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Aal izz well !!!

Life to hai hi out of control, Aur dimag to bachpan se hai 'gol' (read zero). Ab ye kehte hain ki hothon ko kar ke gol, Seeti baja ke bol.... Aal izz well.
Ye bhi karke dekh lete hain... :)

Spent a really stressful day yesterday. First half of the day was spent in worrying whether I will get the ticket for the first-day-any-show of my hero's movie. Second half was spent in processing 10 blood samples and painting the white blood cells with four different colours, first on the outside and then inside. Was able to do everything except remembering that it was Christmas. :( Serves me right. Will wait for 25th Dec 2010 now.
In between the two kind of stresses I spent some 3 hours with the 3 Idiots. And every minute was worth it. It took me back in time, to school and college days, the good old days of exams...sorry not so good days of exams. I remembered how I could never cram, how I could never write more than a page or two in response to essay type questions, how I failed to use flo…

Remembering Heisenberg

Dear Heisenberg,
You will be delighted to know that your 'Uncertainty Principle' of quantum mechanics can be applied in other scenarios as well. One of those is the state of scientific research at many of the institutes in this country. Research being a group activity there are people involved at different steps, e.g. administrative staff, purchase and store staff, technicians, clinical or other collaborators, the principal investigator and the graduate students. Apart from the general scientific temper and aptitude, often the graduate students are expected to coordinated with all the above mentioned staff and people for the smooth working of the system at least till the time they graduate. There is always at least one student in this weird hierarchical setup (in which each and every person has the capability of being the rate-limiting step) who drives the system.
I was very fortunate to do my Ph.D. from an institute where the system was relatively more organized. But being at …

Tum pukar lo

Waheeda Rehman climbs up the stairs holding a book (Meghdoot) in her hands as Dharmendra croons this haunting melody. The song ends as the lady climbs down the stairs and the man remains oblivious of her presence.
A song so simple, yet meaningful. A perfect song for a lonely, breezy night.
Somehow, whenever I listen to these lines "...dil behel to jayega is khayal se, haal mil gaya tumhara apne haal se" I feel that they describe a smaller degree of sadistic-pleasure. :) Love this song.

It's that time of the year.... :)

Waiting for 25th December 2009.
Been a year since I fought and snatched tickets from the rowdy telugu crowd in Hyderabad and managed to watch the first-day-second-show of Ghajini.
Been two years since I pestered my lab junior to get tickets for TZP while I was giving a presentation on my research in Pune.
Been three years since I got a chance to be the lucky one to get the last ticket for the preview show of Rang De Basanti.
Been many many years...since this silsila of craziness has been going on....and it will go on forever.
Love of my life (of 20 years)....here i come. :)

Ajab & Ghazab

What was the first thing which made me rush and watch the first-day-first-show of this movie? It was the fun-factor which is quite evident from the official website of APKGK (http://www.ajabpremkighazabkahani.tips.in/). The other interesting features were the songs (i love most of them).

The story is of a good-for-nothing boy (and his equally worthless friends) who promises his mother that one day he will do something great and make her proud. There are many sub-plots in his way to fame. And of what value is fame if you don't have the love of your life by your side by the end of the story? Prem succeeds in achieving everything (like in most hindi movies).
I got slightly bored with all the slap-stick comedy in the first 15-20 mins. But slowly the movie got interesting. May be I liked this movie so much because I really wanted to like it as it reminded me of those good old movies Andaz Apna Apna, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na. Amongst them the resemblance to Andaz Ap…

Apart

I didn't realize it when she said goodbye and we drifted apart. In a flash of a second, she was gone. ...Gone light-years away from me. Today I see her smile from this distance, but I wonder, when did those lips curl into that smile... How many years have passed since then... And how does she look today... Magical she was, and still remains for me.
-A man in love

Dreaming funny

Last night my lovely sleep was interspersed with a funny activity in my brain and resulted in these dreams...
I am dead and my spirit is asking my father to stop crying. I am trying to console him and tell him that I am not happy to be dead as I have to leave for an unknown destination...that I will really get bored as I won't have anything to do there. Then I ask him whether I can carry my laptop with me. At least that way I will have stuff to read, movies to watch and music to listen too...
(I think I am getting obsessed with my laptop)

Another one.....

I am nervous before my thesis seminar which should start within a few hours. I visit my guide's office and notice that she is having lunch. She looks at me and asks me to get a few 'papads' for her. I roast 2 'papads' and get them for her. Then I ask her to come for my seminar.
(The scene changes)
I am standing in a hall, ready to give my presentation. I begin with 'acknowledgment-slide' and this slide goes …

Ek lau is tarah kyun bujhi?

