Saturday, January 30, 2010

Water problems

Our mere existence is because of water. It is so ubiquitous that we never fear its end. Most of the available water is contaminated or salty. The fresh water available today for consumption is becoming more and more insufficient by the day. The monsoon this year was not a great one for Mumbai and its surrounding regions. Water scarcity is pinching every now and then. It is just the start of spring, God knows what will happen in the peak of summer.

The water coming to suburbs has steadily declined over the years. The never ending pile up of new buildings emerging every day, as the suburb becomes more and more like a full fledged city with the same amount of water to give has resulted in a conundrum to today's water supply solution experts. Try looking for a parking space today, you will know how much populated your suburb has become.

Growing trees inside your building premises, is great. Maintaining a garden is really beautiful. The trees are in need of water as much as we are in need of. They are also after all living beings. The reduction in water supply to the building means, they will also feel the pinch of it. The reality is something different. Our building secretary ordered not to water the trees in our premises for some days, as there was water scarcity problems. It is not fare on them, but limited supply of such a precious fluid; it could have not been wiser.



Trees don't talk, they can't express their happiness or sadness. They just take it till they can and eventually succumb to nature's sorry plight. They fall, they fall down. One of the trees fell. I had a drop of tears in my eyes, when I looked at it the following morning. We could not give it water, but we do have tears for them. Save trees, tomorrow depends on them!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Singh is not always king

My colleague at office had a rather bizarre incident that took place few days ago, which totally flabbergasted him. He was on his way home from dadar railway station. It seemed to be a normal ride or so he thought from there. The cab driver was a sardar. With no disrespect to the sikh community, please read the following with taking into consideration that this is a real incident.

I saw the movie "Rocket singh" with lot of expectation, it did not live up to it. There was one scene in the movie which I would like you to recollect. There is a scene where in, the computer stores guy, gives his goods to Ranbir Kapoor who plays the singh in the movie, with trust. He says, "I have never seen a sardar steal in my life, so I trust you. " Rather emotional scene and something to be proud about if your a sikh. Till then, I had a feeling that, sikhs are really honest and brave people. My feeling of mutual respect to this community was totally shattered when, my colleague told me about this incident.

After he reached home, he checked his time. The time was 4 o clock in the morning. When he looked at the meter, he was taken aback. There was something wrong with the meter, he thought, as it was way above the usual cab ride. The usual cost is around 200 maximum 250. The meter read 350 and more. Seeing he wee hours in the morning and with his family with him, he did not argue and gave the cab driver the sardar a 500 rupee note.

photo courtesy google search!!

The sardar gave the note back, to his suprise telling him it was a 100 rupee note. He was totally bamboozled by this. He did not have a 100 rupee note in his wallet. He just could not find out how the 50o rupee note changed itself to a 100 rupee note. He was totally flummoxed. He gave him another 500 rupee note and it was done. The sardar made an extra 400 bucks. The fact is this has happened to two other colleagues in my office also. The same station, dadar and may be it is the same sardar, as I feel not all sardar will do it. So it must be the same guy. Rattled, he asked me to write a blog on it. The cab number is MH-01, JA 2394

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Anger control

Anger covers the true you. It makes you take rash decisions, spell doomsday backwards, gives less time to think before speaking a word or well say strikes you out before you know something has struck you. A feeling so natural, how can it affect us so much in a negative way.

I was really angry the other day. When I reached a point, that I could not take it anymore, I just left everything aside to take a walk. I did not know where I was going. I was just walking with so much rage in my eyes, in my mind. I was more angry less disappointed. The only thing that was talking was the anger. For sometime, my mind had forgotten, how good a person I was.

If I would not have taken that walk, my anger would have splashed out on someone. I walked, but my mind was fully on the matter on mind. It was difficult to concentrate on the surrounding. As slowly as I walked, a car almost hit me. I gathered consciousness. I looked at people around, some where playing cards in a shed, some little kids were roaming around with very less clothes or nothing at all. Ladies were separating garlic from its skin. Buzz of horns as the vehicles passed by. A guy was shouting at another guy. As soon as the vehicles passed, the sounds of horns diminished, like a mosquito buzzing by your ears.

Picture Courtesy google search!!

