Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friends Has Some Of My Favourite Songs Ever...

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

"There is always light at the end of the tunnel"... "The night is darkest before dawn"... Yada yada yada...

And I just saw a sign!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cracker!

"Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals."
- Buddha

Friday, July 18, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na...

...falls short of my expectation. Nothing bad about it. Seriously. Nothing bad about it. But still. It is umm... let me start from the next paragraph.

I went in after hearing good reviews from friends and sites. My sis wasn't too enthused by the movie, but most people I talked to were. The movie worked on most levels for me, but a couple of subjective points brought it down a bit.

Firstly, the lack of actual humour. I found myself fascinated by Naseeruddin Shah, Paresh Rawal and Jiggy at times and the guest appearance bros, but overall, the laughs were quite forced. You expect the hero to be funny at times too, but I can't recollect a single scene with the lead guy being funny. I like humour in generous doses and this movie fell short. Even Kismat Konnection, which I saw yesterday had its golden humorous moments, but not JTYJN.

Secondly, the lack of sparks between the lead actors. I found the chemistry sorely lacking from the side of the lead heroine. I don't know if her dialogues were dubbed, but one just could not feel the emotion in her dialogues. Genelia looked sweet and all, but no siree... Didn't work for me.

On the positive side, it was a refreshing story setting, though very much akin to Dil Chahta Hai. No negative points there though. I love the contemporary direction our movies are taking these days, and full marks for the depiction of college life, modern parental issues as they are.

Imran Khan makes a nice debut. He has screen presence and looks good, though again, the lack of humour for his role somewhat dented it for me. All in all, nice package.

I loved the girl playing Meghana. She lit up the screen from the first scene she played and I really liked her more than Genalia in the movie. Im not sure if it was Rimi Sen playing that part, but anyways, I liked her. Too bad, she didnt have too many scenes :(

Update: Googled it and it's Manjari Phadnis who is playing that part!

The guys playing Jiggy and Shaleen were superb. I loved the typical Gujju Jigness show and Sugandha Garg was fantastic. Again a pity that she wasn't given too much screen time. I hope to see more of her soon.

The star of the show for me was undoubtedly Prateik Babbar. What did he have? 5 scenes??? But the guy absolutely blew me away. I really, really hope that I can see him in the same intense personality role with a lengthier screen time very soon. Want to see him in a Godfather types role and see how it works out. Let's see if he can handle that (I mean it in a good way. Would like to see what his range is.)

All in all, a timepass movie and three hours well spent!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Try It On Him, I Say

Maybe then, the value of his answers will be more than by normal question and answer.

One Unread Message

Chapter 5: Where It Really Begins

"Yaar, tu bandiyon ke naam bade mast rakhta hai!" said Sameer, amidst fits of laughter. Venky was joining him, slapping his back and both couldn't control their amusement. "Don't mind them, Naveen. I think it's a really nice story," said Priya, smiling at him. They held on for a moment and they both joined Sameer and Venky in laughing uncontrollably. Naveen could see Sameer making paper airplanes from the manuscript he had given them to read and float them over the promenade at Marine Drive. The airplanes flew long and low and finally settled over the waters, reflecting the shining lights of the beautiful Queen's Necklace in downtown Mumbai.

The traffic had trickled down as the hours had passed and the friends had the entire stretch of Nariman Point to themselves. Naveen's Zen was parked down the road and Sameer had his Scooty besides it.

Naveen had just shown the first draft of the story he was writing to his friends. He liked that his friends atleast found it amusing, even if they couldn't stop making jokes about "his sweet writing" or "emotional content" or the "romantic twists in the storyline."

"No, seriously yaar, there are a couple of points with your story-telling. Pehle toh tujhe likhni nai aati. Upar se itni tooti-footi English mein likhta hai. But again, tu bandiyon ke naam mast rakhta hai yaar!" Venky had paused enough to give his expert critique on the manuscript. Naveen punched him lightly and smiled at Priya.

"Seriously man. Geetanjali, Samarra, Nimisha! Where do you come up with these names man? Are there any people I should know about?" she winked at him.

Naveen just looked away into the distance watching the fading lights of the steamers in the Arabian Sea. He was smiling. The light breeze floating by put him in a very good mood. The moon cast a bright light on the foursome as they sat there, laughing, chatting, enjoying each others company.

"Arre, come in guys. The music is getting really awesome. You don't wanna miss it!" Sanjana's voice floated from across the street. She was standing in front of Not Just Jazz By The Bay and motioning for them all to move in.

They got up to go in. Venky and Sameer, Priya, Naveen.

