Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bhagat-ism et al

A few minutes past 1 PM by my laptop clock… Has been a couple of hours since I left home… bus to Delhi from where I shall board for the city of joy… Kaivu, amongst others in my mind, who wept while bidding me adieu… Donno when I will meet him next, maybe at my wedding along with his mami… the kid screaming at the seat behind me reminds me of his laughter… thought of sleeping but his laughter comfortably made his way into my day-dreams too… so finished my last chapters of "The three mistakes of my life" to divert my thoughts… bus stops at a Dhaba… everybody stoops for a tea and smoke… I go for a beer… back in the bus to Delhi… To keep all emotions out of my mind, I write on Chetan Bhagat…

Love him or hate him, you can never ignore him. I have never been a big fan of Chetan. His style of writing is one of the worst ones for a freak like me who prefers Shakespeare to Sheldon on any given day. But I am surprised with myself on how I find something good in everything that I come across and tend to ignore those I do not like.

Yes! What might be surprising to most of my friends and critics, I really liked the book. The book, as expected, aimed to be a "commercial" success and facts say, that it has really achieved what it was meant for. Bhagat's books really touch you where you want to be touched. Bhagat selects his niche, and writes for them. I have been an IIT-ian, been the best of friends with people working in a call center, been an appreciator of Gujarat as a state as well as cricket as a sport, and I am really appalled at how an i-Banker not staying in India has been really close to the situation to write on the topic. Bhagat definitely chooses a theme that has an appeal – T3MOML is no different.

I hate reading books and watching movies that contain slangs (especially the 4-lettered words). They are not "Literature" and books that are not a part of "Literature" come in the domain of "Trash". Five point someone, One Night @ The Call Center and The 3 Mistakes of my Life; all come in the latter one. But the way that Bhagat presents his themes is really appreciable. Bhagat exactly reciprocates the mind of the characters that should have been there, doing that. The state of mind of an amateur businessman, an NDA dropout and a priest's son has been perfectly described in the text.

Being a quizzard by passion and a testing resource by profession, I always tend to find out mistakes in texts that I read and statements that I (over)hear. Thankfully, I have enjoyed my failure in this book. I wiki-ed on the chronology of events – The Bhuj earthquake, the India-England Test Series, The India-Australia Test Series and everything fitted well. The incidents of Babari Masjid, rule of the "Suck-ular" party (in Omi's words), facts about cricket have perfectly suited the timeframe that has been mentioned. In all my senses (One beer does not change your thought process), I will definitely rate it as a "must-read" for anybody who has a lot of time over the weekend or travels a lot. People who have other things to keep them busy can happily ignore this book.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Complete Failure of the System...

Disclaimer – It appears, of late, that I have become a great cribster. In other words, this blog is only being used as an opening to let out my frustrations in life. So I request my readers to have faith in Hamlet. He shall return with good posts soon.

Disclaimer 2 – Since Kolkata is my “karmabhoomi”, this post might give an impression that I am somewhat biased towards the King’s men. All critics in this respect are welcome, as the comments are not moderated, as always.

Well, the match is over. We strolled down from The Eden Gardens to Park Street, and are currently at Barista. Sebin is having is favorite Cappuccino while I am enjoying my Latte mug. The chatterbox is on. Afridi is on fire. He has taken the wickets on Sachin and another one in the same over, and I am least interested in knowing who the other batsman is. All I am thinking about is what happened in the match that just finished.

Though it was not one of the Best innings that the Knight Riders could have played, but I was optimistic about the target of 150. It wasn’t a tough one, but considering the Eden, it wasn’t an easy one as well. The opening pair of the Super Kings looked in shape, but cricket’s always a game of chance. At the time when it was most unwanted, in came a gust of Kalboishakhi accompanied by rain and the match stopped. At 7:50 P.M. IST, it was announced that Chennai Super Kings have been declared winners by three runs in accordance with the Duckworth Lewis method.

