Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Negotiations - Part Two

(Continued from previous post 'Negotiations' !)

Rohan from M/s So & So office called again.

This time in very friendly tone. "Hi Praney, how are you?"

"Fine Rohan ji, Thanks and you?"

"Me too, so what up ? Whats the price these days?" He asked.

''Prices are same boss", I was getting ready for the same tug of war unwillingly.

"I can't pay you the same price I told you before too" he said and I thought for a straight 'NO' to him without adding 'Sorry Boss, Pls boss, etc". I have enough with this guy I thought.

"But you gotta help me here Praney" he was saying, " why you push me to Delhi, please send 20 units, cheque is ready, make any discount you feel comfortable".

"OK Rohan, I will drop Rs.50 per unit", I said. He was paying in advance and I never wanted to loose this deal and this party.

"Thanks Praney, I would be needing more, my guy would call you." He sounded satisfied.

"Anytime boss, always here at your service". I surly was satisfied earning a new party.
I was smiling as soon as I disconnect the call , at last something was decided. (who knows, may be he was smiling too on the other side)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Weird Dreams

As Sudipta tagged Alka for the weird dreams and she tagged Manish, who on his turn tagged me, so here I am to perform my part of duty.

Though I don’t see much of dreams and if I do, I mostly can’t keep them saved in my memory even for the same day. So after reading Manish’s weird dreams I was wondering what to write. I tried to track past some of the dreams of mine but could not find much of them worth mentioning here. (As some of them are too weird to narrate here and are part of my private embarrassment).

But luckily today early morning I saw a strange dream which gave me word to publish this post.

1> Scene one: I got a call from one of the big bosses (He hardly calls me usually) of the company I deal in (I am into business of lighting products and not connected with media or journalism at all), asking me to get interviews of some giant Indian business tycoons. I also saw a faded face of Rattan Tata.
Scene two: I was playing some games with friends in the ground when the boss came to me in a white Maruti 800 (he would never step in any car less than Honda Civic in reality) with a Microphone and a box related to recording system for these interviews. (He only believes in taking and never in giving)
Scene three: I came out bathing from a place where so many other people were also taking shower and realize that I have lost that recording system and was worried how to get interview recorded. Then the other part of my brain suggested that I can use my I pod or should buy a new mobile which could record the long conversation. Before I could fetch my I pod or get any interview, the alarm rang to wake me for my daily workout.

2> This one I saw years back (96) and don’t know how I kept it remember so long. This one is not a very dramatic or very long dream but I still can feel the scare and thumping of my heartbeat in that dream. Years long relationship was forced to shatter and I was in the state of shock when I saw that dream (may be that’s why I saw that dream). I can’t call the dream weird but it was scary very scary.

Dream went like this, Me and she was traveling in a bus in very jovial mood. Bus was fully packed and all the passengers were talking so loudly. She too had to shout in my ear because of the talking noises of passengers and engine of the bus. I was smiling at her extreme effort to convey her words. And suddenly entire people including her vanished in the air like magic. I stood shocked in the bus all alone. Not a single person was visible and bus was running itself without any driver. I felt bloodless and frightened to death that where she has gone leaving me alone. My heart was bouncing so loud and fast and I was thinking of my remaining life in the same state forever. I woke up with shaken soul but was not lucky like other people who saw their dear ones in danger in dreams and on waking up feel relieved watching them sleeping safely next to them. I knew she had gone forever in reality also. I drank some water and went to sleep again with heavy heart only to see the same dream all over again, now in a train. Whew!

I don’t remember any other dream and would apologies to Sudipta for breaking his chain as I don’t have another five names to further tag on.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Never Ending Drama !

A new bomb explosion, a new train, new deadbodies, new pictures. This time in Samjhauta Express.

Same old statements by centre, same old statements by oppositions, same old stories by media, same condemnation by world leaders, same old type of compensations to victims, same articles in the papers and magazines, same old debate over television, same old live telecast by all the six or seven 24 hours honking news channels, same old protests by anti terrorists organisations, same old clues to be found by investigation agencies, same old commitments of not bowing against terrorism, same old bakwaas of communal harmony, same old appreciation of helping hands, same old scenes at hospitals, same old rona dhona, same old style of terrorists, same old style of Indian government.

I am so fed of these incidents that I don't even wanna write much about this.

PS. I really wonder that what in the world the terrorists should do to Indian people (Have they not done everything?) that may wake the self respect (if they have) of our government?