Naveen turned back, closed his eyes and felt that breeze ruffle his hair for one last time. He loved it.

He remembered the words from the movie Memento:

"I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning. Even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still here. Do I believe the world's still here? Is it still out there? Yeah. We all need memories to remind ourselves who we are. Im no different."

"Now, where was I?"


He looked back to see his friends going in. He smiled.

"We lay in each other's arms, but the room is just an empty space. I guess we lived it out. Something in the air. We smile too fast, then can't think of a thing to say..."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 4: One Unread Message

"Gimme Hope.. Hope Once Again..." crooned Kansas on the iTunes Radio.

Ved sat with a glass of Jack Daniel's, the lights switched off, immersed in the music playing on his MacBook. Looking out of his window, he took in the sights of the beautiful European city of Prague by night light.

Prague, or Praha, as he loved to call it, was beautiful. One of the most eye-catching cities in Europe, it had a glorious heritage and had only been slightly damaged by World War II, which had left its bedazzling splendor almost intact. Prague was an important cultural and economic center in Europe and Ved was here on business.

Years earlier, his father had visited Czechoslovakia and now he had the privilege to be here. Like father, like son, thought Ved and smiled wryly.

He closed his eyes and the years seemed to flash by as quickly as they had sped by. He felt as if he was sitting in a time machine and had been spit forward an aeon in an instant. Images floated into his consciousness from nowhere and he groped in the dark to make sense of them.

He heard voices in the distance. He couldn't tell if it was Pink Floyd singing: "Where were you, when I was burned or broken?" or the sound of Geetanjali saying goodbye as she had boarded her flight to the US to join Wharton. He wasn't sure if it was Geetanjali's voice he had heard on his voice mailbox saying: "Ved, I'm sorry, but I do not wish to continue my relationship with you. I hope you understand."

If she had said nothing and disappeared, he would have maybe been able to come to terms with it. But a one-liner goodbye to years of togetherness crippled him. He was left with no answers and with no one to question what happened?

"What the hell happened?" he had asked himself so many times, but till date walls couldn't speak and so he hadn't received his answer.

He finished his drink and sat down to complete his presentation. Blackstratblues was playing "Anuva's Sky" and he smiled to himself. It was his favourite track and it put him in a good mood.

Ved needed to be nothing short of brilliant in his presentation to the client tomorrow. The client was one of the top banks in the Czech Republic and getting the win would help i-flex get a foot in the door to the lucrative emerging market of the Czech Republic and associated markets for it's flagship banking product.

He quickly went through the slides. In matters of work, Ved was a perfectionist. He trimmed down the unnecessary gimmickry, formatted the text to give it a uniform look, did a retake on the comparison of technologies between the product offerings of i-flex, Misys and Temenos and mentally ticked off the advantages he would be listing for i-flex vis a vis the others.

He completed his assignment, printed copies and put them in neat handouts for each of his clients. He smiled on the job well done and for the fact that all of a sudden, Mark Knopfler had begun to play "Going Home" on his iTunes.

Ved placed his notes in his briefcase, did a quick check of the Prague map to locate the directions to Prague castle, put on his favourite AC Milan jersey, dabbed on some Boss cologne and stepped into his loafers.

"You have mail!" squaked the lady voice on his MacBook. He loved his MacBook. It was a work of art and he was endlessly fascinated by each detailed feature that it offered.

He closed his eyes and smiled. Life was being kind to him.

One Unread Message, said his mailbox. It was from Nimisha.

Pink Floyd played "Wish You Were Here."

(to be continued)

Today's Quote on my Blog

It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.
- Mother Teresa

Friday, July 11, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 3: Paradise Lost (Part I)

Geetanjali Roy: Bharatnatyam dancer. Extempore speaker extraordinaire. Classical music lover. The love of his life.

Ved held the photo in his hands. She smiled out of the photograph. It was the smile that had captured his heart 17 years earlier. And he smiled back.

It was a simple smile. The smile of someone content within her own world. The smile of someone who truly cared for life. The smile of someone who had endured pain and yet chose to live life positively.

Ved had seen her and wondered if he was out of his depth in asking her out. But courage got the better of sanity and he had asked her out.

He was glad to know that her favourite colour was blue, her favourite hero was Leonardo di Caprio, that she loved classical music and found solace in Bharatnatyam. He found himself privileged to know that she wanted to write a book, that she was religious, that she wanted a great lifestyle.

He had asked himself what made him ask her out. He never truly got a satisfactory response from himself, excluding: "Her smile mesmerised me. And I wanted to know her better." He told himself that it was her joie-de-vivre that brought a smile to his face. He loved himself because of who she made him.