This followed a lot of speculations – 3 runs!!! What if Ashoke Dinda did not miss the catch? Since the main parameter of the Duckworth Lewis system is “Resource Left”, one wicket down could have easily resulted in a sweet victory for Kolkata. What if Agarkar had run a few more inches to save a boundary? What if Dada had at least scored one boundary before saying adieu in his home ground? What if the dependable Hussey had had lasted for more than a ball? What if the match was scheduled at 8 P.M. instead of 4 P.M.? Umpires would have waited for more time before declaring the results. But the truth is, that all this DID NOT happen… and speculations don’t count…

In a match that would decide the fate of the semi-finalists, one has the right to expect that the best team should win. What Hamlet wonders, is “Was the best team given a chance?” Well, to me, the answer is “No”! Even before the rain came, play was stopped due to Bad Light conditions for about 15 minutes. Why is it that the flood lights in Eden Gardens always have to malfunction? As a spectator on the ground, I realized that rain stopped 45 minutes before the results were declared. Why did the ground staff take SO long to take off the covers? There were just two cars available to clear off the water logging and even they did not look interested in completing the task. And THESE are NOT speculations. Sad but true, one of the best cricket grounds in the country has no contingency plans to handle obvious situations. Kolkata lost tonight – but the undigestable part was that they were not given a chance to fight it out.

How I wish this ended in a nail biting finish where the team from the City of Joy had a target to stop the visitors…

Was it a bad performance, or a bad ground management, that cost Kolkata the match? Hamlet wonders…

The silver lining is that hopes never die. Nor does keeping hopes cost you anything. Fans of Dada can still dream of a remote chance of making it to the semis by winning the remaining three ties. And even if that does not happen, I will still recite a line that’s close to every Bengali’s heart –

Aasche bochhor abaar hobe

Monday, January 07, 2008

A small loss to India – A great loss to the game

Australia won the second test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy ’07 at Sydney today.

Hearty Congratulations to Ponting and his boys. They achieved what the great Steve Waugh and his team had achieved a few years back – 16 Test Matches in a row! But this victory did not come without a cost. If Australia won, someone lost too.

Was it India? No Way!!! I insist that India DID NOT lose this match. This was a great loss to Cricket – The name and the spirit of the so called ‘Gentleman’s game’.

There was a time when Top Cricketers used to “Walk” out of the field in case they knew they were out, even if the umpires index finger rested at its place. Today, players feel proud to make a mockery of the game by announcing it to the media after a couple of days – “I knew I was out, but I was lucky enough not to be given.” LUCK??? Is this the game? Oh well, I thought it was a game of skill.

There was a time when the umpires asked the third umpire in case of an decision. Yesterday, Mr. Benson asked the captain on field. A simple question to Mr. Benson – Why did the captain appeal at all if it was a not-out? Sorry Sir, but this is something beyond my understanding.

I believe, There IS a human instinct to the game. But what kind of an instinct is calling 7 wrong decisions? ALL – against one of the teams?

Australia is probably a great sporting nation, but sorry mates, when it comes to the sporting spirit, you guys manage at the bottom of the list। You can call all incidents, right from Ian Chappell’s “underarm” ball in 1981 to date, are not “illegal”, but then, Cricket IS different from robbery, right?

With a great grief (Not because India lost, but because for Cricket who was ruthlessly raped and barbarically murdered),

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Pursuit of Happyness

In Pursuit of Happyness

“In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me, you say it wearies you
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ‘tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn….”

- Act I Scene I,
Antonio in The Merchant of Venice,
William Shakespeare

Sometimes it feels strange… What Shakespeare penned centuries ago, is also valid for this day. It seems strange enough to see people sad. Sad, especially when the reason for sadness is the absence of a reason for happiness.

To me, it feels like either I’ve gone crazy or I am the only sane person existing and the world around has gone nuts. It all began on the 7th of May, 2007 – A severe adrenaline rush went through my veins. The obvious reason, first job post MBA.

A new dimension, a new perspective, a new domain, a new place and a new job. A firm which I could be proud of, a brand name that I could brag about.

But I found a different culture here. A culture where work is fun and fun is work. This was a culture I had never seen before. A reign where every individual gives endless hours to work and enjoys it as if it were life. A world that’s bubbling with Energy and every new soul that joins the flow synergizes the degree of Energy.

I had caught this idea somewhere down my memory lane that Man and viruses are the only two species that can perfectly adapt to their circumstances, and with a strong belief that I am either of the two, I joined the flow.

