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Showing posts from February, 2007


Today is a big day. I come to an unusually packed office buzzing with activity and excitement early morning (our new boss is also at his enthusiastic best). Finance minister P. Chidambaram has done the annual honours of announcing the budget. In all newspaper and magazines of the country, budget is an occasion to remember. Reporters are busy chasing ministers, experts, analysts, corporate honchos for their views, asking them whether it is populist, anti-women, anti-poor, or common man friendly. It is also the time when in-house designers are competing with the rest in the industry to stand out among the myriad publications. Plus there is the 'edible' free dinner for all and sundry. Former Economic Times editor Jojo (now the Times of India editor) is known for some of his best budget presentation in the newspaper. But I remember TOI, in the past, overdoing it. In one, they even had the whole Bollywood theme playing around the budget. You can imagine how funny that must have

The Churn

11 am: There I was bang on time at work, perhaps, in a long time. The occasion: a meeting called by the top boss and compulsory attendance required. I am, as always, out of the loop. Reason being there is always so much happening in my life that I am always behind everything. That does not mean I fail to deliver! And unlike some people who are truly into perception management (will delve on it later) and are such repository for all 'inside news', office gossip and politics least interest me. I mean, who cares if someone is quitting for some place else or is having an affair with so and so, or is being transferred unless that person happens to be someone I am generally fond of. Maybe then I would have been privy to some of the classified information ahem... So, was I in for shock today? The meeting was sombre and had a full house attendance. And then our top boss spilled the beans. Three of the men at the helm were either quitting or were assuming other responsibilities and a n

Food For Thought

I have just had my dinner after an elaborate cooking of chilli chicken and fried rice that took me precisely two hours, in between feeding Dylan his cerelac and taking him out for his poo. Cooking is quite a destresser but not great fun, though, when you have to start from scratch -- peeling garlic, cutting onions, etc. After what started out as a hit-and-miss affair, my culinary skills have improved over the years. I love the freedom to explore and I think the importance of having a simple, nutritious food at home rather than gorging on heaps of junk food or restaurant food is something we all overlook in our busy lives. Today, of course, was a feast born out of that sudden craving for something different. But brown is the flavour of the month for me. I have been experimenting with brown rice, brown unrefined sugar and brown pasta, in my bid to do away with anything refined and white such as white bread, white sugar which only takes its toll on the liver and has no fibre or vitamin c


My sister and her best friend want a change in their career. And they are seriously working their way towards one. While my sister works for a BPO outfit, her friend is an IAS officer. Both are doing well in their respective fields but they are both desperate to switch jobs, and go abroad. So on Sunday we had a detailed discussion on this sudden desperation of theirs to look for alternative careers. According to them, the world is already in the grip of global warming and that is going to cause catastrophy in the next 20 years... obviously they don't want to rot in India for the next so many years of their lives. Hmmm... I am not very tuned to the whole science of global warming, but I do know for a fact that the world is heating up, so much so that cold places like Shillong, where one never knew the existence of fans, and where summers always meant NOT towing one's woollies away, is now facing the opposite. People are buying fans and the shades of the pine trees no longer off

Cupid's Day

The hearts in the mastheads of a few national dailies were an early morning reminder to Valentine's Day. The papers ran amok -- they had articles on couples who sizzle, guides for the romantically challenged, a 'did you know' about the world's most expensive V-Day card, etc., etc., etc. Elsewhere in the US, Valentine’s Day is a $14-billion industry they wrote. India, too, is raking in the moolah. So TV channels are playing it up to the hilt and radio stations are in their moony best. I am a hopeless romantic but I have never celebrated Valentine's Day. I am, in fact, quite at odds with V-dayers and the parties, the candle-light dinners, the exchange of gifts, and so on. A colleague looked at me and said “you must be definitely going for a party tonight’. People assume too much. Also, little did she know I am still waiting for the God of love to oblige me with that one-of-its-kind Valentine date. My only connect to all things love(ly) today has been the SMSes from a

