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Showing posts from 2007

What do i do?

This time i want to write about a ritual i follow everyday and a problem i have been facing.

I have 'n' numbers of glasses and bowls, big and small. Everyday i drop my riches in them after placing the glasses and bowls in a particular sequence. Of late i have observed a change. The bowl which comes first doesn't seem to get filled. I end up pouring all my earnings in that bowl and still i see it empty. And i m left with nothing to put in the other bowls. I m turning poor everyday...

Why is this happenin May be somehow my riches are turning invisible after i pour them in the boThis time i want to write about a ritual i follow everyday and a problem i have been facing.
I have 'n' numbers of glasses and bowls, big and small. Everyday i drop my riches in them after placing the glasses and bowls in a particular sequence. Of late i have observed a change. The bowl which comes first doesn't seem to get filled. I end up pouring all my earnings in that bowl and still i see …

Taare Zameen Par

Saw the first show of Taare Zameen Par yesterday. A beautiful movie. A must watch for all. The movie deals with an issue 'less-explored'-- needs of a child.

What does "taking care of a child" mean? Putting your child in the best school available. Spending money on tutions, swimming classes, dance classes, and what not. Getting them the best designer wear available. Chocolates, video games, picnics...

TZP tries to define "taking care" which is very different from what is percieved by most adults.

A child who is too young to understand why he is not like other normal children of his age goes through a rough time both at home and school. Then there are constant comparisons with a sibling, who incidentally is a topper and is 'fit to compete in today's world'. He just gives up trying and gets lost within himself. Ishaan was lucky enough to get noticed by a teacher who understands his special needs. How many other children would find similar support? Wha…

The moon: Better lost than found!

Do we have to appreciate this movie just because it comes from Prakash Jha Productions or it is directed by Sudhir Mishra (of 'Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi' fame)? Or because it tries to tell the story of yesteryears filmstars?

I m sorry i can't do that.

Khoya Khoya Chand is one of the most boring movie i have ever seen. At the end of it, it is just a retro-fashion parade by Soha Ali Khan. She does look stunning. But is that what a movie should be about?

The editing is bad which makes the movie discontinuous. Characterisations are poor. The music is ok.

Oh yes, how can i forget Ravindra, who plays the reigning super star (with hardly any screen time and zero dialogues). What??? You missed that 'hunk with a stubble'? Its too late now. You wont even find him if you Google (i tried that!). :-)

And the most funny moment in the movie was not a part of the movie but occurred on the other side of the screen. When a chaotic scene of horses galloping across tents was being shown, a …

I want to be free...

I just finished reading "By the river piedra i sat down and wept" by Paulo Coelho. I wont comment on the story of this book. What i like most about Paulo Coelho's books is the man-nature interface. A man or a woman is often seen wandering seeking for something important. And on the way they have various experiences. The description of nature's beauty in some of his books make my mind wander to those mountain ranges, to small villages, to brooks, to the meandering stony paths. I would love to walk alone in the midst of nature with birds chirping around me and dry leaves crumbling under my feet... I want to be free of all commitments and just wander.

Last year i went on a trek to Harishchandragarh with 3 of my friends. It was the best experience i ever had. That was the only time i was close to nature and away from civilization. The memories are still afresh. These photographs were taken by Satyaki (my bear). In the first photograph you can see the sun shining on me wh…

...Kyunki picture abhi baaki hai dost!

Fun to watch nonsense sometimes. And this one is the most nonsensical movie ever made in Indian history (that's a safe comment). The best thing i like about this movie is its honesty. It was never publicised to be the next Oscar-winning movie. It lives upto its expectations. SRK makes us smile, laugh and laugh more & go mad and then irritate a bit. But SRK is allowed to do that.

OSO is a remake of Karz with added flavors. Arjun Rampal plays Simi Grewal (young and the old one without the black wig). Deepika Padukone plays the girl-in-love who is wronged by her lover. SRK is the one who avenges her death. So, the one who is wronged and the one who takes revenge is not the same in this remake of the old movie. That's the creative touch of the director of this movie, Farah Khan. And yes one more addition to the old movie. Yeah, i m talking of the ghostly-twist in the end.

