(Un) Holy Grains of Truth

I am.
Brought to the world, adorn with love yet you rejoiced when I cried in the cradle.
You knew that you held a remote to control my dreams and emotions.
You taught me not what I wanted to learn but what you wanted to dispense as knowledge.
The choice of truth and knowledge is yours and not mine.
Your lies and half baked truth are considered as the holy gains of truth.
You dispensed religious lies and bigotry, half baked and doomed spirituality.
You wanted to imbibe in me political and religious bigotry.
In your crime against mankind, you forgot that I shall not pay heed to you.
As I discover the truth and your doomed failure, I shall not listen to your hate speech.
I shall not subscribe to your unholy, uncouth truth about love, marriage and religion?
Why should I hate men and women belonging to different faith?
Why should I believe that I control the life of a woman?
Why should I not believe that men and women are equal?
Just because you say so!
I have already waged a war against your self-written books of knowledge?
You have a notion of pre-established society that suit your own interest.
You can be happy with your doctrine of religious morality and social mores.
I am not happy with your teachings of God and Goddeses versus immorality.
I shall make my own way to seek the universal truth.
The universal truth that does not rely and is validated by your ludicrous and morbid mindset.
I was born in this world to assert my own individuality and make my own choice.
I am a soul and I strive to be a good soul.
My fight is not directed against you but the values that you represent.
How can I worship a Goddess locked in a temple?
Free her and I shall fall at your feet.
You insult her, exploit her and sexually abuse her to show your dominant nature and patriarchal power.
Yet! You worship her.
I laugh at your own double-standards reeking of hypocrisy.
Search for your own self and be truthful with your soul first before telling me about social mores and religion.
I am, me myself not some fake fabrication of society.


Surprise Dance on Finnair Flight to celebrate India's Republic Day

After my earlier ranting on Republic Day, let's end it on a good note and enjoy the surprise dance by air hostesses on Finnair Flight to celebrate India's status as a Republic nation. It's a beautiful concept and enjoy the surprise dance. Om Shanti Om.
Have Fun

Republic Day, Verma report and wishes for a better India

Today, India celebrated its 64th Republic Day and it's the day in the life of every ordinary citizen where they show pride towards the national anthem, subscribe to values of patriotism such as loyalty, peace, humanity and international peaceful co-existence. On any ordinary situation, I would have been present to the flag raising ceremony but I didn't go this time. Not that I feel less Indian today, but looking at the past events that took place over the year, the heart wasn't in this time.
The brutal gang rape of Nirbhaya made me think twice as to why the state has failed to protect its daughters and what make things worse is that cases of rape is reported everyday. Certainly, the laws need to be tougher and a stronger message must be dispatched to potential rapists and perpetrators of crime against women.
The young guns of India took to the streets in Delhi for a just cause and yet the forces made use of violence to dampen the spirit. They were not able to break the unifying force and the Government buckled under pressure as they set up the fast track court to deal with rape. On the occasion of 64th Republic Day celebration, the questions asked by India is remain largely unanswered and the fight for justice doesn't stop here. Justice Verma committee chided the Government who congratulated the police on the gang rape of Nirbhaya and points out to loophole in the judicial system that has failed time and again. He recommended imprisonment for gang rape, community policing and imprisonment of not less than 20 years against against gang rape.
This is where I have serious issues as the learned judge recommendation on 'gang-rape.' Why just gang rape? A rape is a rape and the law should deal strictly with a rapist who committed atrocity against a woman. I am dejected that the judged rejected suggestion for chemical castration on a person who rape.  I think chemical castration would have served as a serious deterrent to perpetrators of such heinous crime against women. I also rue the idea that the judge is against death penalty. The government can no longer afford to go soft on rapists and they should set a strong precedent that a person will think twice before committing rape.
I strongly feel that the Verma report is a timid report since there is a spate of poor and soft measures against rapists. Certainly, this is the last thing that India need on Republic Day. Honestly speaking, I feel that life long imprisonment and chemical castration as well as flogging should have been introduced and implemented as law. It would have led to a fall in the number of rape cases. Moreover, a minor who commit rape must be flogged with a sentence of 40 years in jail at least while an adult must spend at least thirty years of imprisonment. Any person who harass a woman, is involved in eye teasing, make sexual comments or circulate mms or click pictures should be arrested and sentenced between three to five years in jail. Moreover, the government should have offices in several places where women should be encouraged to record statements in the presence of a social worker, psychologist and lady police officer.
However, Judge Verma suggesting that voyeurism to be punished up to seven years is positive one as well as three years punishment for stalking a woman and special procedure for protecting people with disabilities.
Nevertheless, no matter what the changes and suggestions are, till there is no change in the attitudes of males towards women, we shall not be able to bring the desired changes. As males, we must be ready to accept women empowerment, equality between males and females and stop looking at women as a sexual object or toy. We need to stop use impotent excuses that some women provoke rape.
I think we can hope for a better tomorrow and next year on R-Day, we shall celebrate India as a Republic. I also wish that laws are implemented to protect homosexuals and lesbians and ensure they are treated in a just and fair manner. The law on rapists should also be extended to homosexuals and lesbians who are sexually attacked as well as ensure that we live up to being the biggest democracy in the world. Let's not attack and assault artists, cartoonists, rights of the weak, treat women with respect and bring justice, equality in our society.