Deep Throat

Clearing up my long pending mess of papers, I stumbled upon my tome of medical reports. I think the crown for 2005's calamity queen should rest on my head, going by the number of mishaps I had -- a car accident (I was so preoccupied I didn’t realise I was on speed and breaked into a car ahead crashing the bonnet -- my first in so many years of driving), and then, of course, the major surgery on my neck. The latter is funny. It was also the year when the identity of Deep Throat, the man who broke America's Watergate scandal, was revealed. But for reasons dissimilar, I was 'the Deep Throat' of my office, courtesy my boss, Pro, who also called me 'slit throat' when he was in an extra jovial mood! But being a hypochondriac helps. During one of my homecoming parties (after my Africa stint) thrown by a friend, I was taking a drag of a cigarette -- I am not a habitual smoker though, when I felt a pain somewhere in the throat the next morning. I wasted no time in going

Enter The Devil

I have a new family member these days and I am showering all my maternal affection on him. I was never really a baby person or a pet person simply because I always felt that assuming hundred per cent responsibility for someone is too much of a sacrifice and that you have to be ready for it. But I have proved myself wrong. You don't need to assume responsibility. If you have the inclination, you have the time. And so it was a chance meeting with Dylan (as in Die-Lan and not a mispronounced Bob Dylan mind you) while shopping with my five-year-old nephew, Mihir, that sealed his fate. And with a persistent young man who refused to leave the market without the puny week-old pup, I ended up buying Dylan. But when it was time for Mihir to leave Delhi, I realised I could no longer part with Dylan. After convincing Mihir that I would send Dylan to Shillong after a while, Dylan is now mine just for the asking. Looking back on that day, it's luck that we found him and even greater luck t

The Other Side Of Togetherness

Time was when I was embarrassed to tell people I have a large family and much of five siblings. But I am sad today, sad at seeing off an inconsolable sister leave for another continent to start her new life, sad we cannot freeze time to when it was its non-stop best. Those were my childhood days -- when the five siblings got together at the dining table and drove mom nuts with our likes and dislikes, when the furious five played table tennis (so what if I was often turned to a ball boy), badminton, seven stones, why even house-house. Softening the edges was Pucchee our dog. With him, we also liked to think we were Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Buster. Come evening, we would freshen up, sing our kirtans or prayers and sit down to a serious business called studies in the face of a strict academically-inclined father, who harboured the greatest ambition for his kids -- a government job with its respect and pension, of course. Like himself. Life was routine. Our traditional holiday wa

Flavour Of The Day

Pink or Mint was my first reaction. When I called up a friend and ex-colleague to enquire about the launch of the much talked-about new business newspaper set to change trends in business journalism, he was like "never mind, make fun". My intention was none. I wasn't sure of the name. Much to the persistence of a nag, who wants to see the paper in flesh and blood and have it posted to him in the States, I was bound to buy two, not one. My savoury delights of Mint left me with a familiar taste. Published by HT Media Ltd in association with the Wall Street Journal, Mint is indeed a replica of WSJ. For starters, its look and feel. I thought I was going through the Hong Kong publication of WSJ, especially when looking at the last few pages. Basing on my romance with business journalism which is a little over one year, I am quite a novice but with patrons claiming "unique offering because of its unmatched journalism and insights into global businesses, markets and econ

Sada Dilli

Sify is the bane of my life right now. Every third day my Internet connection goes for a toss and when I pick up the phone to yell at my cablewallah, who has installed the broadband connection for me, I get such replies:" Madam aaj fibre cut gaya; madam aaj doosri fibre cut gaya; madam aaj sify ka building main kaam chal raha hain... matlab cement lag raha hain building main... matlab building geela hain to wire nahi lagega, electric shock milega kaam karne se..." He continues to take me for a ride like nobody's business. When one of my American colleagues left after precisely a year of her coming to to work in India, her reason was that nothing works here. I didn't, of course, agree with her but my grouse is building up. My 'metre man', who comes for his routine checks every month, is the latest in the list of irritants. Each time he wears a hungry look. "Aap ko lagta nahi aap ka metre fast chal raha hain? Uska bhi kuch upai hain.. kuch sewa ka moka do