Really funny was the "totally-lifted" scene from Karz. Durga Khote calls out to her dead and now i…

"Mr SLB, What's wrong with you?"


Mr SLB, we get the point that life has treated you very badly. But why subject the audience to your idiosyncracies? You should have declared that this movie is not for the masses. Why did you cheat your audience?

The only thing worth mentioning is the music. But what about the intervening sequences when the main protagonists were either jumping around or laughing or crying without any conceivable reason (at least we fools did not get the point). At least there was something believable in the character of Ranbir Raj (i.e. when he was not imitating either his grand father or his father). He seemed to be a not-yet-grown-up school boy who falls in love with a strange (and also a stranger) girl. And since it is known that in love people often behave like a fool, any subsequent action of his which follows his falling in love is justified.

But what was this girl Sakina about? I m sorry but you could not get into the heart of the character. We have seen a Nandini screaming "M…

Splendid suns & Kabul & two women

"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls"

Translated from persian poem "Kabul" by Saib-e-Tabrizi

A thousand Splendid Suns is a tale of friendship between two women with an age difference of 19 years. A series of unfortumate events lead to Mariam and Laila getting married to Rasheed, an abusive and domineering husband. The man marries Mariam with the sole purpose of getting a child (read male child) and when she is unable to do so she ends up being a caretaker of his house and a punching-bag whenever he feels like taking out his frustrations. Mariam, an illegitimate child, is abandoned by her father after her mother dies. Getting married to Rasheed was not by choice. The backdrop of story is the ongoing war in Afghanistan. The war which left many parents child-less and created new orphans everyday. Laila was one such orphan who was duped into marrying Rasheed (his purpose of marrying remained the…

The broken vase

She loved flowers. She saw them as a bunch of smiles, an inspiration to live, untouched by worldly worries. A flower knows that it is going to wither away in finite time. But we cannot make out from its vibrant colors that it knows that. There lies its greatness. It teaches us to live today to the fullest. She simply loved flowers.

Is there a way to preserve the beauty of a flower? She kept on thinking and searching a way to do this impossible task. Then one day, a day which seemed special beginning with the way the first ray of sun struck the earth, she found a magic vase.Flowers kept in this vase will never wither.

She began keeping her favourite flowers in this magic vase. It turned out to be true. The vase preserved the beauty of the flowers. It seemed like a dream. No, it was not a dream. She lived those moments. The eversmiling scented flowers blooming in her own room on her bedside, from day to night. They gave her life a new vigour. She and the flowers became one and the same. T…

Hum chale phir us mod, us gali...

Going home after a year.

Before that i will be spending some time at JNU with few of my friends and seniors.

I m excited about so many things. Traveling (i love all comfortable modes of transport). Meeting old friends after 2 years. Meeting family.

Somehow i m getting this feeling that it's not meeting people which i m excited about. I m more eager to be at the place where i stayed 4 years back. Woh tedhe medhe raaste, woh pathreeli pagdandi, woh dhaaba, woh seedhiyan, aur woh mera kamra, chhota magar pyaara sa...


Why m i thinking about those inanimate things? May be i expect that they would not have changed as much as i have changed in all these years.

People change.

But do places also change (in absence of any physical re-construction)?

Will i get the same emotions when i reach there? Less likely, but let me see.

I hope this short vacation does any good to me. I hope i come back with a few good memories.

Febrile weakness and aching eyes

Fever, sweat, pain, a melting nose and to add to my misery...crumpled sheet and a dirty disorganised room.

One whole week was spent in this condition. Most of the time i kept myself confined to my room with occasional post-dinner trips to lab. No experiments. Mice dying before i could kill them. Poor trainee calling me at various hours with genuine questions. Absolutely nothing was happening. Just sleep and dream.

The period between two episodes of fever was when i sat reading 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini. By the time i reached the middle of the book i felt emotionally exhausted. Never before a book has moved me to this extent. I wept till my eyes ached.

It's a story of two boys who spent their childhood together in pre-taliban Afghanistan. Of their friendship which had different meaning for both of them. Of the caste divide between them. Of blind love and trust of Hassan and of Amir's envy. Of lack of courage to stand for someone who loves you more than anything …

Make me a mouse who...

