Tuesday 12 December 2006

My Poem

There are poems that move you to tears,
And there are poems that address allying fears;
There are poems, intellectual and profound,
And there are poems that make the world go round;

And then, there is my poem...

My poem arrives with an exalted cry,
Promises celebration until I die;

My poem walks on its tiny feet,
I learn to drive before taking the seat;

My poem sees life in its purest form,
With joy in my heart and my heart full of song;

My poem revels in mischevous pranks,
Of childhood days and spontaneous cranks;

My poem talks about a man called Father,
Life without him is "no life" rather;

My poem tells me about a woman named Mother,
Her blessings and food - like no other;

My poem meets its adolescent life,
In all its glory and impulsive strife;

My poem soaks in the glee of its first crush,
The brashness, the risque and all that mush;

My poem raises a toast to the word - friendship,
How can i let those precious hands slip?

My poem celebrates the world of relationships,
Not money, not fame but the small joys from life's trip;

The small joys...

My poem encompasses the break of dawn
My poem sings the last song of dusk
My poem bathes in silver ponds
My poem drinks the nectar they call water
My poem relishes the chocolate mousse
My poem savours the roadside food
My poem dances to random notes
My poem sails the sunshine boat

My Poem...

My poem as of today is at an important juncture,
Will it tread the unconventional or the popular culture? ;

But then my poem steers its own course,
Tells me, thats how I shall meet my source;

My poem inculcates some values too,
Of discipline, hardwork and distractions few;

My poem rings in the old world charm,
Of chivalry, romance and everything warm;

And then my poem felicitates the perfection of man,
That if I want, I certainly Can;

My poem knows that there is that much time,
Why sulk, why crib, why mourn, why whine? ;

My poem finally expresses the power of love,
The force that makes dastard men rise above;

My poem ends with a noble thought,
In the end, men and grass will become nought;

So, my poem is a gift from God. Just like your poem and yours too.
Because my poem is not mere words on paper.
My poem is ME.



Anuj Gosalia

Tuesday 28 November 2006

On the hows and whys of Himesh Reshammiya



India is a "hero-starved" nation. A nation that seeks heroism in all walks of life. History in the form of Ramayana, Mahabharata, the War of Independence are testimony. Our heritage is a reflection of our chain of thought. The present era is no different. From Sachin Tendulkar in cricket to SRK in the movies, India wants or I may dare to say needs to identify with a demi-god in human form. And this incessant need creates a market waiting to be tapped. Given this background, it is not surprising that mediocrity is often elevated to heroic proprtions to fit the need of this market by smart brand managers. Pull the right strings and you'd end up becoming the toast of this nation. One such man who's got his game spot-on is none other than Mr. Himesh Reshammiya. He works on a simple premise that India needs a rockstar. And he claims to have all the makings of one. Not a singer, not an actor but a rockstar. A rockstar minus the pseudo phirang antics of unkempt long hair and electric guitars. This man works and how.

The Big Idea : Presenting to you the One and Only Indian Rockstar - Himesh Reshammiya. A distinct brand identity that will strike a chord with the man in Sonwada village, Gujarat as well as the club-hoppers in Palk Street, Kolkatta.

As much as I despise his genre of music, I belong to a miniscule section of like-minded individuals. "HR's genre" of music itself speaks volumes about his penetration in the music industry.

The Real Picture: Close to one-third of India's population sways to "Aap ka Suroor" and his other anthems. So what works for the man?
Lets dig deep into one of the most fascinating case-studies in Brand Creation and Brand Building.

1. Brand mein dum hai kya ? :- Starting his career as a music director, Himesh got initially noticed for his upbeat numbers in 'Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya'. Himesh then did a series of Sallu flicks. The initial recognition gave him the much needed encouragement that a new brand requires in a fresh market. This was his testing gorund. He had succeeded in understanding his brand potential.

2. Starting mein full public mein nahin aane ka :- Himesh underplayed to a large extent in his initial years. HR as a brand was largely unrecognised. Premature entry of a product into an over-crowded market can be disastrous. Himesh waited for that one elusive hit film.

His official mass recognition as a music director came with Tere Naam. An album that found superior brand loyalty with rickshawallas, chaiwallas etc. The songs attained junta popularity. Remember the "Lagan Lagi's" in rickshaw rides across the city? Tere Naam ensured that he had a market for his music. Even then, the music was not Himesh. It was an old-school, Nadeem Shravan-ish genre of music. It was of importance that he offered something unique to the audience for longevity.

Understanding your product in terms of market offering is very essential. A Nestle Munch might be an excellent product but Kit-Kat will always have the upper hand in brand recall with regards to waferbiscuit chocolates. For a brand to become huge it has to be novel, one-of-a-kind.

3. Experimental Jhol-Jhal :- Aashiq Banaya Aapne took the nation by storm. Himesh lended his vocals to his song for the first time. It worked and how. To experiment with your talent is essential to attain the big break. He'd have never known that had he not tried.
Post the phenomenal success of "Aashiq Banaya Aapne" Himesh was quick to understand and realize that he had hit the right formula. Capturing what works and not making it a 'One-Off' worked in his favour. Post which he adhered to another simple philosophy : If it ain't broke, don't fix it !

4. Senses ko fultoo trap karne ka :- This was probably the moment when he realised that he had found his ticket to fame. Behind the mic made him unidentifiable. Rockstars aren't shy to expose themselves, their emotions. The true-blue rockstar is the macho man who can cry for his beloved without giving two hoots about what people think of him. This was his identity. A man that would pull the senti string of an emotional nation and mesmerize them.

5. Brand design jhakaas hona mangta :- Reshammiya has developed his trademark style of composition, based on pop music and catchy techno beats. He also places a particular emphasis on melodic hooks to his songs. Reshammiya has a unique fashion sense that makes him a recognizable face within and outside the Indian film industry. He wears a baseball cap and is usually seen wearing a pair of jeans with a conspicuous belt buckle along with his trademark stubble. The way he holds the mic with the bottom facing upwards and the trench coat that he wears in concerts and his videos are also consistent elements of his style. His packaging is flawless, distinct and consistent. Cadbury has been purple with white fonts ever since its inception and its taste has been more or less the same in years too. The same funda works for the man. Distinctive music, distinctive style.

6. Aage kya? :- The man is everywhere and his music videos have nearly saturated the market. The "In your face" approach worked in the initial stages of Himmy hysteria. Now a lot will depend on his next move. He realises that people are getting used to his monotony. But Himesh bhai has another ace up his sleeve. Three aces infact.

a) Aap ka Suroor - The Real Luv Story (The Moviee) : Yes our man explores new grounds in what seems to be a movie based on his love-life. See the use of the word "Luv" and "Moviee". As wannabe as they seem to the urban junta, it works with the masses. Time will tell. Don't be surprised if the movie breaks a few box-office records especially overseas where he has a loyal and an ever-increasing fan base.

b) HR School of Music - This one is a super-hit because a dearth of music schools is a genuine problem and also an unexplored market.

c) HR's signature line of clothes - A bold move in his effort to extend the Himesh Reshammiya brand. Quality and resemblance to his outfits will determine success. Pricing will also be decisive. The upmarket liberal spenders will avoid coming close to his line of clothes. The 'aam aadmi' will buy if it offers VFM.

This effort was to determine and rationalize how brands work and why certain brands gain far-reaching popularity. One cannot negate the luck factor and the man's hardwork and fierce ambition to succeed while analyzing him. But a lot of us work hard and are supremely ambitious. But there is only one SRK, one Sachin Tendulkar and one Himesh Reshammiya *I am saddened to put him in that league but am only getting used to it*. The difference is that their ambition is backed by keen insight and heightened awareness. To conclude his journey in the words of Robert Frost :

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Sunday 29 October 2006

Mr. Nine

An English Gentleman named Mr. Nine,
Took, one eve, an Indian lady out to dine,
And he called a five course meal for two ;
The chef bought in the wine and cheese,
Waiter! she said, "Serve the rasmalai please",
Aghast, he looked at her in disdain.

As he sat, observing the seconds' hand,
Her etiquette mellowed his erotic gland,
Giving our man reasons enought to whine;
At that moment he saw Madame Emily Stitch,
Hard men call her the promiscuous bitch,
And so a Stitch in time saved Nine.

