambani showing up for the Mumbai Indians.

Looking now at the team composition, I believe, the Chennai Super Kings are very well placed. Under Dhoni(he seems to be winning virtually everything), the team has a wonderful combination of power, youth & experience, & now with Flintoff getting onboard, the team looks more than formidable.
Rajasthan Royals, would be hit badly with the absence of Sohail Tanvir, but having bagged Shaun Tait & Tyron Henderson, they should be feeling better. Mumbai Indians have a lot of ageing players, but having picked up Duminy, they have the potential to beat any team on their day.
Punjab X1 & Delhi Dare Devils look a decent side as ever, while Deccan Chargers, Hyd & Bangalore Royal Challengers(inspite of picking up Pieterson) still dont quite give the confidence of a champion team.
KKR,(my support goes for this team)having bagged Mortaza of Bangadesh, have a fairly balanced team. The loss of Paki players should not bother them, as they have a formidable batting & bowling deptt. Again a very good mix of power batting, good raw pace & a good blend of youth & experience. With Dada Saurav still hungry for cricket, I expect them to definitely make the top four grade...after which it is anybody's guess to the champions podium. Hope their theme song, "Korbo lodbo jitbo re...." inspires them enough this time around to go the distance.

Either ways, its going to be a colourful cricketing extravaganza, & all the cricket enthusiasts over the world can look forward to humdinger of matches. Its also a very good platform for the young talent from across India to showcase themselves & carve a place in the National level.....

May the best entertainer win!!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Moral Policing ---- Political Terrorism !!

The dastardly incident at a pub, “Amnesia” in Mangalore on 24th January has probably left many of us numb with pain & shame. On that fateful evening, as many as 40 hooligans, supposedly members of ‘Shri Ram Sena’(never heard of them before!!!), stormed the pub & beat up young boys & girls. The TV footage showed, helpless girls being hurled to the ground, beaten up, & even clothes getting torn up. Whatever we saw on TV looked like a C grade movie fight scene or some hooligan atrocity …..unbelievable & deplorable…..completely barbaric!!!!

One of the Leaders of the Shri Ram Sena said, “there is lot of upheaval in the society, alcoholism, pub culture, meaningless partying, obscene dancing which includes soft pornographic positions and open caressing and kissing has become common among the youth. Such open show of lust is not our culture".

Agreed this is not our culture. Agreed, we need to check & curb the growing menace of pubs, alcohol, drugs, flesh trading & other such degrading activities. But where in our culture or scriptures has there been any mention of such barbarism??? How can you, the so called upholders of our Hindu Culture, go down to beat up women??, tear up their clothes??, assault the girls like animals????? Who gives you the right???? Is this the way to protect our culture?????
I heard Pramod Muthalik, the Sri Ram Sena Chief in a TV interview after the Mangalore incident. While he tendered an apology, he did not sound apologetic at all. In fact, he kept on saying that, though he is sorry for the way his people have acted, the purpose behind was correct & noble!!!
Who has given you & your bunch of activists the right to take on such action, Mr Muthalic?? Who teaches to you to become so barbaric in your actions??? The footage of Muthalic getting arrested, showed, how even then, he was smiling & moving around with contempt written all over him. As if he knew that all this was just plain bunkum. This is the kind of respect our leaders have for Law and Order!!!!
To add to all this, the Congress is at BJP’s throat for all this. Then there are denials & counter denials & then attacks & counter attacks. With elections round the corner, each of these political parties is looking for issues to bite at each other. There was not a single person who showed concern about the well being & security of these hapless women. They were only busy politicizing the issue. These people seem to have become completely insensitive to people issues.

The Union Minister for Women & Child Welfare, Renuka Chowdhary, send an official investigation team for‘an on-the-spot’ assessment under Kiran Chadda & Nirmala Venkatesh, but this team spends more time finding out the authenticity of the license of the pub owner. No dialogue with the hapless victims, or the activists who unleashed such mayhem. Irresponsible comments from Ms Nirmala Venkatesh & delay in her submitting the report, all pose huge questions……is the Govt machinery in place??? Is it capable of maintaining Law & Order for the common man????

What emerges is another form of terrorism….Political Terrorism !!!! & this one is more dangerous & malignant, as it eats into the system from within & makes India so vulnerable to external forces. All responsible citizens need to take responsive steps & ensure that this form of terrorism does go out of control.