2nd PS. New official song of the week "Samjauta Bombs se Kar Lo, Samjhauta bomb waalon se kar lo."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine ? Ha !

This was and is my favorite since I came to know about the Valentines Day. Valentine was used to be an exciting event those days, but now it seem a show off and stupid thing. May be we have grown older or the definition of love has changed for guys like me. Sorry Lovers :)

Anyway I still love the love songs. And especially the whistle of that number. So enjoy this.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Though I am late but finally i saw the much awaited 'Guru' this Sunday.

Abhishek being my all time favorite has again done great job in the movie. Though I don't find the story very extra ordinary, the direction of Mani Ratnam and extra ordinary performance by Abhishek did the magic. So did the music and lyrics of Guru. Tere Bina or Jaage Hain are the numbers worth playing on and on. Even while writing these lines Ay Hairathe is running on my laptop.

Splendid acting by all the cast, direction of worthy director, melodious music and excellent cinematography has made 'Guru' a spellbound masterpiece.

Well done Gurukant Desai, very well done.

My rating for the movie......................A Must Watch

The Namesake

Despite my strong wish to complete the novel ‘The Namesake’, I could not do so. Reluctantly reading even 121 pages, Gogol Ganguly seems reaching nowhere.

Though at many points The Namesake bound me along, I put it down without completing. Or may be Katra Bi Arzoo was still hovering over my mind. Anyway, may be some other time.

Sorry Jhumpa!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Katra Bi Arzoo

Sholay, a name all the Indians are very well familiar of. A movie, even after three decades still looks fresh and entertaining.

But how many of us really know that what state India was passing through when this movie was released in 1975?

‘Emergency’, a word which still creates waves of shivering among many non congress families. In the June 1975, the Election of Mrs. Indira Gandhi was declared null and void by Justice Sinha of Allahabad High Court and unseated her from the Lok Sabha. Not only that, court also banned her from contesting any elections for next six years. Though a resignation on the moral ground was expected from her, she chose the other way and declared Emergency in India. The Indian National Congress of Ahimshavadi Mahatma Gandhi sat a new record of torture, humiliation, dictatorship, and cruelty in the history of independent India for long one and half year.

Katra Bi Arzoo by Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza is the heart touching novel on the state of emergency in India. I have read a couple of books on Indian emergency but this is something different. A 250 pages novel roams around the very very common man of India, whose course of life was decided by the Smt Indira Gandhi and his son Sanjay Gandhi.

Billo, Desh, Asharam Badar, Shahnaj, Prema are some names who lived in the neighborhood called Katra Bi Arzoo and they innocently saw little big dreams for their small lives despite their poverty and hunger. They did tremendous efforts and hard work for those little dreams and at the time of achievement not only those dreams but also their lives were shattered by that emergency. It is stunning to read how their bodies and souls were crushed under the heels of Smt Gandhi and how an unmarried guy who was saving money for marrying his beloved was forcefully sterilized on the name of family planning drive planned by Sanjay Gandhi.

Novel very dramatically describes the then state of India. Most of the opposition leaders were thrown in the darkness of imprisonment. Newspapers were stopped and no other source was there to provide platform to the voice of public. Only AIR was being aired for propagating ‘how emergency was a boon for Indian people’. Police was given full authority for witch hunting on the name of MISA. Millions of people were jailed and personal scores were settled for the sake of ‘politics’. New records of sycophancy were set by many congress leaders. 'Indira is India and India is Indira' was the mantra of such leaders. So many so called intellectuals of today jumped in the feet of Indira Gandhi with their pens and ink. And those who dared to stand against her had to go through hell. (I know it personally, as my own maternal uncle had to go underground and later serve one month imprisonment during emergency only because he was activist of RSS.)

Dr. Rahi has used very typical street language which does not let a reader realize that he is reading a book or watching things happening in front of eyes. One may find this book very dramatic and sensational. But this should keep in mind once of all that this book in not at all a fiction. It really happened. But for what?

For protecting a seat of Lok Sabha? Great!
PS. I wonder how people enjoyed Sholay those days when the whole country was burning?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Struggle of Feast !

As the whole India was celebrating marriages week, all of us must have attended if not much but at least a single reception party in recent days. I too was supposed to attend minimum three parties but I reluctantly choose only the one where I was given a responsibility of supervision of decorating Mandap for Phere to be held at 1’o clock in morning.