The dust on the road erupted like a volcano waiting all the time, when the lorries and cars passed by. I could not see what was happening in front of me for a minute second. In all this where has my anger gone? I wondered...It had drastically gone down. I felt my heart speaking now after the crazy and angry mind. I gave a practical thought to the situation. I got an answer for the issue on mind, this time with a calm mind.

Its amazing what a calm mind can do to a situation. That's why it says, "Think with a calm mind". So when angry, just give yourself a break, take a walk. I felt better.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ramdom goodness

It amazing what a small deed of goodness can do. It can change the mood of someone momentarily or totally. I was out cycling where I felt the need of having some water. I did not carry a water bottle. I dropped by the near Coconut stall. Coconut water is very soothing to quench your thirst. The guy in the shop was rather restless.

He had a very tense expression on his face. I felt something was wrong. Being a south Indian I had a small chat in tamil (just normal talk). I could not get his face to talk. As they say face is the index of the mind. He was really in a pensive mood. He was talking but, his thought process was going again and again to something, like the waves touching land one after the other.

At last when I payed the money and was about to leave. I wished him "Pongal Nalvalthukal". He did not expect that coming. It meant Happy Pongal. Out came the smile. He had forgotten something which he was thinking at least for that second. He smiled and wished me back. I went about riding my bicycle, as if I have accomplished something. :) :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shivmani and Srinivas

Sounds like Shiva and Vishnu, the holy trinity missed Brahma that night. Drummer Shivamani with Madolin U Srinivas rocked the night with rhythm and beats scaling the seventh crest of highest mountain of Titan, the second largest moon of the Solar System. (just kidding). Awesome is an understatement. The rhythm was totally mind blowing, how the hell does this guy play so many instruments? How did he master so many instruments? Totally unbelievable and at the same time tremendous entertainment.

The pass!!

The build up to get Shivamani on stage was a bit too much I thought. This is the first time I saw the leading string musician given lesser importance than the drum player. U Srinivas is no stranger to greatness. He was a child prodigy. Has now made madolin his life. I have seen U Srinivas at my school once when I was a kid. He looked a little mature this time around. But the sounds coming from his madolin still sounds the same, like magic!!

The Ever graceful U Srinivas

Build up for Shivamani to come on stage:

"Times of India" organized this event as a part of "Pongal Kondattam" (Pongal is the harvest festival) and also gave free passes for this event, which I got as soon as I saw an advt. on the newspaper. Understandably it was fully crowded and people were queuing up and standing all the way. The event was at "Bandra Fort", just near the Taj Land's End. The decorations for the event was impressive. Though I did not take lot of picture of it, I was quiet impressed by the decorations. The audio quality was really an icing on the cake, baring the incident were Shivamani flinched his eyebrows and looked at the audio guy while he was in the groove playing.

Lock Stock and barrel!!

I must be very rude, if I don't mention the support artist on the piano, Loy. Yes, you are right, he is the guy from "Shankar-Essan-Loy" bandwagon. He gave some rock notes in support to the music of U Srinivas. High Base notes when U Srinivas was playing the low notes. These guys I tell you are too fast. At one instant, during jugalbandi, infact there were three of them so trigalbandi, there was a moment where it was Loy's turn to play, he just threw his arm up signifying I give up, these guys are too quick for me. Yet another incident where all three of them just stopped and did not know who will play. It was just that second of silence, but no complains, U Srinivas like always took it away and impressed the audience who did not know him that well.


After the Trigalbandi, it was time for solo act of Shiva. He kept the audience enthralled by his gift of rhythm. There were atleast 30 different drums he played, just during his solo. In between the fast beats, there would be a popular bollywood flick just to keep the audience in sync. Rhythmic hand moments, twisting the drum stick as he pounded on his drums, the characteristic black flick as he plays, his symbolic head moments as per the rhythm he plays, totally awesome and majestic to watch. As an audience and a person who is interested in drums what more can you hope for. He pulled out every trick up his sleeve. Suddenly out of no where he pulled out a Mineral water can, the big one. Then it was a stainless steel vessel. He did not leave spoon as well. If it would have been a cook show, I think you don't have to look any further than his drums for vessels. :) Empty vessels does make lot of noise :P