Thursday 21 September 2006

Warsaba : of A Timeless Love

I am brimming with nostalgia. My naked feet pave a pathway on an otherwise isolated canopy of untamed trees, shrubs and creepers. Smiling to myself, laughing loudly at times, I make the forest come alive. The wrinkles make miniscule waves on my tarred cheeks as I smile from within. The trees bend like teenage gossipers wanting to hear musings about random first-loves. Cackles of devilish laughter paralyze the bees in the midst of their nectar-nal activities. Against the white, blue currents of the river I sit on the forlorn rock. Gathering my breath I make my way to the adjacent entrance. It is a bright red gate. There are balloons and christmas-trees adorning the gate. The walls are done up in punky graffiti. Inspite of the solemness and sanctity attached to the place, it gives out another reason to live.One of the wall reads "So, how was the ride dude?". Another reads "Where's the party tonight?" and the huge, spray-painted sidewall screams : Bravo!. In a secluded corner, in metal,was engraved - Cemetery.

"Rohaan Carnegie", he cleared his throat as he introduced himself in his unwarm voice. A sense of deja vu ran through him as he took his name for the second time in 48 years. "Parinaz", "Parinaz Ahana". 'Mera Lucknow se aana', I giggled as I introduced myself.'

I recollect the shy diffidence in Rohaan's voice as I run my fingers through my hair, every strand of which stands testimony to timeless memories. My unkempt nails leave behind stains of life on my hair. Stains of meals shared, skin felt, and tears seeped.


"I am the caretaker of this cemetery. I have been working here over the past twenty five years, what can I do for you?", his tone as if he owned that grey mausoleum.Nothin much that you can do but give me company, I am the new sweeper", she said. "Rohaan Mia, humein in murdo ki sehad ka khayaal rakhne allah ne yahaan bulaaya hai", in an angelic voice which startled Rohaan. "If you are not aware, you will work under my instructions. You will report to me every morning", said Rohaan in a cold, unapologetic tone. She laughed, "Yahaan, jahaan allah taala khud humein unke instructions pe leke aate hai, wahaan aapki or meri kahaan chalegi, khair baaki aapki marzi... i've come here to make this seemingly boring place a lil' more exciting and colourful, tum saath doge humaara", in a voice that leaked raw energy. Rohaan for obvious reasons was shocked beyond words. In his colourless world surrounding the dead, he could not fathom a) this sudden outburst of sonorous sound, b) change.

Rohaan Carnegie had had a placid childhood. There hadn't been much movement in his life. His parents passed away when he was eight. His uncle took adequate care of him. He was served a meal once in a day and had to work for thirteen hours in his garage for five years. Beyond this, his life was a smooth sail. When Rohaan was twelve, he made his first enemy. His name was "Emotions". Rohaan never understood what made people laugh, what made them cry. He never reasoned. His reasoning had no answer. He would wake up in the morning, do his work in robotic monotony, come back home, have his meal and go off to bed, everyday.

"So will you give me company?", she asked seekingly. "Yes", he said sternly. "When we die, I will ensure that my tombstone is next to yours to give you company",
he added with venom. "Hum rukenge! Aap time pe aana", she added cheekily. Rohaan did not smile. He walked away.

Rohaan undertook his tenure as the caretaker of the cemetery when he was twenty-three. He's been dead ever since. Till he found another reason to live. The dark, depressing, detached life aligned with his very being. Men and women would come to bury the dead, day in and day out. Some would cry, some would howl, some would forgive, some would discuss. Some would talk about the will, some about the sex-life, some about nothing. Some would wonder why they came, some would get bored with rituals, some would pretend to be deeply affected, some would pray. He was interested in none of the some. For him men on earth were just there. There was no meaning to existence. "As time-bound mortals, we are born on this planet to kill time", was one of his famous quotes. He wanted to save time. Thus he took up a job at the cemetery. Life for him, was not white or grey. In a grey ambience, his life was Black.

"Good morning Rohaan! - ain't it amazing to feel alive at the cemetery", said she in her traditional giggle. "No. But its amazing to die here.", he replied curtly."Why have you come here Parinaz?", he asked discomfortedly. "Kya bataaein..."

(Monologue)*Pointing at herself* Her name is Parinaz Ahana - Born in Lucknow, 1964, she hailed from a family of "vaishyas" in old lucknow. Her childhood was filled with turmoil. In school, she was an outcast and had to give up on her education at the age of fourteen although she was a bright kid with relentless untapped energy. Post independence, her family was looked down upon by Independent Indians. What irony! Her mother at that time told her something simple, yet profound - "Society will mould you to their comfort. You have two options - Change to fit in OR be yourself and form your own society. A society of liberal, free-thinkers - beyond prejudices and conventional trappings : which will let you grow in the purest possible way". Thus at the tender age of fourteen, she did what most conventional parasites call "Rebellion". She ran away from home to St.Augustus Villa in Panchgani and spent thirty-five years of her life teaching, praying and living.

*Continuing*

I taught mathematics, dance and theatre to children. I also handled the administration of the church for the last fifteen years. Under Father Menezes, I realized my true potential as a human being. He helped me identify my strenghts and honed them. He inculcated timeless basics of hardwork, focus and discipline in me. But more importantly, I learnt the power of love - pure, platonic love.

During my stay with Father Menezes at St. Augustus Villa, I learnt some beautiful life lessons :In one of his letters to me he shared,

1. Life, my child, is one big celebration. In the time between our womb and tomb, we experience the greatest spectacle in the universe. Life. The best part is, a chunk
of the celebration is designed by us.

2. Our journey is evolutionary in nature. So unless we try really hard to retard our growth and state, we will move over events and circumstances in our life which seem
devastating at that point of time.

3. Paint your life with colour. "Grey will give you insight. But grey out of choice, is no delight." So paint the town red.

4. Give love for the joy of it. Forgive for the joy of it. Pray for the joy of it. Learn for the joy of it. Live for the joy of it.

5. Do not Ahana, you promise me, give up on your integrity and loyalty to people you love, care for and swear by - even if they compromise.

6. Do not, for the sake of the Lord, take life too seriously. When God created mankind, it was one helluva' joke. Laugh with Him.

7. And lastly, do not lose faith in God. Even if he wrongs you. Just laugh at the irony and continue to celebrate.

Arm yourself with these insights and you will have no looking back in life. Life's biggest regret is that we regret. All the Best Parinaz Ahana. Conquer the World.

Father Menezes,
St. Augustus Villa,
Pachgani - 32

After serving the church and the children for thirty-five years I finally ventured into the world. I took up various odds and ends to fill my stomach. I did not have anything that society asked an employee of. Insights, experience, joy and a smile. Won't work at most places.And thus after working for eight months at a bakery where I served bread and a smile, I took up the sweeper's job at the cemetary to understand why people cry out of sadness and not joy?

"Aaanh, you have an interesting story. It's the longest i've heard in forty-eight years", and he burst out laughing, ole' Rohaan."Parinaaaz darling! - where were you? I've been waiting for over four hours now. Idiot... and when you're sleeping by me? - It's been two years now that i met with that fateful accident. It's getting damn boring here. But I love enacting our introduction act everytime we meet... In that one year you changed my life Parinaz".

"This dusky, loud, over-enthu muslim girl gave you a new life, you fool! - you were boring, old and dead. In the one year before your death, you've lived a lifetime", I announced.

"I sure have angel ! - Father Menezes was right after all. Love Wins. Always.", laughed Rohaan. "Remember, how irritated i got when you put up balloons at the entrance of the cemetery. I couldn't for the life of it believe that I, Rohan Carnegie, was letting you do it. I was warming up to your smile, wishing that you come a little early everyday and so something ridiculously new at the cemetery", said Mr.Carnegie looking into my eyes.

"Hahahaha... you bet! - tum to pure heraaan hi ho gaye, and remember how i got caricature's made on coffins - you were soooo scandilized!", I rolled.

"I Love You Parinaz", came his sudden expression. I loved it that way..."I Love You too Mr. Cemetery Caretaker", teary-eyed I told him...

"Now go back into your dumb grave and eat the blue-berry cheese cake i got for you from Aunt Martha's place. Listen to good music and if it gets stuffy inside, come out for a breather. And take care of the new christmas trees, will you?"

Anyway, 'ts time for me to go - go spread the power of our love. It might seem like an abrupt, incomplete, exaggerated excerpt of my love story to some. But for
thosesome, this narration i do not mean to write. I write this for all the people who've had the priviledge and the power to love, lose and love again. This story is a celebration of the survival instinct of humankind. It is an ode to the one man I love. My Rohaan Carnegie a.k.a Cemetery Caretaker.