Days went by and soon I became a part of it. My foes mock at me and my friends show their considerations. Near and dear ones ask why I am doing this to myself. People call me a psycho for the endless hours I put in.

But the story at this end is quite different. This cubicle of mine seems like a whole new world to me. With a new challenge that I face everyday, this seat gives me my raison d'ĂȘtre. It’s a heaven of freedom – where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. And the world of free knowledge with no bounds, right at my fingertips adds to the same.

Tonight, I confess that this confinement seems more homely to me than the one-room-set I’ve rented a few miles away. It gives me more enjoyment than the malls, shopping complexes, restaurants and cinemas around. It gives me more relaxation than any other source of entertainment. In short, it gives me “happyness”. I strongly believe that my pursuit has ended. Am I insane??? Hamlet wonders…

Thursday, September 21, 2006

There is more to my city than meets the eye !!!

A famous community for management students, aspirants and alumni clubbed with a travel blog-cum-journal portal for a contest - Something in my city that's ignored and not realized.

Now, What's ignored in Agra??? The world knows Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri; even the mental asylum !!!

But pouring in bit of thought, I realized there's more to that in my city. Here go the 200 words, that framed my reply -

Agra, one of the most ancient cities of India is today famous worldwide for two great monuments – One is Taj Mahal, a symbol of Love and another – A mental asylum. This makes Agra the biggest proof to mankind that love cannot exist without madness. Where Love prevails, madness simply pours in…

A city with a rich ancestry, Agra has many well-known as well as yet-to-be-discovered buildings. Among the famous ones (apart from the forenamed ones) are Agra Fort, the Fort and Dargah at Fatehpur-Sikri and Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra.

However, among those that are ignored by many tourists, one is the tomb of Etmad-ud-Daula, Father-in-law to Jahangir. It is indeed the BAAP of Taj Mahal, in many senses. The carvings here have laid foundation to the famous 'Lucknow's Chikan' embroidery.

Another one in the line is Dayalbagh's Radha-Soami Temple. It has a history of its own and is said to be cursed that its construction will never end. It's dedicated to the Gurus of Radha-Soami clan and construction is going on since generations.

Lastly we have the Pohiya Ghat – on the peaceful banks of Yamuna, the same bank where Lord Krishna once had his leelas with the Gopis… Exotic, eh?

Monday, September 18, 2006


PLAGIARISM – For better or worse???

While coming down to office today, I found myself humming a sweet number – Pal Pal Pal Pal Har Pal Har Pal… Oh no, not again!!! It has been over a week now that I am continually humming the same number. And why… simply because the tune is catchy enough. But drilling down the memory lane, I can easily remember those days when I used to cycle down to school and hum the same tune… How come? Coz this tune is basically Cliff Richard’s Theme For A Dream (1961). So what the Indian Cinema thinks is kudos to Shantanu Moitra is actually a hats-off to The Great British Singles Chart-Topper.

But a deep thought forces me to think whether this plagiarism is really bad… For I was sure I had almost forgotten the original number at the time the Hindi tune refreshed my memory. So, it did me good… Now I have one more song to sing at parties… :)

Well, remotely related to this, I always remember something that my father, a professor in Physics, has taught me – Old and proven things can always be used as tools to find out new things!!! As a very blunt example, say if you want to know the length of the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle, you need not begin from scratch – prove Pythagoras Theorem – and proceed. You can just use the formula and take the next step. Is that plagiarism as well??? Moitra took the basic theme and used it to create an advanced model… Introduced a few changes – An Ultra Suprano Effect, varying rhythms at chorus and stanzas… and so on, to recreate a melodious number.