She brought out the best and worst in him. The 17-year old Ved didnt know what hit him. He tried to make sense of that which happened around him, but all he could think of was: Geetanjali.She introduced him to a life that he hadn't known previously. He found himself free in her company. He truly loved her and wanted the best for her. He found himself a better man just because she had walked into his life.

But just as she was great for him, he also saw a side of him that he didn't know exist. The one where he was mean for no reason; where he was insecure in her company and lost without it; the one where he tried his best, but knew he was losing.

All the same, he had decided that inspite of his privileged upbringing, he would stand on his own feet before proposing marriage to her.

And he did. The trip to Tokyo in his first year as a rookie changed his life.

They say that your destiny is written before you are born and you are but, an implementer of the prophecy.

Well, whatever fate had in store for him, Ved decided he would take his fate in own hands and worked hard to establish himself. He worked hard, tried harder and sincerely gave it his all during his first stint at Tokyo. He had come into the project at a critical juncture and managed to see off the worst days and streamline his project.

His hard work didn't go unnoticed. He was promoted to technical lead in his very first project. It was unprecedented and gave him the confidence that he was capable of achieving his dreams. He earned the respect of his seniors through the dint of his hard work and selfless support that he gave to his project.

Practically, he had also saved some money and was in a position to offer comforts to Geetanjali. Ved understood that financial stability was an important factor in a marriage and any girl would expect her guy to be in a financially stable position before asking her to marry him.

He worked hard to be able to offer the same to Geetanjali. Often when he worked 24+ hour days, he asked himself why he needed to do it? Why did he need to sacrifice his life to serve those who never could do him any good? But the photograph of her that he carried in his wallet always looked back at him and said: "Ved, you are doing it for me. Just a few more days, my dear and we can live happily ever after, you know. It might happen only in fairy tales, but tell you what, we can actually live out our dreams in real life." And with renewed vigour, he tore into his assignments and worked and worked and worked...

(to be continued)

One Unread Message

Chapter 2: Appa

25th June, 1994

"Dear Appa. Wish you a very happy birthday. I wish to congratulate you on your birthday today and hope that you will have many more such great days to come. I admire you and what you stand for. I hope that someday I will become the man you want me to be. But whether I am successful or not in the eyes of the world, I want to be successful in your eyes. I know you wish to see me enter into IIM, Ahmedabad and I promise you that I will fulfill this dream of yours.

Love,
Ved."

Ved knew every word of that letter by-heart, 14 years after having written it. It is the kind of letter you write with hope, optimism, love, respect and an honest heart. He smiled when he remembered it each time and involuntarily gave a sad shrug, when brought back to his present. Sitting now on his bed at home and untying his tie, he looked into the mirror: his hair was edged with grey though he was not losing hair; his skin was lighter in complexion from all the indoors work; the worry lines had etched themselves a little more deeper with each passing year; the creases left by his dimples showed themselves favourably.

"Appa, Appa! Come down fast! See what Bugs Bunny is upto!" The sound of 5-year old Samarra brought a smile back to Ved's face and he proceeded to change into his house clothes before descending the flight of stairs to the living room, where the joy of his life sat engrossedly watching Looney Tunes on her beloved channel: Cartoon Network!

He took a full look at his beloved daughter. Her name "Samarra" meaning "a joy for all who see" had been his idea. And truly, she was the joy, the light, the binding for his life.

Then he sat down on the couch and took her in his lap; and not once did little Samarra blink her eyes from the exciting exploits of her favourite rabbit: Bugs Bunny!

(to be continued)

Shes Beautiful!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Triple Play

I complete 3 years of service today! So many wonderful friends Iv met, beautiful experiences and all the money ;)

Let there be more!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Never Give Up, Never Give In, Never Quit...

To have a burning dream and desire does not mean you get what you desire. Time has taught me that simple lesson so many times.

Today was yet another instance.

The world is justified in telling me that I am not good enough, I am not capable, I do not deserve it. That is it's job.

My job is to care a damn and keep plugging away. And that is what I will do.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Its The Game, Not The Player

You know what Football means to me? It means: Play every game like it's your life, play like there is no tomorrow, play because you love it never expecting anything back, play to win but play fair, play without fear, play to be a hero but be prepared to lose, play like it is your life, play for the ones you love and for yourself, play for the joy of life, play to score goals, play to express yourself, play to enjoy life, play to thank God, play to feel the green grass beneath your feet, play to run, play to smile, play to feel love, play to live life.

There is nothing more beautiful in this world than football.

Football is life. Football is love.

Football is my reason for existence.

Which FRIENDS Character Are You?

