Friday, November 26, 2010

Year two - 26/11

It marks two years today! City of Mumbai still remembers the whole incident very clearly. Only remembers! The 26/11 Terror Attack! Not only on Mumbai but on the whole country.

What exactly changed after 26/11? Many things actually. We now have more number of non-working metal detector doors at major railway stations, more number of corrupt officers - a few of them are directly related to the terror attack. One officer was caught for making cheap quality bullet proof jackets! More number of sacked CMs for one state, more controversies, scams and  corruption. But the lag in security system still remains. Each day a new scam comes out, each day people wake up, crib and move on. Some even blog, but that's that!

Yes I feel angry. Not only for or on this day, but whenever I remember this day, whenever I pass by any of those areas or whenever I see somebody being negligent or security systems not working properly. 26/11 and 11/7 are the two days that have affected me the most. Like lacs of Mumbaiites, I too commute by local trains - in the same first class compartment which was targeted in the serial bomb blast four years back. Maybe it affects me more as I knew a few victims personally who lost their lives in these attacks!

But what have we done? Quite a few pay tax (the only good thing I guess), we go to work and come back, we do not pay attention on our surroundings all the time, we do not check the area below our train seats or luggage rack, most of the times, we do not bother to report to any suspicious parcel, we abuse cops standing in the middle of the road at the time of naka bandi as they increase in already pathetic traffic, we still don't oppose those who give/take bribe in front of us, we still keep quiet when our state CMs keep changing all the time, we still encourage our children not to study as we can get them admission through paid seats - the list will go on and on.

People around me always tell me that I overreact to things, or one person cannot make a difference as we will never be able to convince Mumbai people to be alert in this face pace city and busy lives! Time kaha hai humare paas? Or the excuse is - why do we have a Government then? Why do we elect them and give them power? But we so easily forget that 20 odd years back, they were like us only - the same chalta hai attitude, the same busy life, the same question too - how will one person make a difference?

Yes, we cannot make any difference - not as voters not as leaders. We can only crib and cry, see people dying. So far as our family is safe, who cares! And if we lose someone from our family, still we keep quiet to safeguard other members of our family! Proud to be an Indian!!!

And yes, I am very angry. Angry on each one of us for being us. If this post has offended you, then kindly leave  this page rather than posting abusive comments!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Blogging and Me

Extremely busy times worry me all the time. Not that I have been occupied round the clock, but sometimes even when you are not too busy, certain things still take a back seat. Like blogging. It relaxes me a lot, but these days, I have a lot of other reading and researching work and this is resulting into less blogging. I do not like it, but well, I do not have any other option either.

Come to think of it, blogging plays a very important role in my life. I have made amazing friends thanks to the blogs. A few of them are even closer than my real world friends. I can talk to them about anything and everything. I feel more close to them even though I have never ever seen or met them. To an extend that these days when I have something to share or when I need to talk to a friend just like that, my blog buddies are the first people who come on my mind.

Those I speak with already know that I am talking about them :) Beauty of blogging - you write about people here and they are the one to read this too. It's so easy to make them happy here :P 

Apart from getting a few awesome friends for life, blogging has helped me in my profession too. I teach Business Communication to the students. In this, they have to study about various methods of communication. Since my blogroll has bloggers from across the globe, I am aware about their formal and informal culture at work, at home or in their social circle. This has helped me to make my lectures interesting. I keep giving them gyaan about my knowledge and they get very impressed :P 

It's always wonderful to read blogs. For, you get to know about so many things happening in the country you may never heard of, or the custom or culture completely new to you. Even in India, there are so many festivals which I read about for the first time after blogging happened to me.

I have even learnt what to disclose and how to write on a blog. I have had my share of happy as well as sad as well as angry moments here. But they all have been fun at the end of it.