Picture courtesy: http://www.razorcd.com/wp-content/gallery/photography/extinguished_candle_by_razorcd.jpg Dhoop ke ujaale si, os ke pyaale si,khushiyan mile humko. Zyada maanga hai kahan, sarhadein na ho jahaan, duniya mile humko. Par Khuda khair kar, uske armaan mein, kyun bewajah ho koi qurbaan? Ghuncha muskurata ek, waqt se pehle, kyun chhod chala tera ye jahaan?
Ek lau is tarah kyun bujhi mere maula? Ek lau zindagi ki maula...
Saw the movie Aamir today. A 95 min movie without any song and dance routine (or a romantic angle) which moved me to tears. The movie is thought provoking and leaves many questions unanswered. An innocent man who is circumstantially driven to commit a crime. In the end he has to choose between killing innocent people and becoming a martyr himself.
The movie took me a year back and made me remember few of those martyrs. And I ask the same question as the song above.

Assistant Sub-inspector Tukaram Omble

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan

Hurdle race...

Life is turning into a hurdle race. And at higher difficulty-levels, the hurdles remain invisible.... ...making me lick dust after every few steps.

"Life time achievement" award goes to...

...Sohail and Salman Khan for delivering 'quality products' like this one consistently. Main aur Mrs Khanna was so good that you would not have been able to distinguish the expression on my face for those two hours from that of a random dead body.
The obvious questions which must have arisen in you head would be:
1) What the hell was I doing inside a theatre with the well positioned warning sign which read "Sohail Khan Productions-ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK")
2) Am I tired of life and was this an unsuccessful suicide attempt?
The answer is that I went to watch this one out of desperation. In the last 2 and a half months in this city the only movies which I have seen are Love Aaj Kal and Kaminey. I missed Wake Up Sid as I failed to get tickets last Sunday and unfortunately it is not running as it had to make way for the 3 great releases this week Blue, All The Best and Main aur Mrs Khanna. I had already received a very 'positive' review of Blue from my buddy so I dr…

Attention: Mr Aamir Khan

How could this go unnoticed?
The title of your movie "Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin" in Urdu, reads "Dil Hai Ke Maanta HI Nahin".
But Aamir shayad, "...ye jaanta hi nahin"
:)
Ok, I confess I was watching this movie the millionth time last week and I noticed this mish-take.

Once upon a time...

An accidental peep into the past.
Stumbled upon some pictures and videos which remained hidden in a magic folder.
The female-dominated corner of that floor of that building.
Women, all of them with their own idiosyncrasies.
Memories of bonding, arguments and some fights.
The 'lone' male amongst us. Sometimes pampered, sometimes kicked the most.
Parties. Cake-cutting and smearing.
The pranks. The tough to untie 'PFK' bond (shown in the picture above).
The noise (some more high-pitched than the others) and the running around.
That new-year party which was followed by an animated conversation.
Conversation about 'injecting mosquito-gut into humans to make them immune to malaria'.
Conversation about who is more scared of the lab-senior lady.
Secretly shot videos which got lost in the 320GB disk space, clicked open those old times.
The lab that was... in year 2005.

The Fourth Wall

One of those nights, when I had nothing to do I was lying in bed while random thoughts were carelessly strolling in my head. The train of thought got stuck when I could not remember the decor on one of the walls of Monica Geller's living room(this explains that sometimes we don't have control on our thoughts).
You enter the apartment, turn right and you are standing in the open-kitchen equipped with shelves full of grocery and appliances. The dining table is placed at a comfortable distance from the cooking space. Adjacent to the dining area, there is a sofa-set and a TV. A poster (with something in French printed on it) occupies the wall over the TV. On the left side of the TV is Monica's bedroom and the on the right is the guest-bedroom (once occupied by Phoebe and Rachel). A major portion of one of the walls is the glass window (that window reminds me of many interesting moments) which opened into the balcony. How did the wall just opposite to this window look like? I …

It's movie time...

Wake Up Sid releases this week. Have been waiting to watch this one for a long time. Been such a long time since I saw a movie, Kaminey being the last one. Will try to catch this one in the coming weekend. Lets see...
Jo barse sapne boond boond naino ko moond moond, Kaise main chalun, dekh na sakun anjaane raaste.... Goonja sa hai koi iktaara, dheeme bole koi iktaara...
:)
I love this song from Wake Up Sid and I love Konkona Sen Sharma. I hope this movie doesn't end up disappointing me.

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Brightening up the night

The pandal at Mohd Ali park (very pretty)

The pratima at Mohd Ali Park

How come we are alive after all that pushing and pulling?