The current batch of mice is extraordinarily active. Today when the doctor was injecting parasite into them, they were trying their best to loosen the grip and bite the doctor. I asked doc (our favourite vet in the animal house) to be careful so that he doesnt get bitten and turn into a mouse-man (like spiderman) or into a mouse (even worse). He said that no matter what precautions we take now, in our next life all of us will become mice and the mice which we have killed will become researchers. Actually i dont mind that.
If there is something like a 'rebirth' i dont consider myself lucky enough to be reunited with the lovers of my past life/lives. I m ok with the idea of being born as a mouse. But i have only one request. I want to become a mouse who contributes in some way to somebody's experiment. And not one of those who are killed just because there is a suspected infection in the animal house, not achieving anything in their life. That's a waste of life. Picture:…

Kite=My heart; A gust of air=Your breath

"Dil ko bana de jo patang, saanse teri woh hawaaen hain..."
A song from Om Shanti Om.

Trailers of Om Shanti Om are showing these days. I think it will be quite similar to Main Hoon Na, as far as the mood is concerned. I dont expect an intelligent movie but i m sure it will be an entertainer. If nothing else at least SRK's 'wannabe-look-cute' looks will be sufficient to make the audience smile.

Looks like its a story of a rebirth which reunites two lovers. Good! It has been a long time since i saw Milan or Madhumati. Lets wait for the modern version of one of those movies. Farah Khan has even managed to squeeze in a song sequence which has all [but one :-)] the movie stars. I wonder what is that special occasion. Just hope its not a dream sequence (ever heard of 'creativity'?).

Main Hoon Na was apparently Farah Khan's tribute to movies she loves like Sholay, Masoom, Kabhi Kabhi, Golmaal. Wonder whether the latest one is a tribute to all the 'rebirth-d…


My parents can vouch for the fact that as a child i was a quick learner (learning ability gradually declined though). They didnt have any problem in teaching me the first 3 alphabets. In my brother's case it was quite different. Cat (my brother) was an extremely lazy child (thereafter he improved exponentially). Since i can't compare myself to him today, i will stick to the good old days when i was the "padhaku bachcha" and he was the "shaitaan bachcha".

I remember, one of those days when he had just started going to school, my father was sitting with him and trying to make him write "A-B-C" on a slate. First my father drew a big 'A' and asked him to try to copy it. Cat instead of drawing 'A' or anything near to it, just scribbled and said, "This is 'A'". I think this went on for another 10 times (cat was bold enough to try my father's patience). Abbu had already had enough of nonsense. He lifted my brother and…

A prank gone wrong

I have been noticing that these days a wide range of external stimuli ellicit the same response in me. Any small thing reminds me of my childhood. It turns into a chain reaction, with one memory turning the key of another locked-up memory.

Our father being an electronic engineer terms like voltage, resistance, capacitor were commonly used at home. My brother and i used to sit and gaze at our dad while he used to work on some electronic equipment. Many a times he used to ask us to get a specific screw-driver or a line-tester and both of us used to run and get it. A soldering iron used to arouse a lot of curiosity and fright in me. Abbu used to keep it in a corner and gave us strict instructions to stay away from it. I observed that a silver coloured wire (solder) melts when brought in contact with it and emanates a burning smell. I used to love that smell. One day after abbu finished his work i went and touched the soldering iron. It was warm. I guessed it must have been a lot more hott…

Lots of drama...

It was my fourth visit to the International Airport in the last one month. No, i am not on a world tour. This was just to recieve or see off my friends (Eddy, AB, Kate and Beanz). I always carry a book at such occasions so that i dont get bored. But everytime i realize that it's impossible to get bored here. You can get tired but not bored. There's so much action out there.

Firstly, the number of people who come with the purpose of dropping or recieving is at least 3 times the number of people travelling. Secondly, it is they who contribute to the huge ruckus at the gates. The first or the last bit of emotion-display has to happen at the entrance gate itself. And this leads to the "trolley-traffic-jam". I dont know why people (quite sophisticated looking, carrying 'gucci' bags) behave in such uncivilized manner. Indeed money doesn't teach you manners.