Tere pyaar ne humein pyaar karna sikhaaya,
Tum naa rahein to kya,
Un chann lamhon ki badaulat,
Humnein duniya ko phirse jeena sikhaya


Love,
Parizad Ahana,
1964 - Immortality





(Read : This one's for you darlin' : your strength i admire, weakness i overlook. God Bless You. Love you. - Somebody ;)

Saturday 8 July 2006

My Alcoholic Retreat


she eyes me at the bar, she fondels her raven mane,
the glint in her eye, drives me insanely insane;
her dusky skin & her uber seductive stance,
her sultry legs deserve another glance;
the trance, tequila & vinegar highs,
in this moment-our destiny lies;
moves i make, behind hers,
reciprocating wonders;
it's a blinding night,
succulent delight;
what beauty?,
dark,sooty;
ephemeral
impulsive
luscious
hedonist
sensuous
engaging
adorable
magnetic
attractive
in this surreal moment of truth i find my feet
alas! here's where i end my alcoholic retreat.

Tuesday 4 July 2006

neO



Double click on the picture to enlarge it.

Click on the square at the bottom-right of the photo to retain enlarged image.

The Image is a graphical representation of Neo's journey through "The Matrix".

The Thought-Bubbles are relevant dialogues from the the movie that sum-up his state of mind at that point of time in the matrix.

1.The exercise is a celebration of the unlimited potential of the human mind.

2.It is also a reinforcement of my notion that each one of us has the capacity to become "The One" in our lifetimes if we believe strongly enough.

3.Beyond everything, it is an ode to the ability to break-free from the limitations imposed on us by society, peers and most importantly 'Ourselves'.






Cheers,
Anuj Gosalia a.k.a neO
Matrix Fan
Coldplay Fan
Peru Fan
Wannabe Writer too

Wednesday 28 June 2006

Chronicles of Sonwada : Sunday


The Early Riser : Sam




Warm air mellowed their home. Sonwada was an early rising village like most villages in India. Sam - the wannabe villager got up early like most villagers in India. He welcomed the sanguine Sonwada air with his own air. Sonwada was now warmer. Early mornings in Sonwada inspired Sam to pen some poetry too, warm poetry :

Subah hoti hai, havaaon mein garam khushbu hoti hai,
Murga bolta hai, suraj ki komal kirne girti hai;
Lota beckon karta, usmein bhi ek alag mazaa hota hai,
Potty hoti hai, havaaoon mein phirse alag khushbu hoti hai

Sam embarked on his sojourn on the Road Less Travelled. With a jaunt in his step, he resembled a sloth on viagara. That was how he described his renewed vigour. Am and Damn blisfully slept. Damn fantasised playing football with kids and starting a Rural PR Agency for Sonwada. He would employ the kids in a unique form of child labour wherein he'd give lessons on football, guitar and "how to pull Sam's leg" as remuneration. Am in the meantime was dreaming about rural women: The "gaon ki goris", all in backless cholis and alluring waist-lines. He had thought of cladding up in a dhoti and a sleevless kurta. At 5 ft 10", Weighing 58 kgs, he had an envious physique. He even anticipated the gori's sayin "Anuj ni body to jo - ekdum Himesh jevi che."

Sam, at that moment, was treading the Road Less Travelled. The man was thinking about how Buddha attained enlightenment under the tree at Bodh Gaya and was hunting for his own place at Sonwada where he'd renounce his desires and lead a pious life. "Abstinence from guys and cows whom he ogled at in his teen-age days", is what Sam pledged for himself. Sam was nineteen. Sam often questioned things like - is there life after death? He promised to call from wherever and tell Am & Damn really soon. They were waiting.

7.30. a.m. - Sam returns to popular culture. Aam junta infested Sonwada Proper tell Sam - Koi Shaq, Whaaazzup!. Seeing Damn on the bed with "Arms Wide Open" turns Sam On. (Read: Damn is sleeping). Sam tries to cuddle Damn. At that very moment Damn is busy playing a football match with the kids in his dream. The ball passes the midfield and moves towards the undefended part of the field. Damn, at his tactical best, does a fantastic one-man act and goes for the Roberto Carlos 30-yarder to go 1 up in the first half. As the kids strengthen their defense, Damn takes a deep-breath and lets go. At terminal velocity, his legs move to hit the ball/s.Ouch.It's a goal!

Am & Damn finally get up to Sam's crooning of "I love you O Sayonee", the latest Himesh anthem. Ofcourse, Am and Sam ended up in a brutal fight wherein Sam was ummm..brutally beaten up. Am tried the pile-driver, tombstone and the rock bottom simultaneously on Sam. Sam was ummm.. brutally beaten up. Sam tried the two legs in the air kick (read: not flying kick). It was remarkable how me managed to stay in the air for 1/173rd of a second. A feat in human acrobatics. Ofcourse, he came crashing down and he was ummm.. brutally beaten up.

Meanwhile, Damn was tryin to teach the kids football. Ofcourse, the consequences weren't as grave as his dream cum reality episode. The kids learnt various skills on how to kick the ball with their foot and foot only. On how holding the ball in their hand would make it another form of football though there was really no foot involved. The kids learnt a lot. Damn taught them how to not mistake shperical portions of human anatomy for footballs. The kids learnt a lot.

The rest of the morning was dedicated to village sight-seeing and dropping into random homes. The villagers were a cohesive unit. It was as if the families were asked to live seperately to promote the concept of "My Home, is strictly My Home". The concept failed miserably. The city-dwellers were awestruck. They thought of promoting this culture in Bombay too. Sam suggested, "Wish we could enter random-homes too. Not random really. Since Mumbai is so big, we could zero upon homes occupied by the opposite sex between the age of 19 and 19." Sam was a focussed guy. For him, it was cows, men and cow-shaped women aged 19.
Am, Sam and Damn relished the elaichi flavoured milk for the 14th time (n is the 14th alphabet).

Am and Sam took photos of naked kids to show people the "Real India". It was a pity that city-dwellers looked at villages with a derogatory eye. Alas! if happiness was the purpose of life, they sure had achieved it. If one could smile involuntarily, live with heads held high, have nutritious food and find contentment in the moment - what else would you ask for?

Of course, the argument veers onto - A cocooned life, exposure to real world curtailed, limited opportunities, the need to break free, the need to connect, information-penetration, infrastructure - the works.

From the eyes of a management, systems & processes student - the village, for Am was at the threshold of growth and progress. But on a philosophical note: the village had gotten its basics right. Am further added, "They've set certain basic rituals for themselves which they thoroughly enjoy and relish. Their need for instant-gratification is very low because of their constant exposure to Nature's Law of Exponential Growth. The villagers sleep with a sense of serenity and quiet because they indulge in a lot of physical labour. Their belief in natural cure to various ailments makes them internally healthy and strong. Aversion to medication and practice of the age-old ayurvedic healing therapies ensure immunity to common diseases. The fresh, unadulterated air which Sonwada breathes in by default is another boon.

10.00 a.m
. - Industrial Visit - Excel Process Pvt. Ltd.

Industry : Printing, embossing and affiliated

Company Profile : Manufacturing of metallic logos for electronic companies, banner and other outdoor publicity etc.

Purpose:- Study manufacturing and factory process. Factory labour-orientation, industry orientation, supply-chain and management practice (plus personal interpretation)

Am wondered how men from villages around Valsad worked for as many as 10 hours and all they did was punch holes in steel. They surpassed all conceivable levels of monotony and industriousness. Made him wonder how they'd define happiness and joy in their lives? The need for security it seemed was their driving force.

Their trip at Excel enlightened them on the many practical aspects attached to their beckoning management education. Interactions and conversations furthered their learnings. It was a holistic scan of the factory and its various manufacturing activities.

Sonwada Calling :-

Mohan Bhargaw a.k.a Damn


Post Lunch, the three returned fondly to a place called "home". A Bumpy chaggda ride took them to Sonwada. Damn was shot in various Swades-ish poses in the chaggda. Their eccentricity invited some serious glares. They continued. You guessed right. They had to.
That Sonwada afternoon was weird. Time was running out. The Attachment continued. Memories had to be created.

