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Showing posts from March, 2007


There are phases and there are faces. And sometimes both suck! I am experiencing an unusual bout(s) of displeasure these days. I get sick, I get irritated and I want to kick asses. So much that I have been snapping at everyone possible. My close friends have a sneaking suspicion that my hormones are probably getting a ‘little imbalanced’ after the surgery. Not enough, I am on a war path with the loonies in my team. Well, they are the ones who face the brunt of my insanity. And while I am trying to quell the ire inside me, their cacophony begins to irritate even further! And boom there goes one. After more than a year of working at the desk, my first , first taste of displeasure. Two self-styled leaders just a got a taste of it. Never ever before has this happened. Perhaps, it tells about the quality of people I am surrounded with. And my own degeneration… And if this ever happened when I was a kid, my mom would have had me apologise even if I was the wronged one. That is good culture,


And so the journalism training from a top editor of one of the word’s best business publications Fortune began with much fanfare. I missed almost an hour of the first day’s session and much of contributing editor Sheridan Prasso’s introduction. Missed because I overslept… The thought of another journalism class, after so many years, put me off to sleep. I know all about the inverted pyramid, the five Ws and one H, developing a nose for news, etc., and a little more than these basics. I shouldn't be bored I told myself, after all life is a continuing process of learning and that we are all like a small child playing with pebbles in a vast sea of knowledge. Armed with those wisdom, I found myself sneaking an entry into a quiet room of avid listeners. True enough, I knew all that was being talked about and discussed. I mean, frankly the rules of journalism does not change with geographical settings. There is a set of guidelines as to how one deals with a story -- it has to answer th

Funny Mix

The office is getting crazier by the day. So many special issues and deadlines to meet. In between there is a week of training to undergo starting tomorrow from Sheridan Prasso, Robert Friedman's deputy at Fortune magazine. Part of the going global fever, I guess. Wednesday reached home at 4 am after signing off pages for the Customer survey. Quite a useless exercise. Not much of what I did made sense. Culling out a two-line info from a two-page 10-questionaire set that hardly revealed consumer pattern or mindset. I felt for once I was working for a tabloid. But these are once in a blue moon lows as far as work is concerned. Otherwise, I enjoy what I do and most especially my team -- a mix of young, quite funny lot. There is the leader. Small in stature, he walks tall. Bright, unassuming and mild in his mannerisms, he can be quite a tough task master. A problem solver too. You can go to him with any and he has an answer for each. And he sure loves his wife, has his picture on his

Nerves Of Steel

After a moderate day of work in the office, I got an SMS from Shanta's brother, Rajiv, that she has been put on liquid diet from today. I visited the hospital and then went out for a quick dinner with Rajiv and Shanta's friend Mukul. Doctors say another five to seven days for the leg wound to be closed and that means being holed up in the ICU for a while. Part of the tubes from her systems have been removed but she was irritated at being shifted from a corner of the room that gave her a kind of privacy to accomodate another patient. Apparently in cases of amputation, the wound is left open and dressed till all traces of infection and dead nerves are gone. A lot of things have to be evaluated before finally closing or stitching up the wound to avoid any complication later in life. It's not that a leg once amputated is quickly stitched up. So, some more wait and watch before Shanta's family can heave a sigh of relief. The three of us were discussing her rehabilitation.

Of Fads & Make Up

I think FTV, the fashion TV channel is bizarre. Not because they have models showing off their bare essentials most of the time, but because they seem to be only spending loads and loads of money and time just focussing on swimwear and bikinis. At least that's what I get to see everytime I turn that channel on. If they are targetting clientele by these lengthy shows, I am sure there's only a miniscule group. The average viewer, like myself, are looking for affordable street fashion to emulate. But, then, most of these pret-a-porter shows are so similar, so full of bizzare ideas that it makes me want to eat my own head just thinking who the hell are buying these dresses? And of course, there is the sympathy for these bony women (they would give any Somalian a complex) baring the heat, cold and humidity of locales, flashing artificial, lewd smiles till the cameramen and make-up artistes chasing them get their perfect angles. And yet, they are women every other woman envy! Take A