Waiting to get in...

The pratima at the College Square pandal


We came out alive, once again...

A pretty panel outside one of the pandals


At Karunamoyi, Salt Lake. The theme was "Save Girl Child" I liked this one the most.

Sleepless in 'Temple-city'

In the 30 years of my life this was the first time that I had to stay without electricity for more than 3 days. And I thought UP-Bihar was bad... This place is worse. I hate the laid back attitude of people here.
For 3 nights all of us poor residents of a hostel (which belongs to a government institute) had sleep with sweat dripping and swarm of mosquitoes to entertain us whole night.
the candle after it had lived its life

Social contagion

Read this article in today's New York Times: Is happiness catching?
James H Fowler and Nicholas A Christakis have published quite a few papers on social networking and how it affects the behaviour of people. A couple of papers describe the patterns in gain of weight and smoking habits of residents of a town Framingham during the period of 30 years. Their findings suggest that these changes do not occur randomly but in clusters or groups of people who are socially connected. I was not surprised to learn that smoking habits spread in this manner. But I had not thought the same way regarding some other parameters that they studied including "happiness". They report that unhappiness or happiness extends upto three degrees of separation, e.g. friends of one's friends' friends and this part of their work has been questioned by many in the same field. I would like to read some of their papers which have been published in high impact journals like NEJM and BMJ.
I find su…

Lovely weekend!

Had a very relaxing weekend this time. It was the first time in the whole month when I didn't have an experiment to do on saturday-sunday. The new work in the new lab keeps me busy from Saturday to Tuesday and rest of the days are mostly free. Because of some problem the experiments could not be conducted this weekend. And the weather has been specially great for the past one week or so. I took advantaged of it and slept (or lazyily lied in bed watching it rain from the window) a lot on both saturday and sunday. Amongst some of the good things in this city, is the absence of sky-scrapers which leaves a lot of sky to be gazed at. And i love it. Will post some pictures of the evening sky from the institute terrace sometime soon.
Sunday was spent in reading the newspaper (the epaper) leisurely. Then I went to the nearby Cafe Coffee Day (it keeps me alive) and had a Cafe Frappe with vanilla ice- cream (Yum!!!). Then I came back to the institute, went through the updates of blogs I foll…

Life has to move on...

The peephole and the purple door

As the final episode of FRIENDS ended, my mind flew to my old friends and my old home/room 311. I thought that I can watch all the ~200 episodes again and relive the life of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey. But I will never find those 6 years of my life again. They will remain just in my memories, which I revisit often. I hate moving on...

The usual scene of my room (that was). The chair in view was a silent spectator of million hugs, laughters and some tears. Snacking. Reading news-paper. Random net-surfing. Not to forget the tv-viewing.


After the room was cleaned the last time and fresh bed-sheets were laid


Last bunch of flowers I got to 311

The table full of random things and the book-shelf

The table and the shelf, as they looked when I left them (with the lone rose)

The wall with several art-pieces and the bed-side shelf

The same


A few of my old possessions in the current new surrounding

Same old flowers in my new home

Dhan ta nan

I liked Kaminey. (I am talking about the movie and not general kaminey in the world).
Content wise the movie bears resemblance with many other movies dealing with the Mumbai's underworld. But Vishal Bhardwaj's Kaminey is still worth a watch. The credit goes to Shahid Kapoor who looks great and acts even better. Priyanka Chopra has relatively less to do in the movie. Often she is called to share the screen space when there is a need for some kind of "hyper-ness".
The background score and the songs go perfectly in sync and adds to the pace of the movie. Amongst the songs I like Dhan ta nan, Raat ke dhai baje and the title song. There were some scenes in the movie which I felt like capturing in the form of still photograph. Will do an image search and see if I can get some of them.
A note for the Oriya audience: I am sorry but I hate you. I can't sit and watch a movie with paan-spitting men who get excited during intimate scenes and leave their seats to practise thei…

Way back into love...

I have been living with a shadow overhead,I have been sleeping with a cloud above my bed, I have been lonely for so long... I have been hiding my hopes and dreams away, Just in case I ever need them again someday, I have been setting aside time, To clear a little space in the corners of my mind. I have been watching but the stars refuse to shine, I have been searching but I just don't see the signs. I know that it's out there, There's gotta be something for my soul somewhere. All I wanna do is find a way back into love, I can't make it through without a way back into love, And if I open my heart to you, I'm hoping you will show me what to do, And if you help me to start again, You know that I'll be there for you in the end.