Tangents were drawn :-
1. Life on earth is short.
2. We have to die.
3. We still worry about it.
4. Funny.
5. We are neither here nor there.
6. Kyun?
7. Haso, Jeeyo, Khush raho, Muskuraon - Kya pata... Kal ho naa Ho
8. Profound.


Anyway, Am and Damn went on a cycling expedition on the Road Less Travelled. They tried to spot the famous tree at Bored-Gaya. They saw a cow somewhere in the distance. They saw a tree close to the cow. They knew they had found "The Tree".Kaachu Limbu and Sachin followed them on foot. Sachin was a monster for his age. The man and his machine (inset: Sachin with his bicycle)
Am tried to flaunt his expertise on the cycle. He was soon directed into a ditch by Sachin. Damn laughed. Obviously.Am was a massive show-off. He had a fetish for his physique. His biceps gave most women a complex. He was well-built.

Sam: He was resting at home. He was missing someone. Lost in thought, he reacted to a name uttered somewhere outside. He could hear it faintly. He knew it. It was that 'special' someone. He could now hear it right outside his home. He couldn't believe his ears. How could they miss " " too. Sam was very popular in Sonwada because he was closely related to the "special" someone. Infact, Sam had a fan following.
"Some people have all the luck," said Damn reacting to the women queing upto see Sam. "I'd prefer being unlucky", replied Am.Just by the way, that 'special' someone was - you guessed it right - *drumrolls* "Himesh Reshamiya".Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen you heard it right : HIMESH.

Scoop - Himesh happens to be Sam's first cousin. They share common tastes in music and other nose related hobbies like snorting, sneezing and nose-picking. Of course, Sam doesn't wear a cap. He is a wee-bit more image conscious.

Time flew. It happens when you're partying. holidaying, chlling with friends, on weekends, and generally when you're enjoying doing what you love. Life'd be much more shorter that way and also much more of a celebration if we only did what we truly love.

As the warm (natural warmth) evening air settled itself on Sonwada, it was time for these youngsters to pack their bags and head home to the hysteria of a bustling metropolis. Their motive was simple. To transcend the calmness of Sonwada into their relatively turbulent lives. Implementation, of course, was another ball game.

As they moved out of Sonwada, they captured their final moments on camera. The same women lined up on the verendah to bid them adieu. The same kids jumped with the same joy as they had expressed when they arrived.




And they realised that it was not momentary, fleeting, transient experiences of joy for them. It was something higher, deeper, sweeter. It was perennial. It was the pure joy of welcoming life and all its experiences with open arms and surrendering to it totally that gave them "Joy".

Sonwada felt alive as they left. And maybe, they too.

Disclaimer: All events in the above narration are definetly non-fictitious. Any resemblance to three youngsters alive or dead is purely intentional. The author is responsible for the above story. Apparently, the author of this chronicle has decided to holiday in Europe for 12 weeks or any amount of time till Sam regains composure and stability.

Thursday 22 June 2006

Snapshots of Khandala

Me & Miti (Filmy)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Ace Photographer (read:Me) - My personal favourite - A Silhouetted Miti




1. The Garden --------------------2. The Poolside-------------- 3. & the Home




S.Cho and I (left) - Game of Cricket

Maiden Rain (right)

Wednesday 14 June 2006

Friendship.

I penned this during that languid, guiltless summer vacation after the tenth grade. I just got hold of it from our batch of 2002's msn group and was thrilled to bits. The poem is ridiculously simple in its construct. Back then, i didn't pretend to be intelligent. Of course, I was glad to know that i've been a relationship optimist ever since i've made friends. Was very much one in the tenth grade too. Touchwood it's been the same till now. The poem is dedicated to all my friends. The people i've known. The people who've shaped and sculpted me to help me become the person i am today. This poem is specially dedicated to my chud-bud Vishal who is in NewYork. Also to the famous Perva and Ranga. I am nostalgic. Obviously.


The biggest name one gives to a relationship, is the wonderful name of friendship,

It starts of with a hello-hi, and it doesn't end even end after you die,
I think and think for long within, that Am I the luckiest man living,
cause i have friends lovelier than the sky, who can make me laugh and also cry,
I am proud to be a part of them, cause without them i'd just be a stem,
with no leaves, no flowers, no fruit, a lonely tree without a root,
This world as it is, a living sorrow, with tragedy and distress a part of tommorow,
And its in times like these you need, your friends comfort and his heeds,
- Cause if tomorrow something happens to me, I am sure my friend will be there to see,
What's wrong with this foolish friend o mine, who was hale and hearty till yesterday's nine,
and God whatever the matter be, just make sure he is there with me,

But then - the boding fear comes to me! What if he suddenly leaves me? :

I will be shattered, i will be ruined, i will be alive and yet marooned,
alone in an island of sorrow, waiting as if there was no tommorow
i'd hate to see such a day,but such things always come our way,
but then i know, so what if he's away,so what if i can't be joyful and gay (gay=happy)
i know he's there, thinking about me,and that my friend is the key,
to this beautiful world of friendship, where time and space cannot break a relationship,
no one can come in its beautiful way, where a friend cannot even go astray,
cuz' you have the power to hold him tight, with a hug that comes from within your heart,
even though it may just be a thought, it proves that the two can never part,

The love for a friend is immortal,and this my friend is the biggest moral,
Friends Live, Friends Die, Friendship lives forever - and ever.

Anuj Gosalia
Peru fan
Coldplay fan
Wannabe poet too

Wednesday 7 June 2006

& Being Alive

The chord struck seamlessly throughout the night,
The guitar, it seems, hummed a succulent delight;
In those meditative rythms I found my Joy,
The celebration, for me, of 'Being Alive'

I played the perfect shot, off my bat,
And each ball i faced was akin to a new breath;
In the meditative Stroke-play I found my Joy,
Hitting the sweet-spot of my life, I came Alive

That test I aced, I do not know how,
The fringe benefits, i guess, of being in the NOW;
In the meditative number-crunching I found my Joy,
The celebration called life, & of 'Being Alive'

Danced that night like I never did,
Ignored I comments that seemed once rancid;
I danced for myself, I found my Joy,
In those meditative movements i came Alive

Chillin' at the cafe, we made some noise,
Reflections of tireless energies and unbundled joys;
In the meditative randomness, I came Alive,
The joy of nothingness became my joy

The raindrops caress us as we kiss,
Unknown eyes see us from her coffee chalice;
And in that stilness of time, i find my Joy,
That thoughtless moment makes me 'Feel Alive'

As words run on this paper white,
Darkness gives way to the cliched light;
And in the meditative cliche i find my Joy,
The Celebration - Life - & Being Alive

It is this singular moment in time, that goes as I write,
which left unlived will go out of sight;
In these meditative silences I find my Joy Again,
Dont Live.
Come Alive, I pray, cuz tomorrow : Nature may just end the game

Anuj Gosalia

Monday 29 May 2006

An ode to Coldplay



HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD

Are you missing something?
Looking for something?
Tired of everything
Searching and struggling
Are you worried about it?
Do you wanna talk about it?
Oh You're gonna get it right some time

Theres so much to be scared of
And not much to make sense of
Are you running in a circle?
You can't be too careful
And you can't relate it
'Cos it's complicated
Oh You're gonna get it right some time
You're gonna get it right some time

It's how you see the world
How many times can you see?
You can't believe what you learn

It's how you see the world
Don't you worry yourself
Your not gonna get hurt

Oooohhhhh...

Is there something missing?
There's nobody listening
Are you scared of what you don't know?
Dont wanna end up on your own?
You need conversation
And information

Ohhhhhhhhh...

Gonna get it right sometimes
You just wanna get it right sometimes

It's how you see the world
How many times have you heard?
You can't believe a word

It's how you see the world
Don't you worry yourself
'Cos nobody can learn

Oooooh
Oooooh
Ooooooooh

That's how you see the world
That's how you see the world





EVERYTHING'S NOT LOST

When I counted up my demons
Saw there was one for every day
With the good ones on my shoulders
I drove the other ones away

So if you ever feel neglected
And if you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

When you thought that it was over
You could feel it all around
And everybody's out to get you
Don't you let it drag you down

'Cos if you ever feel neglected
And if you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

If you ever feel neglected
If you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

Singing out
Oh, oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Everything's not lost

So come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
And everything's not lost

Come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah

Come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Sing out, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Come on, yeah
Oh, oh yeah
Sing out, yeah
And everything's not lost

Saturday 20 May 2006

Thin-Slicing Success - SRK

Snippets from some of his interviews:

By making it big in the movies, Shahrukh Khan proved to everyone that a small-time TV serial actor can also have his say on the silver screen. Shahrukh Khan started his acting career with serials like 'Fauji' and 'Circus', and with his hard work and immense talent has become a super star. He is a man full of energy and passion; he is very dedicated and hard working and puts in life into any role given to him.