(Happy) Republic Day
Jai Hind


Tale of cities on a prowl

Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, life intertwined from one junction of life to another, you don't shift loyalty between opportunities thrust at your feet. At the risk of being labeled a traitor, you gently remind them that you are trapped by your emotions that overlap as you traipse across the globe.
A tale of cities that you visit leave an indelible mark on your existence as a human being as you feel a sudden connect with the soul of the cities which indulges you and make you sizzle. I have a tendency to be emotionally connected to cities and places I visit and make the places my own home. I set up shop in Pune years back and this is where my ongoing romance started as I gyrated to the city's own joy. We laughed, cried and romanced together as the city whom I made my home long time back held sway to my antics and carried me in its womb. The very thought of leaving the city makes me shudder as I thought in disbelief..what would I do if tomorrow, I have to leave Pune for an altogether new place, chasing opportunities and new challenges. Pune is a city that I call home and the people are like family and not once, you feel that you are an outsider. It's the place where you fit in so easily and completely laid back as it is, you can enjoy a morning coffee in the restaurants and socialize with strangers at random. Whenever, you come back, it's always homecoming and the city gently remind you that you have never and can  never leave it. It's called the city of Peshawar and completely romantic in appeal. This is where I started my career and where I truly belong and no force in the world can pull us apart.
Three hours away from Pune comes Maximum city, the city that never sleeps which is a world in itself. Yeah! You got it right, Mumbai..amchi Mumbai where the people irrespective of where they come from, Maharashtra, Gujurat, Jhammu, Goa, Assam or Uttar Pradesh pride in calling themselves Mumbaikar and there is no harm in calling yourself Mee Mumbaiakar not an ode to the late Balasaheb or Raj Thackeray but you have a sense of belonging irrespective of whether your are Maharashtrian born or not. Whether it's the Queen Necklace view at night, strolling at Marine Drive, Chowpatthy, local trains or Colaba, you know that you are right in the soul of the city. As you get down from the train at the iconic Chitrapathi Shivaji Terminus (CST) and find yourself among the seam of crowd, you know you are in Mumbai. Get set to struggle and jostle your way among the berserk and increasingly restless crowd as well as nerve-racking traffic.Like they say, if you can make it in Mumbai, you can make it in any part of the world.
I share a love-and-hate relationship with Mumbai.I mean I used to..When I shifted base to amchi Mumbai, I love everything about the city so much that I became obsessed with Mumbai..even the things that doesn't make a Mumbaikar proud, I used to overlook them..prod me about beggars, filth and water-logging, I would brush it aside and swoosh that it is the soul of the city. In no time, the city was getting on my head and like two lovers who had enough of each other, we started finding fault wi and the complaints as well as constant whining started to unfurl itself..oh! it's too fucking crowded, the people have bad breath, too much rush and why the fuck are they so tense even if they have to catch the movie at the plex..the war-mongering started and the perfect excuse to evade to Pune for weeks and weeks and weeks.
I came back to the city and after a couple of soul-searching days, it was love at first sight again. wow! Yeh Mumbai hai meri jaan! Amazing buildings..Rajabhai Tower, CST, locals-our life line, yellow-and-black cabs and greeting pals with kai re over a cuppa cutting chai. Every time, you are back to the city, you wonder why BMCC don't indulge in elongating the city to make way for more and more migrating pigeons like me....You feel that you need to unlearn and learn the new A-Z of Mumbai. The city keep changing every other alternate day and this is what makes Mumbai so utterly charming. You feel that you are at odds, trapped and swarmed in world pregnant with contradiction and the feeling conveyed to you, Horns Ok, everything strictly allowed if done to the extreme. You fight with yourself coz you know you gotta be back. Mumbai can pour outburst of anger, happiness, joy and sadness..
I had a one night stand with Delhi.it's a case of Harry Met Sally and you are surprised as to how the city' charm fell on you. I was charmed with Delhi and the wonderful monuments, be it Kutub Minar, the stainless Metro and Janpat, Connaught Place and would tell to everyone that matters that I wouldn't mind shifting base to Delhi, a place that I abhorred so much thanks to the advise of friends that I shouldn't be there ever in my life.
I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea as the love triangle or four angle between me, Pune, Mumbai and New Delhi seems so fluid and fluorescent. I have the knack of being emotionally attached to cities I found myself trapped in. Which city do my loyalty belongs to? It's a case of brand loyalty to all or none. Each city bear its own charms, and of course, beautiful women and soul-stirring appeal. My love for Pune an Mumbai doesn't diminish in the face of newly found love for New Delhi. At the risk of being called a slut vying to bed a new lover every single night and a traitor by my Mumbai frenz who can't stand New Delhi, I wonder where I stand. Though I confess that my love for Pune and Mumbai remains stronger than ever and will not be superseded by the capital city, New Delhi remain a babe to be explored. 