Errrrr, did the last para sound as if I am quitting blogging? No this is not a closing speech. You cannot get so lucky so soon. Lack of time or not, I will find time to blog. I love doing so. It rejuvenates me completely. Well it makes me angry too when people take my sarcasm as compliment (lol), but that's fine. It makes me feel more intelligent and boosts my ego which does a lot of good to me all the time :P

By the way, a note written by me on facebook made me pretty much (un)popular in the blogging circle. If we have common friends, then you will be able to view it. Click here to read it. If you are unable to view it, then leave a comment and mention your mail id. I will e-mail it to you. It's worth the entertainment!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Children's Day

Children's Day a few years back meant getting importance everywhere - in schools, in your area, on TV and such. Since I spent my childhood in a small town where people still have time to celebrate these days with children, we got a lot of goodies and chocolates on this day. In school from organizing plays and other competition, taking part in singing, elocution, drama, drawing etc activities, our teachers explained us the importance of this day, Pandit Nehru, his love for children and reason behind celebration of this day.

Now the times have changed. Children's Day is still celebrated, in fact with much more enthusiasm than it used to be in my town. Maybe the difference is that of cities. Small and Big. Umbergaon and Mumbai. But there is much more said than done here than other way around!

These days people are more tech savvy. Which has changed the way this day is celebrated. I am active (??) on two social networking sites - facebook and twitter. Since morning, at least 50% of people on my timeline have changed their profile picture (popularly known as display picture or DP) to their childhood image or they have their child's image as their DP. Sweet. People are posting status messages like - "when I was a kid, ............." - everybody is mentioning about their experiences, memories about childhood, from Doordarshan to Dennis the menace everything was mentioned in one hour.

Ah, that was some life indeed - without the internet. I started using internet in the year 1998. But it became necessity since I started working. I still remember those days when I used to check my mail once in a month and my inbox used to be flooded with at least 100 forward mails. I used to forward them further to another 15 odd internet users.

Now I cannot imagine a life without internet. I get 100 odd mails across my accounts - I have 5-6 mail accounts like personal account, official account, blog mail account, N-zine account and such - sigh! life is indeed complicated.

After digressing completely from the original topic, well, the celebration methods have indeed changed. 2-3 days back I read the tweet which said - Please join us in Goregaon when we distribute clothes to children, or please donate something on so and so NGO for orphans, or please encourage the street play by your presence. Many are uploading videos of "hum bhi agar bache hote", "tera mujse hai pehle ka naata koi", "yaado ki baarat" etc. The leading newspapers have full page image of Pundit Nehru on his 121st birthday.

But none of my neighbours' child mentioned about getting any chocolates from anybody, or organizing any event. Rather, my adult friends on twitter are more excited about today's day. #whenIwasakid tag is doing rounds. Each and every person (including me) has tweeted about it to make it a trending topic! Those who are not on twitter will not understand this, but those who are regular on twitter, to them, a trending topic started by them is everything.

But I just have one simple question - do we require a specific day to celebrate any occasion? We celebrate Woman's day, Teacher's day, mother's day, father's day and 100s such days. The hypocrite me thinks that except for birthdays, we should not have special days for such things. Celebrate humanity each day!

But, we will continue to have such days. so Happy Children's day to all of you who are age wise adult!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lucky Lips

I was tagged by Insignia. And the tag is simple enough. I just had to switch the shuffle on and click next as all my playlists have more than 25 songs. Here are the rules for the tag:

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, IPOD etc. on shuffle.

2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.


1. If someone asks you, “are you okay ? ?” you say:
Buffalo soldiers - Bob Marley

2. How would you describe yourself ?
Always a woman to me - Billy Joel
Now people who are close to me can confirm whether the lyrics are apt for me or not :P

3. What do you like in a guy/girl ?
Blue Night - MLTR
You are the one I love - well, that's not a quality right? weird!

4. How do you feel today ?
Words - Bee Gees

5. What is your life’s purpose ?
Leaving on a Jet Plane - John Denver
This is going to be a vacation and not a mission. Don't know when I'll be back again :P

6. What’s your motto ?
Cocaine - Eric Clapton

7. What do your friends think of you ?
That thing you do - The Wonders
I don't break their hearts into million pieces!

8. What do your parents think of you?
Winds of Change - Scorpions
Huh again!

9. What do you think of often ?
With or Without you - U2

10. What is 2 + 2 ?
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
I love this song.

11. What do you think of your best friend ?
Staying Alive - Bee Jees
Another nice song!

12. What is your life story ?
18 Till I Die - Bryan Adams
Oh yeah!

13. What do you want to be when you grow up ?
You took my heart away - MLTR
staring at the moon so blue - is this what I am going to do when I grow up? sigh!!