  • What is acting to you?

Everything. Even if I were a corporate type, I'd be an actor. If I was a major in the army and was dying in a battlefield, my death would be as heroic as those death scenes in the movies. I was born only to act. You can take me out of the actor, but you can't take the actor out of me. Five years into our marriage, Gauri knew that I'd always be an actor. When I'm asleep at night for four hours, I miss the actor in me. When I'm taking a bath, you won't believe the acting I do.

  • So why is the yuppie hero talking of going easy on his acting assignments?

When you're good at something, it's time to move on. You have to spearhead new movements. That's why man went on the moon. I want others to learn from my mistakes. I want to spend some time alone and reassemble my internal mechanism. I'm a little tired with the demands made on my life. I need to rediscover the child in me. The more I get in touch with people; I'm losing my ability to be a child. I want to become childish and silly again. To grow more, I need to stop growing.

  • What's the reality about something as make-believe as acting?

An actor has no shelf life, stardom does. Years ago, when I was doing the TV serial Circus, the trapeze artists told me, "Ho gaya to kartab, gir gaya to haadsa." If you get it right you're king, if wrong you're dead. Similarly, in acting too, sometimes there's no time to struggle, no ifs, no time for recuperating. You have to all the time move on. Hopefully away from the sound of the applause, from the wah-wahs and the awards. It'll be time to dig into my magic bag once more.

You have to understand something about Shah Rukh. He loves his craft and loves life. He loves the jokes, the sets, and his fellow actors -the men who are gods to the audience. All he ever wanted to do was to be an actor. He likes to play, he likes to pretend, there's a certain Peter Pan element in his life. He loves taking control and letting people experience that world as he experiences it. He's like an athlete in the way he attacks work. It's always no-holds-barred. And he has boundless energy to go on for hours. He's attacked his roles with such incredible confidence that everyone's heads turned around. It's hardly surprising then that once he hit films starting with Deewaana, the list of adjectives grew: confident, cocky, quick, streetsmart, savvy, charismatic, outrageous, raw. Thus, he holds an enviable sort of popular sway simply on the basis of his potential, staying power and saleability.

  • Shahid: Who has been your role model?

ShahRukh: I have never had a single role model in my life I have always absorbed the good things from various personalities that gives me a wonderful choice in life and does broaden my horizons a great deal. The love in my life came from my parents who were more like my friends than anything else I always had the freedom to do anything I wanted to their faith in me gave me confidence and abilities to achieve impossible. Hard work and dedication came from my Father, he taught me that if you want something in life you have to work for it and no one gives it to you on a plate .So hard work and focus breeds success at all levels. My mother taught me to love life to the maximum and be truthful and upfront and that has taught me so much and has been my savior all through my times

Shahid: People call you a tower of energy, how do you manage to stay so energetic and full of life?

ShahRukh: I think energy comes from being creative and I feel I am very creative hence that generates enormous energy - also inner happiness and satisfaction of achievement revitalizes your inner being and makes you full of life. Again you must utilize this energy otherwise you are being ungrateful to God who has given you an ability and talent to make this world a better place

  • Shahid: ShahRukh you sound more like a philosopher than an Actor, Seeing you on the screen and meeting you off screen are two totally very different experiences Do you feel any different?

ShahRukh: Hahahahahhahahahahah(a laughter full of life ) I am no philosopher but what I speak is same as what is in my heart, I do think things over and create my own perspective but always have respect and room for other people's opinion

  • Shahid: Being at the height of your industry how do you keep yourself so friendly and approachable?

Shahrukh: That's very easy I always remember that God has given me this success through my fans and I owe it to humanity to give them what I have and I keep my feet on the ground My father once said to me regardless what you are or what you may become one day you will always be a human being. And I never forget that Don't you think that says it all?

Wednesday 17 May 2006

Chronicles of Sonwada : Saturday

He said, "I stayed in Mumbai for 17 years but the village is my sanctum" - His name was Rakesh, a sixty year old resident of Sonwada village. On a weekend dash to this seemingly demure village in South Gujarat - Anuj, Samarth and Dhruval come back home with flavours of a promising rural india. With sepia hues, mud-thatched homes, cow-dung strewn walls and the unmatched air of our 'Des ki Mitti', Damn, Sam and Am were more than ready for this rural adventure. Though what they came back with was another story altogether.

Presenting: The Road to Pardi-Station
Cast: Am,Sam and Damn
Director: Am
Script: Life Kapoor
SpotBoy: Sam
Producer: Mukta Crafts


Once upon a time Am, Sam and Damn decided to do something beyond the mundane. They were three curious, muttering, lost youngsters out to seek answers to the deeper questions in life. So they decided to visit the interiors of India to find answers. Plus it were to serve as an exercise on understanding the rural markets of India. Ah yes, they were B-School aspirants.
Thus they zeroed down on an idyllic village named Sonwada in sun-baked Gujarat. Travelling one-footed on a pregnant Inter-City express they reached their destination at 9.30 a.m. Outside a welcoming Vapi Station, their eyes met familiar words. They read BAR somewhere in the distance. Yes, they found the only bar in alcohol-barred Gujarat. Brijwasi Snack BAR.
After a short drop-in at Am’s father’s factory where they manufacture defense cloth for the Indian Army, the trio left for Sonwada.

Babubhai's family

At the factory they met Babubhai. Babubhai was their friend, philosopher and guide. They were scheduled to stay at his home. He was their host. Babubhai was an Unsung Hero. “One of God’s Special Men,” is what Damn thought ofhim.

Sam & Damn (left), Sam's fantasy(right)


In the meantime, Sam was aroused at the sight of a C Grade poster on their way to Killa Pardi. "And they call India a conservative country", exclaimed Sam. "Chaggda" (Chaggda = Six Seater rickshaw) rides were reminescent of Swades. Damn captured Am and Sam in notorious positions.They reached Sonwada village at 1.30


Sonwada welcomed them in the middle of the day. The unrelenting May heat met the refreshing smiles of coy women who lined up on the porch to welcome familiar strangers. Sam devoured the cold water. Am was observing subtle nuances. Damn was busy making photo-memories. Sonwada had an eccentric charm to it. The three urbane youngsters sensed it. Glasses of warm elaichi milk (unadulterated) under a canopy of trees seemed surreal. But that was Sonwada, in the first twenty minutes.



The verendah where women discuss Himesh...

Sumit, Babubhai's son, was one of the most obedient youngsters the trio had ever come across. They branded his obedience as 'sanskaar'. He was a keen guy, updated with the latest in urban technology. He respected them. They respected him for that. Humility was infact one of the biggest lessons they came back with.
"We're eventually information-equipped, knowledge-seeking, wisdom-starved illusionary all-knowers", is how Sam generalised urban youth.
Himesh Reshamiya, they learnt from Sumit, was the 'hero' of the village. They realised that Himesh had such following across the country. And that they were just a minority in an otherwise Himesh-loving nation. Damn thought of an album too - 'Himesh we ALL Hate You'.
Conversations moved onto the importance of education in Sonwada. ''Agriculture, said Babubhai, does not reap the dividends in proportion to the hardwork put in the fields. The Vapi-Surat belt is an industrial zone, he further added. Therefore, workers in factories earn comparatively higher wages. Thus agriculture was now a secondary occupation." Am inferred that the people in the village were unbelievably hard-working but not necessarily smart working.


Pre-evening was spent in the fields studying various methods of crop cultivation. From the indegenous mango cultivation method to land-fragmentation problems, Babubhai spoke at length on his core-competency. It was evident that their sweat was not being adequately compensated. Maybe, it's the post-liberalisation effect or the Modi Government policies but agriculture, according to him, has taken a back-seat in an increasingly industrial Gujarat.