Cities bang bang
Good night
city lover


Happines Quotient

Love, life, moolah, career, books, journalism, Facebook and G-chat. That's what my life sum up to. A more apt description of life would be that I am only too happy indulging in things that I enjoy doing. Howzzat post at 4 a.m in the morning! Our generation faces lotsa tribulations as we juggle our time in work, relationship and mundane things like watching movies, reading for pleasure and brooding on problems in the world. And, we choose to smartly brush aside sex and lust and after all, who has time for all that intimate emotions yaar when we are stuck up with the hum drum of city life. The little time that we are spared, it is spent making trip to the wonderful memories we left behind.
We were told that it's a fab time we are living. Their generation earn much less than we are earning and that we have plenty of opportunity. Once, on my way to Infinity mall, Andheri Mumbai, I met an old man.he must be above 70-year-old and he told me, India is booming and you guys have so much opportunity. You can work in the call centre and make money and our generation made money with less opportunities. What my learned uncle failed to ignore was the financial crisis that spelled havoc. Theek hai! India was booming at that time and our growth rate is still positive and jobs are created throughout the country. Yet! there are freeze in economic sectors and as you look for opportunities outside the home land, there come a point you wanna come back home. Yet! You can't because there is a freeze in your professional field and you gotta wait impatiently for the worse to get over. As if it's the Tsunami that's hovering over your head for some time. Sometimes, it's not just professional fulfillment that matters but happiness.
By the way, have you read the happiness survey in Hindustan Times during the week. Mumbai scores much over Delhi..well! That's support the claim that happiness matters and not money! To be frank, Mumbai sounds better than Delhi and no matter how much I hate to admit it, I was in Delhi in November and I have fallen prey to its charm. Yes! I said Delhi is a wonderful a city and to the extent that a friend of mine who is born and bred in Mumbai told me, you have shifted loyalty, Traitor! Well, he is in Australia right now. Of course, he was kidding but I feel like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Ahem! Ahem!
The respondents in Delhi are more stressed out than Mumbaikars. Well that news to me not because Delhi is stressed out but I feel that the stress quotient in a city like Mumbai is no less. Come on, Mumbai is a city where you need to be constantly on the edge and you are busy like hell..forget about sparing time for others, you can hardly afford any time for yourself. That's the city on the move for you. True, Mumbai is more chilled out than Delhi in the sense that Mumbai is less aggressive and somewhat better place for women. But, it is debatable.
The survey ranks Mumbai on the sixth position with a happiness quotient of 776 as compared to Delhi which find itself at number 15 with an HQ of 609. It is assessed by our happy leaning through leisure time, entertainment and social life. Well, the world is crazy. What surprises me even more that Pune's level of happiness reaches 748 at number nine. Well, I just can't agree that Mumbai scores inches ahead of Pune. True, Pune is no longer the peaceful and laid back city that it used to be and the guilty are the builders who have put a nail in the coffin of Mumbai are hell bent to destroy Pune.
It's a crazy world and I wonder what defines happiness for an average person. Money? But, it entails a more stressful life. Friends? I agree with that coz it's important for us to have our emotional support in place but above all, the time to indulge in things we love doing and satisfy our creative quest. I, for one, love sipping cutting chai at the tapdi in the company of friends. Do we have time to so?! I wonder. Anyway, let's try to be happy!


Happy wala budday to Trident

A birthday is a day to rejoice and a reminder of how youthful you are. You sit and enjoy the praises showered by everybody to you. It add zing to your existence as you turn nine. This spell true for Trident, an offspring of Oberoi Group of Hotels who celebrated its ninth anniversary on Monday, 7 January.