Reception/ marriage parties always gave me a bad taste. If that responsibility had not been thrown on me, I would have avoided that ceremony also. I am very infamous in home for not enjoying such parties. Ladies in the family by now have judged me and have accepted that they may have to cook for this guy :( alone, even after returning from such Chappen Bhog serving parties. This has happened many times before that I have returned without eating from such reception parties.

I can never enjoy my food until served with real hospitality (Eating places are different cause I pay for my food there). The great saga of dine and wine I witnessed last night was just another stereo type experience I already had many times earlier in my life so far.

During my 40 minutes stay at the party I could not meet or locate any host of the reception. It was 10.30 and baraat was not reached there so far. I was from the girls side as the brother of bride was my friend. There were around 1000 people with their best clothes on. The place was usually crowded with decomposed ugly ladies with over floating flesh, painted with all the stuff available at their neighborhood ‘Pinki’s beauty saloon’. And guys with ill fitted suits running here and there with dishes or glasses in hands. I always wonder how come people make themselves ugly in the effort of looking beautiful.

The DJ was playing at full blast and dancing girls were performing at the stage (One of the relatives of bride told me proudly that Rs. 50000 was paid to that lousy DJ). The crowd of boys in front of those girls was throwing their arms, legs and heads in the air to make them look like dancing as if the winner of this dancing competition would be given a chance with those dancing girls. The volume of DJ was so loud that nobody could hear nobody and all the people in the reception were forced to ‘enjoy’ the music willingly or unwillingly. Those guys, who were not dancing, were standing in small groups with whisky glasses in hands while staring at dancing girls and sharing some cheap jokes. Their speed of drinking is always so good on such occasion that one would surprise. Some of the guys were experts in bumping in ladies for a momentary pleasure and asking for excuse so politely.

In the other scenario, all the food stalls were jam packed with men, women, boys and girls of all age, color, caste and creed. People were doing their best efforts to get a plate of fruit chat, fruit salad, cheese cutlets, glass of juice and etc etc etc. They would emerge from the crowd like a winning warrior if they got successful to get a plate of some eatable. Nobody wanted to let any eatable gone untried. Ladies were running to and fro to get all the stuff for their hubbies and kiddos. They didn’t want to loose the race with other ladies and wanted to receive back at least 500% of the amount of Shagun they had given to the bride or groom.

Now it was time for dinner, the crowd started floating towards dinner stalls. The first obstacle was to get a plate and spoon and after crossing that barrier successfully the challenge was to get the plate filled with stuff. (I am loosing my wits writing this as I was loosing watching them last night) Surprisingly people wont get away from the stall to make way for others even after getting their plates filled and starting eating. Back at home one should not wonder how he got shahi paneer curry spots at his camel colored Raymond’s. It was funny to watch expensively dressed gentlemen surrounding cook at tandoor with their plates almost touching his apron and begging for a piece of oven fresh hot nan.

Same were the scenes at all the stalls. I can’t understand how people who look so educated, sincere, wealthy and elite could forget all these words in such ceremonies and join the struggle of feast (fittest).

There is a word in our culture for such dinners or invitations, ‘Bhoj’, where all the guests sit down in a row and host and his family would serve them homely cooked food. They would serve you with love, regard and humble. In Himachal there is still such custom in most of the areas. Its called ‘Dham’. I always loved to be a guest at such Bhoj. But reception parties are not Bhoj nor Dham , it’s a fair where there is no guest , no host, and no one knows no one, just a free eating event, you can eat if you have the guts & wits.

May be marriages are made in heaven, but surly reception parties are not.

PS. I kept watching the crowd with Raavi sleeping in my arms and she I don’t know how managed to get her dinner. And me? My stomach was already filled being a spectator of such great sport and otherwise also a bowl of home made Dal is much tastier for me than any other specialty of such dinner bash.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ups & Downs

After Hrishikesh Da, Naushad and Anil Biswas, another great face of Indian film industry faded away. Musical genius OP Nayyer composed songs which helped Indians to relax and took worries off their heads when ever they were lonely and in down spirits. Who’s gonna follow their footsteps?

Whatever it was behind the scene I feel happy for Shilpa’s to take ride on Big Brother.

Men in Blue clinched the series beating West Indies, Tendulkar came back convincingly, so did Ganguly.

Tata bags Anglo Dutch steel giant Corus for 12.1 Billion dollars. Keep its up guys.

No more Sidney Sheldon’s, the magician of words is gone for magician of worlds.