Kaachu Limboo, Sachin & Hritik

The evening was dedicated to cricket. The kids of the village came together in a fierce under-arm battle. Am cheated as always. Sam got annoyed with his performance. "It's just a game Sam, but you're still a loser", sneered Damn with his infectious grin. The kids symbolized the unity in the village. The women cheered their favourite baccha, laughed at the trio's madness. Nice boys they were. Rustic energy surrounded Sonwada in the evening.

As the sun-set on yet another contented day at Sonwada, Am shared his thoughts on the Priciple of Graduation :

"You know what Sam, natural growth is a gradual process. Something beyond the control of mankind. The seeds grow into fruit-bearing trees because of Nature or Nurture", shedding light on the Nature v/s Nurture principle of Self-Growth. But moreover, Nature is beyond the concept of Instant-Gratification. It adheres to the Principle of Graduation in all its forms - be it the tides, the rotation of the earth, growth of trees. Destruction is instant.
Growth... ummm... maybe not."

Candle-light baths took romance to the next level. Sporadic cuts in electricity could get uncomfortable in snake-infested Sonwada, especially at night.

"Am said, I shat like God. Damn said, I sat on the world and shat. Sam said, I Never Shat".
Sam Won. Excerpts from their Impromptu copywriting competiton.

Dinner was divine. Babubhai's daughter Heena could give Tarla Dalal a run for her money. At 18, she was a fantastic cook. They had soft rice-flour roti's, aloo-mutter sabzi, wheat-flour paranthas, tuver ki sabzi with mouth-watering gravy and steaming rice. The finger-licking meal was followed by another round of steaming hot elaichi milk with layers of cream.

"They symbolize 'Atithi Devo Bhava'," said Sam as their night-time conversations veered towards the Babubhai parivar. "I totally agree", replied Damn acknowledgeing the selfless hospitality of Babubhai and his gang of angels.

As the warm Sonwada air entered their home (that's what they called it by now) - they slept. They Slept. Let them. Good night.









See you'll on Sunday...

Thursday 11 May 2006

Boulevard of Fantasies : Part 5

You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.




Outside the amber-lit Churchgate Station, she was seen guzzling pineapple milk at the homely Aarey booth. Sarah belonged to the ‘Aarey or Nothing’ clan. There were causes she felt strongly for. Loyalty towards the Energee brand was amongst them. She felt the yellow lacteal river caress her oesophagus on its way down. I said “Good Lord! She truly lives…”

I saw the unmistakable jaunt in her every step. And she found beauty in monotony. But then for Sarah, monotonous was merely a word on page 410 of the Oxford Dictionary. She lightened as her mind enlightened. (monotonous: lacking in variety, tedious through sameness)

Insignificant Bobu, in the meantime, popped a question?

Sarah Di – How does the sun affect weight? -> Sarah’s repartee – It makes the daylight. Cackles of laughter drew obnoxious scowls. "Mumbai loves to evade innocence", I thought to myself. Alas. For the city sought bliss in transient indulgences. Laughter was above deciduous happiness.

Amidst orange echoes at CST, they hooligoned their way onto the 7.47 Andheri Slow. Familiar perspiration greeted their skin and nose. She fumbled in her I-Pod stuffed pocket to find her saviour. The kerchief came out in full glory, meeting her skin with the strokes of an artist. My green eyes saw her through the chequered iron window of that rusty locomotive.

My eyes remain transfixed as the train repels me towards its destination.

I pray to find the rewind button to life. I pray to find powers to still time. I pray. I sink into another seeming bench. I finger my sweaty hair. I make that moment seem magnanimous. I am helplessly restless. Coldplay hums in moments of despair. Calming the rush of blood to my heart, I listen to them. They Fix me.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you leave something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth


The fantasies of Sarah Dias float in my heart-broken mind. I imagine her making conversation with loud Gujarati women about dhoklas, theplas and K-serials. I imagine Bobu and his mindless humour of – "Why did the turkey cross the road?" And the “To prove he wasn’t chicken” reply by Sad Sarah.I Imagine deafening laughter drowning the harmony of the train. As I imagine, I try to smile at their innocence. I smile. And then there is light.

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
- Led Zeppelin for Sarah Dias


I am enlightened. I am happy because I’ve consciously decided to be. And I relive the ancient Vedic rule :
“You are what your deep driving desire is; as is your desire, so is your will; as is your will, so is your deed; as is your deed, so is your habit; as is your habit, so is your destiny."

Sarah, in the meantime, was glued in the present. As Always. Living a lifetime in every heartbeat, she imbibed snapshots of suburban Mumbai. She saw home from a distance. Her face resembled the male specie of the Neolithic Age, home after a long day of food gathering.

After a warm water bath and listening to some “we’ve been on the run, livin’ in the sun, lookin’ out for number one”, she settled down for a sumptuous meal of fish&chips, leafy veggies and salad. The mealtime conversations were a rigmarole of humour, gossip and ideas. The Dias parivar was an emblem of the clichéd “Live Life to the Fullest”.

In a victorious corner of the swarming city i affirm :

And so I have to say before you go
That I just want you to know
I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you



As she settled in her bed, I settled in mine. We were sleeping together.A corny way to express a horny fetish. I belonged to the testosterone driven male specie. Sarah was oblivious. P.G. Woodehouse turned her on at bedtime. As I awakened the hedonist within… She switched off the lights… Sigh!

My soul within her I-Pod sung to her:
"And after all, you're ma wonderwall"




















From the Boulevard of Fantasies, she came alive,
In the realms of my fantasies she will survive;
I pray to thee: Do not let her die,
And as the night fades in, may her light come by
To Us


In loving memory of Sarah Morrison Dias (2006-2006). Immortal in the hearts of men who love.

May her soul rest in peace. May sanity prevail.Amen.

Tuesday 2 May 2006

Boulevard of Fantasies : Part 4

Bobu Didi, tell me.. why do i follow my heart sometimes and sometimes what my brain says?

Sarah: What? (In disbelief at the words that fell on her ears. Was that the after-effect of PD class? She's not buying that for sure)

Bobu: Hahaha. I mean, like Didu i really enjoy drawing abstract things in my elementary drawing class but it's almost impossible to make that my career no? I mean imagine drawing and photography melange' as a career compared to engineering, MBA and architecture.

Sarah to herself: Is it that bad? (I still don't know what to do with my life.. I find that to be the most exciting part!)She chuckled silently.

I mean, itni jaldi, how do they decide Didi.. I am in the 8th grade and they have decided what they want to do. Then, what do i do? Follow my brain which tells me to do engineering and MBA or should i paint the town red?, laughed Bobu

His intellect and curiousity frustrated me. Nauseated that i was, Questioning-Thinking-Reasoning, it was the last thing on my mind. But it was Sarah’s turn to answer. I waited. She answered

Sarah: See Bobu – There are a lot of people in the world living a lot of lives. Living lives beyond their own understanding of it. Living in a manner that they’ve been conditioned to live in. And they spend their entire lives living that way. The kinds who say – My Daddy told me this when I was a kid, so this is what it is. “No challenging the ideologies” Syndrome is what these people suffer from.

Bobu: But that’s how ethics, culture, heritage and our history comes to us no Didi. Our ancestors pass these to us which preserve our past no?

Sarah: Very true. But history isn’t absolute. Nothing is. Maybe 3 angles of a triangle = 180 degrees is. Beyond that, I’ll only depend on my ability to question, think and reason!

In the existentialist corner of the Marine Drive Boulevard, I had my own set of questions...

Question : I stick my finger into existence – it smells of nothing.
Where am I? What is this thing called the world?
Who is it who has lured me into the thing, and now leaves me here?
Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted?


Sarah: Bobu, I don’t know how to correctly respond to your question of Heart v/s Mind. A Career Guidance Psychologist could help you with Aptitude tests, Psychometric Analysis – the works.

Though she wondered: How can they decide for a person who’s spent a minimum of 14-15 years with himself/herself by spending 20 minutes with him/her.

Bobu: But Didi, what would you do? Heart or Brain

Sarah: Bryan, Do you really want to listen to all of this? I’ll just go on with my theory of ‘The Sarah Life’… you’ll get bored. Trust Me.

Bobu: Shut up Dids. Shoot. I love it. It’s better than my good for nothing Personality Development Class with Himesh Reshamiya lovers.

Phattak! – He got one on his back for abusing Him. Himesh. - Apologies for the exaggeration

And there I was – listening to Child Prodigy and Her – discussing things which I thought would cause greying of my grey cells. For them it was …. ummm.. Life. Period.