With Valentine’s Day on 14th Feb round the corner, there are speculations & fears of similar dastardly incidents. We need to understand that, in today’s world, the cultures of various communities are mingling together, as life is becoming more & more cosmopolitan. So using force to curb pub culture, celebrations of Valentine’s Day etc will only lead to more unrest & give rise to many such barbaric incidents.

As a devout Hindu, I take pride in our ancient heritage, our culture, our teachings. Vedanta has always been a way of life. We have always embraced & given space to all alike. Our ancient culture, the scriptures of Vedas, teach us to be tolerant & loving. We speak of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”….a One World Family, where we all coexist with Love & respect for all. We certainly need to curb alcoholism, use of drugs, tobacco, pub culture etc, but not by beating up people….not by vandalism. We need to show an alternative.
The Youth of the country & the world are vibrant & full of energy. They want to exhibit their feelings more openly, & there is nothing wrong in that. All we need to teach them is to distinguish between what is good & what is not good.

In Art of Living, we have been working on the Youth & today across the globe, there are tens of thousands of youth who follow the path of Love & Positive activity….a path whose foundation is that of Spirituality, shown by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. A path that has successfully worked in more than 150 countries across the globe.
We have very specific youth centric programs, Like YES (Youth Empowerment Seminar) & YES+, which work on the issues & challenges that the youth face today. These programs have been revolutionary & extremely successful across the globe.
We encourage all the Youth to come forward & join us in the movement to make a One World Family….. a family of values, a family of strength, a family of purpose & resolve, a family who believes in taking up responsibilities & not just raising a storm over a teacup.

We provide with a purposeful & positive alternative !!!!!

Vande Mataram & Jai Hind !!!

Aussies going Down & Under!!!!

With Australia being dethroned by South Africa, from their No 1 ranking in One dayers, an era seems to be coming to an end. The Aussies domination seems to be ebbing out, as they struggle to hold on to past laurels. If current form & trends are any indication, The Aussies would lose their No 1 ranking in Tests as well to the Proteas, when they tour South Africa next month.
Punter Ricky Ponting is under severe pressure to regain past glories for Australia, as his team seems to have lost the winning ways. With almost all heavyweight stars of his team having retired or are through a serious loss of form, Ponting is struggling to put together a fighting unit. With him getting rested now for the next couple of one days against neighbors Kiwis, there are speculations of his head being under the chopping block.

Meanwhile, The South Africans have had a wonderful season Down Under, beating the mighty Aussies comprehensively, first in the test series & the in the One Dayers. The emphatic wins that they scalped, shows them in demonic form right now, clearly the strongest contenders for the numero Uno slot.

However, Indians have also being flexing muscles. Under the calm, yet brilliant leadership of MSD, India seems to be on a roll. After sweeping the English with a 5-0 whitewash at home, now the ‘men in blue’ are creating havoc in the Emrald Isle. The Sri Lankans, a formidable unit in their own rights, are just being blown apart by the marauding Indians….and in all departments. The likes of champion bowlers, Murali or Mendis seem to be clueless against the aggressions of Viru, Yuvi, Dhoni, Pathan & Raina. All this when Sachin is getting out to very controversial decisions(thrice in a row) & Gambhir is not firing, the way he normally does. With Zaheer & Ishant leading the bowling attack & fitness & flexibility the mantra of the team, the Men in Blue look assured to challenge the best of the teams anywhere in the world.

Looks like India & South Africa will have to slug it out for the top slot, & the prospects of this humdinger of a contest is something, cricket lovers across the world are looking forward to. Whoever finally dons the No 1 slot, cricket would be the ultimate winner. All the best !!!

Indian Tennis....a new High!!!!