A couple and a baby just emerge from the exit gate and a gang of 10 grown-ups rush towards them. The poor b…

"You are less boring now!"

Hmmm. I was told this by a friend whom i met today after a gap of 4 years. It's a sincere compliment. One of the best one i have recieved so far. :-)

I know this friend of mine since my MSc days (will call her Anne for a specific reason). I was a part of a group of 3 (a very closed group). There were 2-3 others in our batch of 21 students whom i was friendly with. Anne is one of them. She can be described as a girl full of fun and effervescence. There was something very childlike about her (there still is). And i was the "serious" kind of person. Our excitement levels and matters that excited us never matched. One thing which was common between us was a high degree of professionalism. So, we got along well in some ways and in other areas we never crossed each other's path.

Today when we spent some 6 hrs together after 4 years i felt that she is the same person. But she said "You are less boring now." Then she apologized. I really didnt mind her telling this t…

What time of the year is this?

Have been thinking about this for quite some time now. Last 4 years have passed so quickly and more than that if i look back to the gone days, i can't distinguish one day from the other. Life has become so monotonous. There is hardly any difference between a monday and saturday or months march and may.

The days which are slightly "different" from most of these days are the ones spent in vacation, outings, movies, with a friend or group of friends. Apart from them there are a few other "different" days which don't remind me of any fun. These are the days marked for work related deadlines and work presentations e.g. annual work seminar, causerie, journal clubs, lab meetings, report making, poster presentations, thesis committee meetings....etc. In all there are around 15 x 2 = 30 such days. (15 days which actually are the marked days and 15 days just before these days when the major part of preparation is actually done)

Rest any day of the year is same. Yes, S…

Gandhi: The "failed" father

"Mera itihaas bahot lamba hai aur bhugol gol"
(My past spans eternity and each time my fate brings me back to the same point.)
Harilal Gandhi in Gandhi My Father.

This movie is an attempt to bring to light a different aspect of the personality of the man we call "father of our nation". The man who failed as a father. Harilal Gandhi didnt choose to be born as the eldest son of Barristor Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. But this served as only the first step towards the series of unfortunate events in his life.

Harilal got a free gift of his father's ideologies and principles. A different kind of a person that he was, he could not accept these principles completely nor could he shrug them off. He never got the luxury of choosing his own path. He just became a follower who later strayed from that very path.

The movie is worth watching for the turmoil and helplessness of the character of Harilal. Akshaye Khanna has done a great job. Lets see if a national award follows.

Sometimes winning is everything!

"Chak De India" is so far my closest encounter with hockey. Never saw the game, so never got to appreciate it. But at the end every game is the same. A team effort to win. Superposition of different waves so that they are in the same phase.

I really liked the movie because it succeeded to depict the spirit of the game. A team can be made only if individuality is suppressed to a certain degree. And only such a team can dream of winning. The characterisation of the players was done well. I can easily remember the name and background of 10 out of the 16 players.

What can i say about Coach Kabir Khan? Even if the role was played by K K Menon (i kept thinking about him in the movie), the movie would have been equally good. However, Shahrukh Khan's inclusion did act as the initial crowd puller. The movie is running house-full. SRK has done full justice to the role. People are comparing this role to that of the NASA engineer of Swades. Lets not go that far. Mohan Bhargava will al…

Fortunately or unfortunately

Last year was "disaster special" for our lab. One fine morning the -80degree centigrade freezer was found to be at0 degrees. The stuff normally kept under frozen condition had thawed. Another fine evening we noticed that there was no liquid nitrogen in the liquid nitrogen storage cylinder. So, another set of cell lines, bacterial stocks, yeast stocks, DNA stocks of the lab were destroyed. The best was yet to come. A part of the hard disk of the most used computer of our lab was found erased. That left my lab mates data-less as well as devoid of experimental material (not completely!)