14. What do you think when you see the person you like ?
Stand by me - The Temptations

15. What will you dance to at your wedding 4th anniversary?
Ain't no mountain high enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Dance and me? high hopes :P

16. What will they play at your funeral ?
Making love out of nothing at all - Air Supply

17. What is your hobby/interest ?
Honesty - Billy Joel
I am a lawyer after all :P

18. What is your biggest fear ?
Can't buy me love - The Beatles

19. What is your biggest secret ?
Rivers of Dreams - Billy Joel
I so love this song!

20. What do you want right now ?
A Groovy kind of love - Phil Collins
one of the most romantic songs. I want someone to sing this for me :P

21. What do you think of your friends?
Tears in heaven - Eric Clapton

22. When you want to rush to the toilet, what do you think ?
Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard

23. Person you hate the most is in front of you, what will you tell the person ?
Crazy - Aerosmith
you drive me crazy - in a literal sense!!!!!

24. You have just won a lottery. What will you sing ?
How deep is your love - Bee Jees
certainly not!

25. What will you post this as?
 Lucky Lips - Cliff Richard

Whoever wants to take up this tag, can take it. It was fun doing it :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Once a Sydenhamite, Always a Sydenhamite!

Disclaimer: This post is about my College and my love for it - Sydenham. You must have already read some part of it on my blog if you read me regularly. For the others, it may be boring and dragging. You can simply skip to read it. It does not have a single sarcastic statement about you!

I hate it when I don't have time to do nothing. It is very important for me to waste at least half an hour to an hour a day doing nothing, but it's not happening these days. Before I realize, I already have a backlog for many things. There are so many posts I have not read, so many people I have not spoken with, so many documents pending for review, so many queries unanswered, so much so that I feel I need more than 24 hours a day. Next month is going to be the same for me with teaching deadlines to meet as the exams are approaching, then I will be busy with my Masters exams. PHEW!!

But what disturbs me the most is that I do not find time to blog. And it's not only about writing, but reading too. It disturbs me when I don't even find half an hour each day to do something I have a passion for. Ah, I hope some restless people don't attack me again for this post :P

Coming back to the title of this post - my regular readers know (and already bored and irritated by now) about my love for Sydenham college and Tea centre. Since my lectures are at South Mumbai, I do get a bit of time to take a walk on my favourite roads there. Now, I happened to take a walk on B road where Sydenham is located. Ah, the memories, the time, the people - nostalgia all over again! Nostalgia is a kind of feeling that makes you happy and sad at the same time, and you want to share your experience with people who are associated with that place or memory you are feeling nostalgic about.

I did the same thing. I uploaded a status on facebook. And to my greatest surprise, at least 15-18 sydenhamites commented and liked the status. We all could relate to what I mentioned there. We all got nostalgic and remember our time spent there.

For most Sydenhamites, Sydenham was our first home. We reached there at 8 in the morning and left not before 8 or 9. We spent most of our times either in our society rooms, or common rooms or canteen. Likes like me even spent hours sitting on car bumpers. Morning started with a yell of "JK, chai lao" in the first year. Then the names kept changing from Lancy to Nagesh, to Manju to chotu. I loved to interact with the canteen people. They always had interesting stories to share. I so wish I was blogging at that time. I could have preserved all those memories then.

For commerce students, college is five years of pure fun. For us, it's not a big deal to score minimum passing marks, percentile matters only in the last year and one week study is more than enough to score a first class. This was the reason we indulged more into other activities like organizing festivals and various events, taking part in script/skit writing, discussing guys (lol) and any other activity which could help us stay in college from morning to evening.

I have very fond memories of Sydenham. I remember watching so many cricket matches in Canteen, staring at S who used to be a football player and crush of most of us :P, having 7-8 cups of chai (that's quite normal, during exams, I never even counted the number of cups!), solving crosswords, preparing posters and doing so many other useful and useless things.

Sydenham canteen is very famous for the Chinese food we get there; typical Indian Chinese (which tastes a lot better than an authentic one!). Every single day I survived on Schezwan rice or veg/chicken chilly dry with bread slices. Even students and professors from other colleges came to Sydenham canteen to eat. For years and years down the line and even today, the taste still remains the same.