Indian Tennis has recently witnessed proud moments. After Somdev had India screaming for more at the last Chennai ATP meet, with prize scalps, a couple of months back, the just concluded Australian Open had all of us go delirious with success. First of all came the success of Yuki Bhambri, winning the boy’s title. The first Indian to have done so at the Australian Open. Earlier, Ramanathan Krishnan won the Wimbledon boy’s title in 1954, later his son Ramesh Krishnan won both the Junior Wimbledon & French Open in 1970, & Leander Paes won it at the Junior Wimbledon & the US Open in 1990. Big achievements, these considering that India has not been known to produce Tennis stalwarts. Yuki, who had lost in the semifinals last year, looked out & out a champion this year, & won the title with comparative ease. He later mentioned, that he would concentrate on the Men’s circuit now……lets hope that the tall & gangling Yuki brings in more laurels for Indian Tennis. He along with Somdev look good & ready to take on the mantle of Indian Tennis from Leander Paes & Mahesh Bhupati, who have been hogging the limelight for some time now.

Equally significant has been the success of the mixed doubles pair Sania & Mahesh at the Australian Open. While it has been the 11th Grand Slam title for Mahesh, it’s the first for Sania. Together, they have won the first mixed doubles Grand Slam title for India. Both Leander & Mahesh have won mixed doubles titles earlier, but none with an Indian partner, which is what makes this win so significant. For Sania, this must be really special, as she has been hitting the news for the wrong reasons for some time now. Either its been injuries, or endorsements, or backlash from religious communities, Sania has been at the receiving end & there have been speculations of her being over hyped & under performed. This win certainly should act as a huge booster to her career. What, she needs to decide is whether to concentrate on the singles, which would mean a lot more focused fitness regimen & rigorous improvements in her game to make it to the top tier. She is all of 22 yrs & therefore a long career ahead, but, being very prone to injuries could do her a lot of harm. She has shown potential & spark at the highest levels, but they have all been in very short bursts.
Mahesh Bhupati, continues to make a niche for himself. Incidentally, he has won seven different Grand Slam mixed doubles, all with different partners, which is truly amazing. He along with Leander, became the first Indian pair to win a Grand Slam title in 1999. Both of them as a doubles team reached the finals of all the four Grand Slams that year, a feat achieved for the first time in the Open Era. They went on to become the World’s No 1 doubles pair… we all wish they continued together… many more records would have tumbled. Let us hope, he continues to pair with Sania & win more such laurels now.

SATYAM....where is the Truth headed to????

Its been a while since I have written on the blog…… excessive travels & other activities had kept me completely engaged. The year 2009 has begun with so much of action for India. Some good & some real stinkers.

One of the stinkers, has been the Satyam fiasco. At a time, when India along with the other economies of the world is struggling to come to terms with the recession, Ramalinga Raju pulls the rug off the feet. He comes out in the open by resigning from his post & admitting serious financial wrong doings. Financial wrong doings in excess of 7000 crores!!!!.....and little by little its coming out on how he managed to do so. Forged salary pay outs every month over the years, fictitious assets, inflated cash bank balance, Maytas acquisition deals( all within family ties), movement of FDs, prominent top brass of Satyam selling off stakes couple of days before Raju makes his announcement of resignation & fraud, & so much more.

It all appears to be a systematic approach by Raju & his accomplices (I am sure there are multiple people involved along with him, in this racket). Someone who seems to have planned out the whole operation to the T. I believe, he has enough political clout to see him through all this interrogations, & legal implications. Maybe, he will be jailed for a term, but once he comes out, he is clear & merry & smiling with unimaginable wealth siphoned off. What needs to be seen, is whether our judiciary is able to nab the culprits in time & make an example of this whole fiasco. Whether Lobh(Greed) creates new bench marks or finally Satyam(Truth) prevails. Kali Yuga & its effects !!!!!(I had written on this before)
Thousands of employees are suddenly in the face of a murky & unknown future….with the industry wilting under the pressures of recessions…all of these professionals are under severe duress. I believe, the current interim management has managed to give out the salaries for January, to all employees across the board. The February salary would also come thru, maybe in two installments, is what I get to hear from close circles. However, there are huge speculations of large numbers of employees getting laid off soon.
With L&T raising its stakes in the beleaguered company, & the new interim management committee under Deepak Parekh, trying to restore parity to the mayhem that has been created, we all can pray & wish that Truth(Satyam) will finally prevail.

Incidentally, as an initiative, APEX, the corporate wing of the Art of Living Foundation, is organizing various customized programs exclusively through Satyam Learning World. Initially these programs would be run in Hyderabad & later to all site offices of Satyam across India. These programs have been customized keeping in mind the current economic situations prevailing in the world. If anyone needs any details on this, do get in touch with me directly.