I had an interesting conversation with my brother regarding the lost data. He tried to explain in simple words. He said that the data deleted from the hard-disk was still there though it was not accessible through the normal route. There are special softwares using which deleted data can be retrieved. I asked my brother if the data has been deleted how can it be retrieved. And i found that such d…

P0 (read as 'P zero'): There's more to it...

I was crossing the corridor of Dept of Astronomy and Astrophysics, when i heard "P zero is not the....". I stood there for a fraction of second thinking whether what i heard was right. So, somebody else at TIFR has something to do with P zero. And more than that, me and my labmates have been unaware of this fact. The main focus of our lab lies in the studies related to the P0 protein of the malarial parasite. Is there a secret group at TIFR trying to move ahead of us? On second thought, it didnt seem plausible enough. 'Astrophysicists and P0 protein of Plasmodium', a rather odd combination. Thank God! We are safe.
I came back to lab and googled for P0 and found really funny (to us) and diverse definitions that i would like to share.
1) Pzero is a low-carbon power management company based in UK. Pzero stands for 'power with zero emission'. The company delivers low-carbon power solutions to industries and communities. (Good Work!)
2) P zero is a Italian tyre comp…

Is life only a struggle?

Struggle - From a poem by Ellen P.

Great strength is brought with pain,
From out the
From out the storms that sweep
The human soul-
Those hidden
Of the inner life-
Comes forth the lofty calm

Peace after war. Although
The heart may be
And plowed like a torn battle field,
Rich are the fruits that
follow victory,
And the battle grounds
The fullest harvests yield.

Is there going to be one such day when we wont be worried about tomorrow? It may not be. But the least one can ask for, is a ray of hope. 'A' has been applying for PhD in research institutes in India and abroad for several years without any success. Life is at a standstill. The other major decisions of life can wait till he gets a permanent job and starts earning.'B' is now in 5th year of her PhD. She has been repeating the same experiements for the past 1 and a half years. Only work she can document today is the million reasons why her experiments were terminated half way through. …


Why am i so lazy? Most of the time i just feel like sitting quietly in a secluded corner of the lab or the institute or my room doing 'nothing'. I cant even count the number of jobs (both professional and personal) which have been pending for a while now.

One such job has been pending since past one year (i m ashamed of myself). Last year i went to Goa for attending a workshop. I carried a friend's digital camera and took million photographs. Since past one year people have been constantly begging me to send their photographs to them. And here i m doing 'nothing'. And i call myself responsible.

If i start making a list of such jobs (forget experiments) it will fill at least 10 A4 size sheets (typed on single side, font size 12, 1 1/2 spacing). I wont do that. I will just finish all pending jobs, one by one before the end of July and save people from reading boring stuff. I m aware that now the number of people visiting my blog has increased. Thanks to a few friends a…

Jhoom Barabar Jhoom: But why?

Saw this movie on the first sunday which followed the release date. Began writing this post the same day as i wanted to vent out my frustration before going to sleep. The mission could not be accomplished because of one reason or the other. After that day i just got too lazy to write about it. But since i had already written a few lines, i decided to finish it before proceeding to the next post.

JBJ is the worst movie i have seen in recent times. It made TaRaRumPum look better (i hope there's nothing wrong with me). At least the latter had a 'moral'. This one lacked everything. We should wait and watch what is next in line from YashRaj Films. May be the next production makes me change my view on JBJ.

I want to watch 'Laga Chunari Mein Daag' for Rani Mukherjee and Konkona Sen. But this time i wont forget to say a silent prayer after the national anthem and before the movie begins, around the same time when the "Y" of the YashRaj Films flashes on screen along…

"History cannot be changed but Geography can be"

Day 0: They decided to separate. Though life would never be the same, the decision was taken. But they maintained contact. Can "lovers" stay as "friends"? They found the answer after a few days.

For a few days: They tried to remain as "friends". But its not easy to switch relations. You can always move ahead in a relationship, but if you turn back, you cannot take ten steps back and "convert" lovers into friends. In love, you follow the all or none law. Being "just friends" is too difficult (i wont say it is impossible).

Some Day to Day 102: He wanted her back in his life not only as a "friend" but as a "lover and friend". How did he manage to change his mind? Has he realized something which she has missed? Can such decisions be taken in a haste? She was not prepared for it. Will this relation stay forever? Will things come back to normal? She kept on wondering...