Today, I teach students. When I come across a Sydenhamite, I cannot stop myself from asking that student questions about the college, canteen, people, events, festivals, alumnis, magazines and ten other things. This is not the case only with me. Pick any Sydenhamite from my list, and you will see them going crazy about it the same way! We are too connected with it. Maybe everyone is with one's college; but Sydenhamites are a bit crazier than others. You can get anything done from them in the name of Sydenham and they will do that with a broad smile on their face. And it will not be considered foolish :)

We all use this tag-line for ourselves - Once a Sydenhamite, always a Sydenhamite!

PS: I can in fact write 10 posts on my love for Sydenham and not get tired. But I will spare you guys. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

About Bloggers etc.

I have been planning to write this post for a long time now. I was procrastinating as it is not so relevant for most of my readers. Ah, call me fortunate here, as most people I read and who read me don't indulge much into contests and likes! So far, I have participated in BPL (and our team won that. Such a big show off I am :P) which was also way too taxing for me. That was probably the last time I took part in a contest.

The shy me runs away from popularity. I somehow cannot ask people to even read/comment on my post. Imagine asking for votes from them! I prefer to stay in my shell than going to people for reading/acknowledging my work.

But not everyone is as dumb as me, especially when the stakes are as high as 50k! People can literally go for a kill. Trust me, I am not exaggerating at all! I have seen people abusing, disgracing, reporting and blocking others just to win contests. Fake profiles are created, groups are made, others are harassed and what not is done just to win a contest. Rather, win 50k. There have been such contests in the past with smaller amounts at stake, and nobody even bothered to participate. Now suddenly there is an outburst of participation! Money talks!

I have nothing against those who participate, but it is not a right thing to torture others for votes and comments. I am too blunt to tell you not to do so, but there are others who do care about maintaining good relationship with you. Thus they never tell you even if you spam their mailbox with vote appeals.

Those who are not affected by the vote appeal, let me give you a fact: Each day, we receive 50 to 60 mails asking for votes from different people! I envy most of you as I know nobody bothers you with such nonsense.

I so far never uttered anything about the spamming part too; but when a few bloggers started behaving like a bunch of mean and hurt hypocrites, I lost it. I don't even want to get into the details, as I prefer to name them directly, but they are all "respected" bloggers and I do not want to start a war as my peace of mind is more dear to me than getting into their immature turfs!

All I want to request (read: warn) you guys that please don't bother me with such nonsense stuff. I am not interested!

Today only I came across another contest organizer who gave a slightly biased decision which according to me was unfair. But more on that, later as I do not yet have all the details of it. I prefer to play safe unlike others who say things without confirming the facts (remember Restless and her post bashing me? :P)! Ah, I love to drag this thing again and again in my posts! I do give people so much of free publicity! This is the major reason I have stopped giving linkback to people. I don't even want those 10 people who read me to click on their page and give them more hits!

Monday, November 01, 2010

What's in a name?

No I am not a Shakespeare junkie like many people close to me are. I never even tried to read him. I can be too biased at times. Or maybe I am biased when it comes to Shakespeare as his statement "What's in a name" according to me is not a wise thing to say :P

I have my own reasons to believe so. My name is way too common. You call out Neha and 6 out of 10 girls will turn around. Out of remaining four, three will be Poojas! In my phone book, I have 8 Nehas stored. I sometimes get confused too about their identity. I forget their faces and cannot recollect them when they call me. I have to talk to them for 5 minutes to actually recognize which Neha called me! I am sure this must be happening with you as well.

Worst thing: When someone does not have my number stored and I happen to call up that person, I literally have to remind them about my past encounters with them as unfortunately, my surname is too common as well! My college had 3 Nehas with the same surname.

I so feel like whacking the person whoever says what's in a name. Damn, have my name and you will know what's in a name. The only advantage I have with my name is that every second client I meet has a daughter/sister/mother/wife/niece/any other relative whose name is Neha. I usually crack that deal. But I am capable enough to crack it otherwise too people! It is not a "wow" thing for me when you say that I am your xyz's namesake!

I know people who love this name. My neighbour Uncle is very fond of me. He named his Russian daughter in law Neha because of that reason. She is the 4th one in my building!

But one thing is there. After seeing the image below, Shakespeare would have changed his statement for sure!