Staying at Trident Hotel is a refreshed experience as the hotel staff does everything to ensure that your stay is a fruitful one and laden with positive energy. The vigor with which the staff fulfil their duties is a treat and they approach their work with so much love and passion. It is a lesson in hotel management and a life-long lesson that one can learn. As you check-in at Trident hotel, you are welcomed by bright faces and the traditional namaste and the beautiful and charming hostess applies a tilak on your forehead. No matter how professional someone is, the traditional Athithi Devo Bhava is not lacking at Trident Hotel and certainly not at Gurgaon. As you are given your room number bearing the trademark, Trident with its tagline, "At Trident You are Sure" a hostess accompanies you to the room where the TV is displayed with the welcome video of the hotel.
The room is beautifully displayed where the bed sheets are placed in such a cleaned, flawless and romantic manner and no night god can deter you from falling asleep. You have a mini bar, tea/coffee making spot and of course, wifi internet connection that is moderately priced. What struck me is how the newspapers and magazines are neatly arranged and the valet work tirelessly to make your room feel like home. Staying at Trident is so much a beautiful experience that you can easily afford to give a miss to your home.
The chef at Cilantro offers a variety of exotic dishes for lunch and dinner such as flavors of Italy, spice street, barbecue chicken. Add to that the sumptious delicacies such as gulab jamun and the wonderful ice cream. You can try out an entire gamut of business lunch at Saffron and relax over a glass of beer watching over cricket or football at the bar. Plus, the coffee at Cilantro is amazingly strong to kick up your day so is the cappucino along with a complementary cookie at the bar. The cherry on the cake is the dedicated staff who goes a long way to ensure that you enjoy your breakfast, lunch or dinner in relax manner. As Anubha, assistant manager at Cilantro told me, we are trained to work hard sir and manage a smile on our face. That was when I asked her how do the staff manage to sport a smile on their faces considering that they work so hard. I wondered whether a bad day may have an effect on the angelic faces. But, that's Trident where they are always smiling and the mantra seem to be The Customer is King.
Another staff told me that they work 14 hours a day and add to that is the munimum sleep that they can afford in a day. Still, there is no lack of sparkle on their faces that is determined o bring joy and happiness to the lives of their most esteemed customers. This is the strength of the hotel, their usp is that they are customer centric and one can see that the hotel will never face recession. During a chat with the communication manager, Akanksha Banerji who confessed that she often take a walk to the hotel lobby and the bright and ever-smiling faces of the kids add vigor and positive smile to her face. Holier than truth as I bear testimony to that since despite being tired with work, the ever-smiling faces spread like magic and the tiredness mysteriously disappears.
The hotel room falls nothing short of the place one call home and is equipped with WiFi facilitiy.Plus, there is a small bar where you can make tea, coffee and grab a whisky. There are fruits layed on your table and the dedicated room valet will ask you whether you need some varied fruit apart from the banana and apple. You can learn one thing or two from the valet who neatly arrange the room, lay the bed sheets and fold your newspapers.
Tired after a hard day. Just lie in the bathroom and enjoy the spa as water drop on your body. Certainly, it's an experience in hotel management as the stay at Trident and the work stay is indeed holidaying made possible by Trident.
You can also enjoy a quiet evening at the pool bar where you get access to free wifi till 10 pm and work on your ipad and laptop over a glass of wine and whisky. The beautiful architecture at Trident hotel make one's stay frothy and relaxing. Trident Gurgaon is certainly a gateway to heaven and as the tag line says, At Trident You Are Sure. It certainly is.