Three Cheers

They say a man is known by the company he keeps. That's an easy statement to 'not' defend. I have all kinds of friends -- many and still counting, so you can't define me :) When in school, my folks always chided me for two things: for taking part in every damn extra curricular activity (my best excuse for bunking classes, of course) -- from flower arrangements to running marathons with my stick-like figure, which had my mom coming to see me with glucouse energy drinks on one or two occasions; and for whiling away most of my time with friends. While the former activity subsided with time, my second habbit grew from bad to worse, and friends multiplied in numbers with the years. I once watched an interview of Smriti Irani or Tulsi of the Kyon Ki Saas Bhi Bahu Thi fame. She appeared strong headed and intelligent but her one sentence on how she had no friends and how she could do without one because her husband was the 'be all and end all' of her life put me off.


I have been receiving phone calls, mails, etc., after friends learnt of the news of Shanta's accident. At 11 am this morning, there was a frantic call from another friend that blood was urgently required. After asking around, my friend Vishaka and her friend, without a second thought, accompanied me to the hospital. We met Shanta's brother who was there with two other friends. Luckily they managed two units on time, and we we were asked to stand by for another surgery (one of many) tomorrow. I sent a mail addressed to all in the office asking if there were willing donors. Some people have been so forthcoming. My friendship with Shanta goes back to our days in The Times of India in 2001. The time flies. She was a confidante, an agony aunt almost to most colleagues -- earnest, hardworking and trustworthy. There were times when we would be irritated with her slowness, but she was a joy to work with because she would never refuse work and would always pitch in if someone did not

Killer Blueline

I can’t describe the unpredictability of life. But worse, how painful it sometimes can be. What can be more horrific than this? One moment she was a young bubbly, energetic woman, who loved her freedom and independence so much that friends would often tease her about it. If there is one person who knows every nook and corner of Delhi, it has to be Shanta, they would quip; she would even go to the movies alone, something I would chide her about simply because Delhi is so unsafe. The next moment, this young woman is fighting for her life in a city hospital, her one leg amputated –- run over by Delhi’s ruthless killer bus, the Blueline. And doctors have put her under a critical 48-hour observation. I am just back from the hospital and am fighting emotions. What happens if her other leg is severed too. For a while, as an outsider, as a friend I can give her the strength and say those familiar, tiredly repeated words --that life is not over yet, that, after all, she is not the only person

Open Ended

It’s funny sometimes how the logic of an argument gets tilted by one’s pre-conceived notions about things. Because this is what I would exactly term the following. I was reading an article on Time magazine about how Haji Bashai Noorzai, an Afghan warlord or druglord as he has been variously described, got into these ‘deal’ with American agencies about how he could be of value to America’s fight against terrorism by trading information for freedom and 'no capture’. But on reaching Manhattan, Noorzai does his job and when he is about to leave, he is arrested instead. Deal over, trust broken. Now, I am not debating the intricacy of it all, not debating Noorzai’s credentials or the US’s stance in arresting him. But my first reaction as a citizen of the world is: why backtrack on a deal and stab someone from behind? That to me is heinous a crime as anything else. It’s just unacceptable that you enter into a contract of ‘give and take’ with someone and without warning, the other party


After working on a fat edition of the budget till 7 am last Friday, I headed off on a whirlwind tour of Jaipur, Ajmer and Pushkar with friends who had come from Canada. The trip was great fun nonetheless and despite the lack of sleep the previous night I was awake like an owl till late evening. It was my second trip to the pink city and the host family were people I have known from childhood. Took us (10 people, two cars) a while to locate Queen’s Path, a plush suburb. I loved the sprawling houses, the greenery and the quietness -- almost reminded me of my hometown. Given a chance, I would have loved to spend a week just relaxing. But far from it. We woke up at 7 am the next morning after a late night session of gossips, gift exchanges, and dances from the two sisters – Anita and Geeta. One was a Rajasthani folk dance, the other a Canadian-Bollywood mix jig. It was hilarious as Geetadidi, the plump member and well tuned to everything Rajasthani, pulled up everyone including naniji , w