Loy!!
Shivamani with a spoon

Shivamani with a Mineral Water Can

Shivamani with a Stainless stell vessel

I was late for the show, so I did race to the place with nothing to loose. But the show started good 1 hour after we reached there. If we would have been early, then we would have been standing in a line biting our nails. So nothing wrong in going late for something which starts late :P All is well that ends well. The last song "Raghupati ragava Raja Ram"; is still echoing in my hears and haunting me. That is the success story of this event. Three cheers to Times of India for organizing this event. Hip Hip hooray, hip hip Hooray, Hip Hip hooray~~Happy Pongal to one and all!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photofair 2010: Sad story

After being bitten by this strange term called photography, I have been looking for opportunities to get to experience this amazing world through my eyes. The last few months of R and D into this field; attending workshops and doing all sort of new things and learning operating DSLR was really a great experience. Something which had drawn my attention from boring work. I would say. The last few months have been amazing really. Photofair 2010 was the first photo exhibition I was attending.

I have a canon camera. For a start, there was no canon stall on display, Nikon stole the limelight. There was everything one would long for, as a photography enthusiast. Every tom dick and hairy instrument and umbrella. The bags, hoods, accessories, you name it and it was there. Photography magazine stores, tripod stands, printing papers, image enhancement software, workshop on photography. The Nikon had a show with models walking on the ramp and photographers catching a quick picture.

The crowd that turned up on an sunday morning was totally mind boggling. I never expected so much crowd. It was really very chaotic. You had to wait in the queue for atleast 15-20 mins to view telephoto lens of Nikon on display. For getting a review of a lens, you had to wait for atleast 10 mins. I was taken aback by the way some shop keeper treated customers. The stall owners expected a more professional photographer than an hobbyist.

Some people donned rajasthani dresses and were singing some typical rajasthani songs just to get a feel. Nikon stall was well managed and compactly build, to have lot of things to offer than just cameras.


I wanted to check out a hood for my canon lens. So I went to a stall, but the owner just shot at me and asked his workers not to get anything for me. He may have felt, I was not a potential buyer and was just fooling around. It was rather embarrassing for me, when I did not have enough cash for the hood and he did not accept card. Photography is a huge field. It sure gives a brand imbroglio feeling, as there are lot of brands to choose from. Samsung, Pentax, Panasonic, Nikon, Kodak, Fujifilm and not to forget Canon and Sony into it. I did not feel great after this incident. I just checked some telephoto lens and called it a day. There was no Sony Alfa DSLR stalls too. More than anything, no canon, no good.

As an hobbyist I would have liked to see some canon lenses, which I might buy in the near future. May be I should just cheer myself and say "Better luck next time" :) I did win a cap in one of the contests :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happiness

Defining it is highly difficult task, as it varies from person to person. I saw a show on NDTV good times. Deepak Chopra was the guest, the host was some lady. It was good show. The reason I mentioned it here is because it was about happiness. Check the video below, it is different from what you would have seen before.





I was really struck by the health video. Deepak says, "When there is a conflict between the mind and body, listen to the body"; a serious thought. The mind would say watch a movie in the night, the body will be tired and say "I need rest"; listen to the body. This will improve your body's health. This is a very nice thought, I have decided to follow this one.

What we do around us, affects our happiness more than we think it does. It is within us. The more we are near to it, the more pleasure we derive from it. Healthy body is healthy mind. Healthy mind has more clear and stress free thoughts. The cradle of creativity is born out of free thoughts. A mind with clear thoughts is amazing feeling. Just try this, sleep for a day on time wake up early, eat on time and check how it feels. You will do awesome things, which inturn will make you more happy.

I had one such weekend, the new year has given me a good start to concentrate more on my body. The more depressed you feel, the more you concentrate on your body. The body will heal your situation through your mind. My dad's birthday was on the 1st. We had given clothes to the tailor to sew a shirt for him. I had forgotten to collect them. The last day the shop was closed and we could not collect it. I made a decision of buying a new ready-made shirt for him. It turned out to be the best decision.

On his birthday he wore the shirt and got lot of compliments. When he returned home, he shared it with me. He was really happy. It was a happy moment for me too. Life will not provide us with lot of happy moments like this every often. :) :)