Dollops of dreams and cookies

There are days when you don't have the slightest, mundane idea what to jostle armed with the lappie's key board and yet, you can resist the creative urge to write. Well, I just wrapped up the collector's edition of Outlook magazine, When I was 17 November's issue. It released the goosebumps to write something on the blog.
I am not taking a life from the theme to go back to the 17 groove no matter how tempting and mouth-watering it is. As I gleaned through the magazine, some ideas cropped in the mind but since I didn't care to jot it down, it got lost in translation. Guess, it got to do with the left part of my brain that keep on forgetting ideas. Here, I am blogging without the slightest idea as how this post will turn out.
It's the start of brand 2012 and hopeful that I am that the new year will usher with new hopes, dreams and achievement coming my way. True, 2011 was a pretty decent year that ended on a bang and 2012 was an amazing year and I hope that 2013 may be a decent year even if the hits of the two successive years are missing. I also hope that 2013 turn out to be a good year for the world, especially for women and that they face less discrimination and they are not oppresed. The mindset must change for the betterment of everybody and paving the way for better and equal society.
I love travelling and barring the few places that I visited, I wanna visit more and more place like Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Pondicherry, among so many places in India and wanna visit Venice in Italy, Istambul in Turkey, Paris in France, Egypt, London and New York in US. In 2014, I wanna go for the world cup in Brazil and this is one of the places I am raring to go. The globe trotter that I am in the making hope to see the world and meet so many new people, sharing similar interests. I am also looking forward to go on work-related travel and am pinning my hope that the adventure repeats itself in 2013. Finally, the plan is on to travel for holidays in December..Oh! December! I can't wait for you to come and bless me with travel.
See, I told you that this post is going nowhere and I am caught in dollops of dreamy adventures. Does it mean that I am bored and it's a prelude that the world will crash?! Dunno! Let me unveil a small secret: I am really missing my cutting chai in the monsoon and yeah, I know that it's not monsoon right now but but..ahem! ahem!
Okie! Let's speak a bit about gadgets and then I'll move to books. I finally laid my hands on an IPad generation four and an HTC One X phone. I love both gadgets that turned out to be my most prized possessions and I think now that I gotta get done with one of the habit that I hate, reading E-books and these are things that I can do on my apple and phone. Either ways, both gadgets comes up very handy and you can work while traveling. Yesterday, I did work on my apple for the first time as a reporter and it's such a beautiful and cherished moment. I am planning to chuck out the traditional note pad and pen which I will use only during extreme situation. Coming to books, I am in the process of wrapping up Blink, a psychological and well-researched book on our cognitive intelligence and human minds that was gifted by a friend in office for my birthday. I also started with Aravind Adiga and am in the process of wrapping up by next week. I am laughing all the way to the knowledge bank.
I shall wrap up my ranting now as the post doesn't seem to go anywhere. Well, I did try to bring something jazzy up while writing but the imaginative and creative skills have failed me up. Oh! Silly mind how I hate you. Guess, I should seriously consider going to Himalayas, smoking joints to draw inspiration to write.