Saw 'Music and Lyrics' and liked it a lot. After a long time I got to watch a simple romantic movie sans any kind of drama. The songs in the movie were great, specially this one...quite meaningful. Another movie I recently saw was '50 First Dates…

Of my (almost) lost culinary skills

The other day I was watching the FRIENDS episode in which Monica made candies for her neighbours as a sweet gesture and a first step towards knowing them (7th season). In one of the scenes, Chandler asks her whether the reason for her becoming a chef was to make people like her. And she didn't answer that.
I used to cook a lot a few years back. Slowly that practise declined because I got more busy with the research and thesis. I still did cook sometimes whenever it became a matter of life and death. e.g. Those days (of the famous 'sleeping sickness') when I slept for 15-16 hours and woke up finally at 2 am. A bowl of khichdi, vegetable rice or tehri, suji ka halwa used to be the frequently cooked items, with the last one strictly for pampering myself. But this 'need-based-cooking' failed to give the usual satisfaction or joy which I used to feel earlier.
And I realize that it does make a difference when you cook for somebody else apart from yourself. Appreciation i…

Of lizards, cockroaches, ants and many more...

I step into the bathroom. Skip a few steps. And then it is time to turn on the shower.
Swooooooshhhh..... Water pours down forcefully. Things are fine for a few moments. I keep an eye on the two lizards which seem to be conspiring in a corner. Any movement on their part might require shifting of my clothes hanging on the small hook on the same wall.
Suddenly two cockroaches appear from somewhere and they decide to fly in randomness. And one of them manages to settle on my body (don't ask me where), which is followed by a lot of jumping and shrieking. Things are back to normal.
Day 2. There is only one lizard today. The spiders seem to be happily sleeping. Some harmless ants are crawling in the corner. Who cares about them. No cockroaches in view. I smile. After a while I feel something crawling on my foot. It was a centipede-like-thing. More shrieking and jumping. Things back to normal (almost). I turn off the shower and grab my towel. This time there was something crawling down my…

Love Aaj Kal

Managed to catch the 'premier' show of Love Aaj Kal in the new city which is my temporary work-place for a few days. The crowd mainly comprised of college-going-youngsters which contributed to a hell lot of enthusiasm and noise in the theatre.
The first half of the movie when the story was developing, seemed to be promising but the second half is so bad that I don't even have appropriate words to descibe my disappointment. Saif has lost his famous 'comic-touch'. And he doesn't look great. And it is apparent that he did this movie half-heartedly. Or may be it is because he was more into the job of 'producing' this movie. Deepika Padukone looked fine and acted ok too... May be i didnt expect much from her anyway. The character she played in 'Love Aaj Kal' seemed like a off-shoot of her character in 'Bachna Ae Haseeno'. Amongst the few things which I liked in the movie were the songs- "Ye dooriyan...", "We Twist" and &quo…

Did it all...while I was there.

Rocks. Gazing at the sea and feeling the breeze on my face.
Colaba. Shopping. Plain-salted corn. BEST bus. Window seat. Music playing in my ears. Walking in rain from the bus-stop to the institute.
Colonnade. Me and "my mice". Wind trying to blow us off.
A movie. Alone but not lonely. 9pm-12am.
Friends. Smiles. Hugs.
Long-intellectual-talks-before-going-to-bed with Buddy.
Last but most important. Thesis. Submitted.
:)

Rain Rain...please stay...

...I will be there soon.

I have just been reading about the rains this year. Since the day I have landed in Bangalore, the rain-gods have moved away.

So, in search of rain I am moving to the city I love, hoping to feel some rain drops on my face and listen to that sound made by wet-rubber slippers. And I want to use my new umbrella too... And I want to look at the billowing sea... And I want to be blown away by the wind while walking through the colonnade... And...the list is endless.

These are the only drops of rain I have seen in this season


P.S. And finally it rained here today :)

Wimbledon and old memories...

Roger Federer won the Wimbledon final against Andy Roddick, this being his 15th Grand-slam title and a record in the history of tennis. It was after years that I sat through a tennis match and realized how much I used to enjoy watching it once upon a time...around 20 years back.

I was introduced to tennis by a friend of mine who was a die hard fan of Steffi Graf. Actually I have never come across a single tennis fan who doesn't like Steffi Graf. I am not an expert to comment on her gaming techniques, but I used to love watching her play and win. I remember her losing only to Martina Navratilova.

Amongst all the other tennis grand-slams Wimbledon holds a special place. I remember following Wimbledon matches every year during the first week of July, which used to be the time of beginning of new session in school. There was one women's singles final between Steffi Graf and Jana Novotna which i still remember and I can recall how much the latter cried during the prize distribution c…