Day 103: She took a major decision. They will break all…

Good times, Bad times

Watched Ta Ra Rum Pum today. Its an average movie which recites the story of a family which does not lose faith in adversity and stays together.

Rajveer (never been to college) a numero uno car racer marries Radhika (joins the league by dropping out of college) an amateur pianist. They and their two kids live a luxurious life (the luxuries are bought either on loans or on installment payment). The story takes a turn when the racer hero meets with an accident on the racing track. He takes 1 year to recuperate and get back to the racing track. When he finally makes a comeback, at one of the crucial moments of his first race he gets reminded of the deadly accident he had in the past and his foot loses contact from the accelerator. He loses 1o races in a row and his racing contract is cancelled. The family loses everything (actually they didnt own anything in the first place). A series of events show the parents making sacrifices for the kids and the kids doing the same for their parents. …

Of moments and their requests

"Lamhon ki guzarish hai ye, paas aa jayen, hum tum..."
This song is one of my most favourite songs. It is very meaningful. I have a personal interpretation of this song and would like to share it. I don't know whether the director (Kunal Kohli) intended to pass "this" message to the viewers. The song comes towards the end of the movie, when the female protagonist Rhea feels that Karan, whom she has known for years is "the one" she will like to spend the life with. The song truly depicts the female perspective on relationships.Rhea and Karan are walking in rain when they come across 3 different couples. While Karan is a little 'high' after having a drink, Rhea is more congnizant than normal. It seems as if everything she is seeing has a message for her. When she looks at the old couple, the man playing the piano and the woman enjoying it, she imagines Karan and herself in their place. The question she seems to be answering in her mind is whethe…

My "current" intimate relationship

When i was a kid (that was years back) i never had major problems in making friends and interacting with people. There are kids who have to be coaxed by their parents to talk to people, which includes relatives, family friends and even other kids. My parents never faced this difficulty. Its a different story that they had to hear the complaints of my teachers who used to call me a "chatterbox". I loved talking, even it was in the middle of a class :)

A lot of people around me used to (and still do) confide in me. I was the perfect listener. And i enjoyed doing that. Its not that i am a "guru" and can give perfect advices to anybody and everybody. I believed that just listening to somebody's problems half-solves it. But i was unaware that this creates a kind of emotional dependence. I could have still dealt with this emotional dependence which others have on me, if i was leading a "perfect" and "peaceful" life. But, like most people on this e…

Kumble Retires

Anil Kumble announced his retirement from one-day cricket earlier today. And with him goes my last bit of interest in cricket.

I owe my interest in this game to my brother. He used to be a "cricket-maniac". I remember whenever he missed matches (because of school or coaching classes), he used to make me write the details (a personal scoreboard) in the notebook he used to maintain. If i m right, he has also written commentaries on his favourite matches in the same notebook.

During one of the matches he made me sit through, i saw Anil Kumble bowl. He was the highest wicket-taker in that particular match. I enquired my brother about him and came to know that unlike our other cricketers he is a qualified mechanical engineer. That impressed me (also his bespectacled look).

I don't understand the intricacies of the game cricket. It is like a reality show for me. Its fun to watch how cricketers behave during different complicated situations which arise during the course of the gam…

After a 7-month long hiatus

It has been a long time since i wrote something on my blog. Of late i have become the only visitor to my blog to check whether by chance a friend of mine clicked on the URL on my "Orkut" profile and left a comment on one of the posts written a year ago. Not that i had a hundred visitoirs earlier. But i m sure that whoever used to check my blog earlier, would have forgotten about it by now.

I m back. And hopefully will keep on posting regularly.

A lot has happened in the past 7 months. I have at least 3 unfinished drafts to be posted. Dont know whether i will do that or not. The past is the past. I wanted to write something about "friendship", about "my first trek", about several movies i saw ("paheli" being one of them) and about life, in general. The thoughts are half-written and the other half is resting in my mind. All these thoughts have created a clutter in my head. I somehow want to get rid of it. Will do that eventually, since i cant stay …