Sarah hummed -

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone


Sarah answered

Bobu, I’ve only known one way to live. When I was chottu , I’d love to pen thoughts, ideas, expressions and anything that I could observe and form a personal interpretation.
And that was my omen to a creative career. That’s about it. I know nothing beyond.

For her, the sky was never blue because her mind’s eye saw more.


THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED

You know Bryan, I’ve always believed in opting the Road Less Travelled. That road may not necessarily be rebellious or anti-culture,society. The Road Less Travelled implies a road that is your own. Arising out of choices that are personal to you. Because few people tread a road that defines what they believe in/stand for, I call it The Road Less Travelled. And that is the job of the heart. The heart is true to you. Infact, the dilemmas in our lives are caused by the brain playing truant. The brain’s job is to maximize your heart’s decision. Nothing else. For example – YOU WISH TO MAKE AN ABSTRACT PAINTING is what your heart will tell you. The brain will tell you how, by using memory, observation and by processing information, you can make that design the best in the world. The Heart looks at the Bigger Picture. Let the brain offer options to you and let your heart decide.

The Men who attained Immortality never aspired to be immortal, she further tells Bobu. They were the men who were so consumed by their passion and work that Immortality came as a pleasant aftermath.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work
And all work is empty, save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aha! – So Sista? Is there God, asks Mr.Bobu aka psyched-out teenager aka pest aka saviour


The gunpowder catches fire in an instant, while much time is needed to set fire to the coal, I told my charcoaled self. “Failed spirits shall rise” – Sarah are you listening?

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I'm the only one and I walk alone

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone



BROKEN DREAM



Sarah: Is there God?

She thinks. But not for long. Because she knows. She knows…

Sarah: I could give you clichéd answers like God is everywhere, omnipresent (matlab – everywhere again) the usual… but to be honest Bobu I do not have a different answer. The more the things I see God in – the more I enjoy life. I see God when I wake up to find myself breathing normal, to find my five-senses intact, and to find myself alive. I see God in water, in the toothbrush against my teeth, in the toothpaste, in Mommy, in Daddy. I see God in you, Bobu, she grinned. He is everywhere and yet nowhere. Bobu, men have spent lives searching, looking for him. They meditate, they pray, they offer sacrifice. History and our present is testimony. Alas! He is here. In the tides of the Arabian Sea, in the humid May air, in that beggar’s sigh, in that rich man’s arrogance – he is in all forms, in all his eccentricities. He is in our moods, our passions, our joys and sorrows. He is in objects- inanimate. He is in lives unfulfilled. He is in the complete and the incomplete. You need to call him, acknowledge him and Thank him. When? Subconsciously, at every moment of your life. And yes, the thankyou should come, like all other things, from the bottom of your heart.


The Sigh of the Beggar - Sarah's God

Bobu: Whoa Didi! That was killuh!... I mean you did sound 93 years, 7 months and 18 days. Unbelievable. You’re truly my elder-older … hehe .. sister-Sarah Dids… hahaha

Bobu was a ruthless dog. Bitch. This girl just answered the most complex question that has ever tormented this planet with the ease of a Socrates, Jesus or The Buddha.. but Mr. Bobu aka dog aka bitch has to spoil the show… Well he may be some child prodigy for all I care, but how could he steam-roll her profound thoughts so effortlessly?

Was I possessive? Yeah, a lil’. Why? ….Uhmmm… No idea…But that woman was unflustered. Such was she.

Sarah: See I bored you to death Bobu with “The Sarah Life”… but that’s me! Your funny ole sistuh!

Bobu: Didi .. You know what.. I loved every bit of it.. And you know what – I’m going to flaunt these fundas at my Personality Development Class tomorrow. They’l be shocked to see how deep my thinking is!

Sarah: Idiot! Remember – “Your own understanding”. You are behaving like our Education System. Read.Remember.Reproduce.Remove-Read New.Remove Old Completely.Remember New.Reproduce New. Remove New-Repeat Process till Graduation to Succeed.

Bobu: Oh Yeah! Shucks… ;)
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That sultry summer evening at Marine Drive (yes, dusk to evening) came to an end. And so did the other side of Sarah Dias. What followed as they walked past the iron-girdles outside Churchgate Station was Sarah’s journey home with a tired Bryan.
I followed them discreetly. I wanted more of her. I was addicted to her, my nicotine. Could perfect women exist? 36-24-36 yeah … but I was beyond aesthetic perfection. Something I never experienced. She was a rare blend. Of Beauty and Brains – Yes. But she was way beyond Beauty Contest taglines…


Another turning point;
a fork stuck in the road.

Time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.

So make the best of this test
and don't ask why.

It's not a question
but a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.



Churchgate Station

















P.S. – To be continued… alas! the last in my series… I will move back to prose as a medium to convey Boulevard Part 5. The language used in 4 has been designed to keep Bobu’s age and intellect (high IQ dude) in mind. So it’s a blend of simple sentences conveying complex meaning albeit without the heavy vocabulary. (Yeah – I use the Thesaurus liberally;) Awaiting feedback. From the bottom of your heart:)

Friday 28 April 2006

On Meaning...



Meaning is not something that you stumble across, like the answer to a riddle or the prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your own life. You build it out of your own past, out of your own affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed onto you, out of your own talents and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are all there. You are the only one who can put them together in the pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you. If it does, then the particular balance of success and failure is of less account.

- Ways of Winners' PROGRAMME MANUAL

Wednesday 26 April 2006

Cannot write the CAT - 50% Eligibilty. I secured 48%. Fix Me





All of us have heard of e'm. Life changing events. Events that redefine the purpose of life. Situations or circumstances that make ordinary lives extra-ordinary. It could be the death of a parent, a near-death experience, physical/emotional abuse or a 48% in two years of degree college.

48% in degree college? Life changing? Why?

Ever since i was a kid, i was never exceptionally bright. I never felt the need to be. Mediocrity worked for me and at home. My primary school placed me in the 15th-20th rank out of class of 40 students. I was contented. Nor was i mature enough to push my own self to achieve higher scores. In my 5th grade i scored my lowest percentage - 62% if i can remember correctly. That is when my parents felt the need for me to attend tuitions and improve my scores to a certain level of respectabilty.
Gillu Miss was the lady. A mentor. A life-trainer. Attending her class at her Bajaj Road, railway track facing home was a hell lot of fun. Probably because i was the brightest of the lot. "Andher nagri mein kaana raja kinda thing". I loved the adulation and respect that i got from her. She expected a lot out of me. I delivered 9/10 times. It was the sheer ego-boost to get the highest in her tests that made me study. Of course, not to undermine the fact, that her tuition class was a whole lot of fun. Academic pursuit was infact a byproduct of the entire experience with Gillu Miss. And yes i scored an 83.3 % in my 6th grade, securing a 7th rank in a class that was considerably industrious and intelligent. I continued with her till the 8th grade and did well for all the 3 years.

Now, this is no memoir of my days with Gillu Miss. I am trying to derive lessons from the past, from memories of success. Why? Because i need it. More than ever before. I want your experiences too. What made you successful in your days and what makes you now.

Moving on, my tenure with Gillu Miss ended. I moved into 9th grade. A different class. New subjects and new friends. This is the time when i got close to Vishal and Sharan. 9th went by smoothly. I din't do exceptionally well though. But i never cared anyway. It was always a case of wanting. Aspiring. Not putting effort remotely close to the want. Not Achieveing. Becoming contented with mediocrity.

Then came 10th grade. The year. The only success. 10th was a funny year. I was disciplined. Yet not. I studied. Yet not. Of course, the year was hyped as the most important in a student's life. First Board Exam, Tough, Competitive, Decisive... so many adjectives for one god damn exam. Exams never perturbed me. I would chill and go for my exams. No frantic - shit shit shit last revision, last answer, i haven't completed so much... nothing. Jitna hua utna hua types. My 10th grade, like all other fellow cooperites, was packed with tuitions. But more importantly - friends. The year was mad. Insane. We partied, studied, chatted and enjoyed the small pleasures in life. We enjoyed the year and more importantly lived the year without giving two hoots for the marks. Did we not want to do well? No - we surely did. Infact we had our goals too. Anuj-90% (desire), Sharan-90+% (desire), Vishal- Didn't quantify but wanted to do well. That was that. And in the process of the year we chilled, had fun, flirted (yeah i remember having a crush on Manasvi in the latter part of the year). The most important lesson though was - Fun

I secured an 86% - I was contented because i never deserved a 90%

College - N.M. Whoa...