So where lies the thin line of difference between inspiration and plagiarism??? Hamlet wonders…

A few well known “inspired” numbers in Hindi Cinema

Re-made Song



Original Composition



Itna na mujhse tu pyaar badha (Chhaya)

Salil Chowdhary


40th Symphony



Mere Rang Mein (Maine Pyar Kiya)

Raam Laxman


The Final Countdown



Aate Jaate (Maine Pyar Kiya)

Raam Laxman


I just called to say

Stevie Wonder


Sochna Kya (Ghayal)

Bappi Lahiri





Jab koi baat bigad Jaaye (Jurm)

Rajesh Roshan


A hundred miles

Peter, Paul & Mary


O mere sapno ke saudagar (Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi)

Nadeem Shravan


Bachelor Boy

Cliff Richard


Dole Dole Dil (Baazi)

Anu Malik


Theme Music of Come September

Bobby Darin


Nazarein Mili (Raja)

Nadeem Shravan


Theme Music of Come September

Bobby Darin


Aisa Zakhm Diya hai (Akele Hum Akele Tum)

Anu Malik


Child in Time

Deep Purple


Dil mera Churaya Kyun (Akele Hum Akele Tum)

Anu Malik


Last Christmas



Tu Wo Tu Hai (Beqabu)

Anu Malik


Theme Music of The Good, The Bad and The ugly

Ennio Morricone


Payal Meri (Rajkumar)

Laxmikant Pyarelaal



George Michael


Haseena Gori Gori (Tarazu)

Rajesh Roshan


In the Summertime



Oh Baby !! Don’t break my heart (Mohabbat)

Nadeem Shravan


Oh Baby !! Don’t break my heart

Stereo Nation


Dil le le lena (Auzaar)

Anu Malik



Los Del Rio


Dil Maka Dina (Dhaal)

Anu Malik

Again !!!



Los Del Rio


Ek Shararat Hone ko Hai (Duplicate)

Anu Malik


Slip and Slide

Laura Allen


Koi nahi tere jaisa (Keemat)

Rajesh Roshan


Cotton Eye Joe



Kya Kehna

Rajesh Roshan


O Carol

Paul Anka


Pretty Woman (Kal Ho Na Ho)

Shankar Ehsan Loy


Pretty Woman

Roy Orbison


Pal Pal Pal Pal (Lage Raho Munnabhai)

Shantanu Moitra


Theme For a Dream

Cliff Richard


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why I call myself Hamlet

Why I call myself Hamlet???

Before I begin this post, would like to mention some trivia… Hamlet, one of the most famous Shakespearean Heroes, was the prince of Denmark, son of the deceased King and nephew to the current King Claudius. It’s a story of love, lust, fame, power, money, murder, fear, death and revenge, and how the human brain works out to optimize an ideal life through all these in the journey called life. The ghost of Hamlet’s father guides him to take revenge on Claudius, his treacherous and lecherous brother, Hamlet’s uncle; who poisoned the Late King to death amidst his sleep. Claudius then successfully took over as the new King, and wooed the Late King’s widow as bride.

So begins a tale where desire for power and lust leads to murder. What remains now is Hamlet’s Revenge; for the death of a Father; for his mother’s love that he was robbed off; for the throne that belonged to him but was take away; for the Kingdom to which he was the legal heir. And for Hamlet’s it wasn’t too tough. For he had everything with him that he needed. He was a gallant warrior, armed with the loyalty of the courtiers and the sympathy of the subjects of the nation.

Did he take revenge? Yes and No. Yes – because he was able to kill Claudius in the end. No – for he delayed his revenge so much that the purpose of the revenge had already lost its reason. Critics say that Hamlet is highly indecisive. He could not make up his mind. He often curses himself for not killing Claudius –
“Why, what an ass am I! This is most brave,
That I, the son of a dear father murder'd,
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words”

He even calls himself a coward, but for a warrior of Hamlet’s merit, that is not expected. A son of so brave a king can never be a coward.
“Yet I,
A dull and muddy-mettled rascal, peak,
Like John-a-dreams, unpregnant of my cause,
And can say nothing; no, not for a king
Upon whose property and most dear life
A damn'd defeat was made. Am I a coward?”

Unlike the critics, I feel differently. Hamlet simply procrastinates. He has an aim (kill Claudius) and a reason (avenge his father’s death), but keeps delaying it till the last hour.

Here lies the missing link – the reason why I identify myself with Hamlet. I have an aim in life and a reason to fulfill it… But there’s something in me that bars me to – time and again. I procrastinate a lot. This is not laziness, for am never lazy to do anything. This is not lack of will or ambition, for I want to achieve a lot… But this somehow happens… days go by, and I find myself where I was… The day I know the reason, I guess I’ll learn a lot about myself.