Iv always wondered that most of us must have traits of FRIENDS characters within us. From the love of Ross and Rachel to the sweet weirdness of Phoebe to the bindass attitude of Joey to the efficiency and true love of Monica to the amazing humour of Chandler.

So, which FRIENDS character do you relate to the most?

P.S: Psst... I think I relate most to Chandler ;)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Shahrukh the SRK

I really admire Shah Rukh Khan for many things. One is for his strong, stable marriage. With the pressures of stardom and the general insecurity in Bollywood marriages, its commendable how SRK and Gauri Khan have maintained such a strong bond over time.

Two, for the man himself. I had been to the IPL match between Mumbai and Kolkata and each time they showed SRK on screen, the entire stadium was booing him. But he was blowing kisses back to the audience. It was really a nice gesture and though we were supporting Mumbai and opposing Kolkata, one admired his grace.

Friday, July 04, 2008

One Unread Message

Chapter 1: A Little Bit Of Tokyo Goes A Long Way

"Good morning Sir. We are serving breakfast now. What can I serve you?" The voice of the air-hostess woke up Ved Subramanian. "Orange juice please." he said. "Very well." said the air-hostess and proceeded to pour out a Tropicana Orange in a tall glass with three ice-cubes.

Ved Subramanian was 34, a Solutions Architect with i-flex Solutions and on the flight back from Tokyo to Mumbai. He had been in Tokyo for 3 days to meet with the CTO of Shinsei Bank, Mr. Jay Mazumdar in line with the launch of the Mobile Banking solutions for the bank. They had had a fruitful discussion over the role i-flex was to play in supplementing the existing data service offerings over Mobile Banking with growth plans for the future. After meeting Jay-san, Ved had met with the delivery team for Mobile Banking and discussed the current targets for delivery.

Shinsei Bank had set a target for itself to expand rapidly using technology as it's driver and i-flex Solutions was at the forefront of delivering the solutions to help the bank achieve it's aim.

Ved had been working in the Shinsei account for close to 2 years now and Tokyo was one of his favourite places in the world to visit. He loved the pace of the city, the vibrant places to visit: the crowds of Shibuya, the serenity of Asakusa, the restaurants by the waterfront at Odaiba. He had been coming to Tokyo for the past 13 years and his love affair with the city had begun on his first visit as a wide-eyed fresher. He could speak Japanese well enough to hold business meetings in the language and had travelled extensively across Japan during his visits.

Taking the glass of juice, he looked out of the window to get the view outside. "Truly, God makes his creations with love, care and precision," he thought to himself, looking at the golden arches of the sun's rays streaking across the virgin blue of the morning sky.

And in the instant he thought it, he remembered Geetanjali.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Million Dreams Such As These

The silence of the notes speak tonight.
Remembering all the moments.
To think I will be growing older without you.
To think I would maybe die with your name on my lips.
To think I wove a million dreams around you.
A million dreams such as these.

A wonderful life, we are living.
Walking onwards, path by path, day by day.
I try not to look back too often,
I try not to look back very much.

I stood wide-eyed watching my world unravel,
I stood helpless from the mention of your name.
I looked down, coz I didn't want my eyes to give away my world of hope and dreams.

If only I had known,
How futile were my million dreams.

But tell you what,
We are born to survive. We are born to keep going.
To dream a million and one dreams. To live that one'th more dream.

And of all the paths I walked, I love the one with your smile.

The past is gone and the past has been buried.
I love the present, I love the future.

It is but a million dreams such as these, that I am left with.

The Story As It Happened

Things are moving well here. After the initial storm and "losing" my bearings, I am back in the saddle and moving fast towards the destination. Its been enjoyable and I enjoy the feel of pressure at a laidback pace.

The Shinsei learnings are really helping me and I am really, really happy with work and life in general. I know where I am going and have a semblance of a plan at last.

We closed the SIT for Islamic Banking today and are moving to UAT. A few days of UAT and with proper planning, we can go to production with the Islamic functionality currently on standby. Corporate developments are expected to be delivered soon.

It is fun to work under the right amount of pressure. To be honest, it isn't the client driving you that matters, but your own sense of duty and enjoyment at solving issues that really brighten up ones day.

My analytical skills have really sharpened over the last year and a half (any B-schools listening??? ;) and it contributes to enjoying the problem solving even more.

Well, all in all, its been a good day and a good 2 weeks in Abu Dhabi so far. A trip which started with almost everything going wrong has metamorphosed into one where I take the steps towards building a good career.

So long and so forth and seeya next time.

Arigatoo... Shukran :)

Masail Khair!