Pledge for a better 2013

Come this time of the year, we brace ourselves to set things afresh and set for new year resolutions. I have applied the brake to resolutions since they are made to be broken. So, it's been ages I have stopped making resolution as we usher in a new year full of promises and hope.
I pledge to treat women with respect and protest against any situation when a women is treated in an unfair manner and shall protest against such uncouth behavior. I have always believed in men and women being equal in society but, unfortunately, many men don't get it in the right way. Such men must be taught a lesson. I shall intervene when things get out of control and will no tolerate such nonsense.
Every time, I say the same things but it looks like its an old song rehearsed and oft-repeated. Well, it's been ages since I started writing a script and novel. Every time, I say that I shall work more regularly with my novel and script. Alas! I end up not doing anything about it. In 2013, I pledge of working more diligently and this time I am not fixing any ambition of finishing the draft since it never happen. I shall strive to be more regular in my creative urge.
I have also fixed in my mind to be more cautious with spending. The spend thrift that I am was finally able to settle my huge credit card debt of 19k. I took a whole year to do so thanks to the company bonus and leave money that was due. I finally heave a sign of relief. I shall make each and every effort to save my money so that I am able to..to..afford my end of year holidays in Goa and perhaps, Dilli. I shall do it. Plus, effort will be needed and desired to cut on smoking which is a killer and till now, my addict habit is not leaving. It takes a lot to cut on fags and am confident to be successful on that count.
I am also planning to join an insurance plan and I gotta the shameless nerve to say that it's an idea I toyed with since a year. Naturally, like most ideas it fell flat on my face but this time I gotta be serious with the insurance plan as a back up saving. Dude! Dude! I gotta seriously cut on unnecessary expenses which has been a hindrance to my material well-being.
Professionally speaking, I shall prepare my work beforehand as often I land up in office without plan to cook stories and I am often sent in a tizzy and caught in a swirl of confusing and panicking activities. I shall ensure that I have some stories in place before reaching office and it start from tomorrow. I also pledge to spend less time in office and hunt for more stories outside by meeting people. 2013  will be the time to move my ass further away from the chair to meet contacts and make stories. I am also on the look out for some freelance work with media houses in UAE, Malaysia and, perhaps, Mumbai and Delhi for some first hand experience. There are so much to write and if I rack up my brains and be consistent, there are some thousand ideas that I can come up with.
This blog has lacked short stories in 2012. I shall come up with several short stories, letters and real life incidents. Moreover, let me announced that I have turned up as an ant-rape social activist and many posts will be devoted to the issue. The rape of 'Nirbhaya'/ 'Damini'/ 'Amanat', the daughter of India has changed my life and millions of Indians across the globe. I used the social media to spread awareness on the issue of rape and shall do more to spread the message on the issue where women are repeatedly rape. I am serious on the issue and shortly, a short story on the plight of women is in the offing.