I was ranked 40th on that list of 1100 students who had applied. I was happy.
Then started the downfall. Friends were scattered. I was too attached to them to make new close friends who i could study with the way i studied with them. College changed my outlook towards academics completely. We started competing to come out of class faster than the other during an exam. Percentages, grades - they were irrelevant. It was F.Y.J.C mann. Who the fuck cares!

12th grade came in. Supposedly important. At this point of time, i found a new love - Extracurrics. I am a weird guy. When i am into something, i give it so much passion, time and attachment that i lose rationality. And to think of it - i am an aspiring management student. The concept of balance, time management and logic fails me when i am doing things that i love.

Example - I've a meeting in the next 40 minutes and i am still writing this.I know i will not make it on time but it's so tough to let go. And that, post - 12th standard, was my ultimate nemesis. The Law of Detachment has eluded me. It is easy to study for an exam - like not do anything else and score well. I am sure to succeed if i did that. But that was not challenging. 10th, in hindsight, rocked because that was all that i had to study for. The challenge was to do things beyond that average college student profile and succeed at it too. I never did. Playing with multiple variables, i lost out somewhere or the other. If i had to list down my extra-currics post 11th grade, it sure is an envious profile. Umang, Rotaract, Shiamak Davar, Summer Camps, Advertising Diplomas, Tuition-Giving - the works... Yeah i was on my way to become the next super-achiever, the stud of N.M. College. Alas it never happened. I failed. Everytime i tried multi-tasking. I crashed. A lot of reasons - i got my strategies wrong, i never detached (the switch on - switch off) effect, i never understood the importance of the body and health to support super-achieving.
Health, Stress, Attachment, Procrastination - It all started weighing on me.
Year after year, i tried new styles, made random promises - they all failed.

And to go see - it all starts from the beginning. As a kid, discipline was never instilled or was given priority. Call it 'bad parenting', my inability to realise its importance for so long, indifference. But it eventually boils down to three things if and ever you want to super-achieve.

And yes no super-achiever will be able to tell you this. Ask a failed super-achiever. Ask me?

1) The Law of Discipline : The human body is the laziest thing i've ever seen. And my body is worse than a sloth sleeping. To train the body i.e to be energetic (from the time you wake up till u go to bed) is the ultimate challenge. Energy and Focus are the key. Focus will only come if you have the energy. Train the body. Eat right. Sleep Early. Wake up Early. This is not my advice to any of you who've read so far but to me. It is the lessons i've learnt over the past four years. And i've crashed so many times. Infact, i am wondering what took so long to understand these reasons.

2) The Law of Detachment : Attachment is the worst enemy. It plagues and entraps your mind to such a large extent that you're trapped in the past or anxious over the future. Attachment is by far the easiest and the simplest to achieve. Example - I post a message on the blog. Ideal condition to super-achieve would be to detach. Forget about it totally and get to the next task at hand. But.. if i am anxious or thinking subconsciously about the comments expected. What will Peru write, what will Varun have to say to it.. I am in trouble. The idea is to come back to the blog with a transparent mind after a couple of days and read the comments. That way you can keep things really simple.

The irony is that super-achieving is very very simple. But it's the simplicity that is the toughest to achieve.

3) The Law of Love : Super-Achiever's are ideally supposed to be super-busy. No time to chill, to care, to speak nice words and love people. I mean after all, they're playing the guitar, running an NGO, studying, doing workshops, reading, writing - phew! ... How do you manage?

Example - A major chunk of my F.Y and S.Y.Bcom was spent with myself. Yes, i was this extrovert, seemingly charming extra-currics enthusiast but andar se i was lonely. Why? Because i expected attention. I wanted attention. I wanted love. I wanted love and attention because i thought i was cool. I thought i was really nice. But that was illusionary...I was consumed by an ego that refused to move beyond prejudices, wantings and personal interests. Super-Achieving can lead you to make some personal-interests driven decisions. Thin line this.

The truth is "Give as much as you can" cuz what you will get will be exponential and multi-fold. So for me - when i can flirt with a certain energy and charm, i know that things are right for me. My body releases endorphins that make me happy and yeah by giving attention to the other person i ensure her happiness to.

Tracing back to 10th grade - Love worked for me beyond anything else. I cared for people, friends, people i disliked, my parents. Love gives you energy and as irrational and emotion driven as it may seem - love gives you the ability to super-achieve.

All Super-Achievers that i've known are high energy, love-giving, failure-learning people

What made me write such a long post?

Emotion - The Low of your most cherished dream crashing. Of me crashing to the lowest trough. A moment in my life that will change me forever. I'm sure for the good. I dunno if i'll make it big in life. I dunno if i'll super-achieve ever. I dunno if i'll make it to the IIM's. I dunno anything.

All i know is that i've lived my life all over again on this blog so that you realise that every moment of your life makes a difference to your future. Every thankyou that you will say to your friend will make you happy more than him. Every good word that you will tell your parents will make them cherish their memories with you. If you've failed before, come meet me. We will raise a toast to Failure. Failure teaches so much more than success ever can. To all those successful people who've read until here - Try Failing. It will make you live every moment as if it were a lifetime. It will give you a perspective to life that you can only imagine.

And to all my Failed friends. Don't worry. We'll write success stories that mortal men can only dream of. We will live a life that will re-define history. I promise to do so. I assure to do so.

I'm living as if today were the last day of my life! Are you?

Heartfelt,
Failed,
But not for Life,
Anuj Gosalia

Sunday 23 April 2006

Boulevard of Fantasies : Part 3

Hold my head inside your hands
I need someone who understands
I need someone, someone who hears
For you I’ve waited all these years





I lay still. Seated on the Marine Drive bench, my calm posterior eclipsed a turbulent within. I was a prisoner of my own history and the history to-be. Like all other mortal men but Her. And much it grieved my heart to think what man had made of man. The back of my bench read :In memory of Rustomji Pastakia (1898-1973). Reminescence of an era when people outnumbered vehicles. Of an era when life was lived. Saline fragrances from the Arabian Sea nauseated me. Some children were playing on the waterfront.Throwing pebbles.And like them, I wanted to throw a pebble into the sea. But when i picked up the pebble, i saw something which disgusted me. I was confronted by the stone's bear existence and was overwhelmed by a feeling of nausea. Day after day, i lived with a feeling of nausea, feelings of wontings and mounting anxiety. The nausea was becoming constant.It even comes over me in the local cafe, once a place of refuge, well lighted and full of people. But by now, the nausea is not inside me - I am the one who is within it.

"The world of existence, of matters of fact have no connection with the worlds of words, reason, mathematics and logic. Existence is not rational. There is no reason that things are as they are and not otherwise. There is no rational explanation as to why there is any world at all, rather than nothing" - Jean Paul Sartre.



The Queen's Necklace with its adorning billboards and bling bling cqars lay behind me. It was some thrity past six on that early May evening. Time was irrelevant. I was staring at designless people." Aah! A consortium of failures", i said to myself. But Marine Drive, to my mind, had an unrelenting sanguiness to it : a support system of men and women who had fought, lost and had shown wantings to survive. Of men and women silently praying, hiding their faces from the scrutiny of demeaning eyes in victorious cars that speed by.

"A king that is conquered must see strange looks, So bitter a thing is the heart of man"

For her I waited. And there she was.

For you I’d wait till kingdom come
Until my day, my day is done
And say you'll come and set me free
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me








What seemed like an amorous stare was infact her meditation...

Hi Didi! shouted Bobu, sorry Bryan as he tugged at Sarah's ebony coloured hair. Didi you look mad and old standing and staring at the sun like that. Sarah smiled. Sarah laughed. She was old. Eighteen years old. So Bobu, how was your Personality Development class today?, in a tone which wondered how things like Personaluty Development could be taught.

It was so un-cool today. They made us do barrier-breaking. But Why? I don't want to sing, then why should I!.. What the hell... It was so embarassing didi. I had to sing 'Tera Tera Tera Suroor' in front of those forty idiots who clapped after I was done. how fake! Anyway, i was better than the original, chuckled Bobu!

Sarah hit him. She was a part of the Reshamiya Fan Club and a proud one at that.

Bobu was one headstrong dude. At fourteen - he spoke his mind. He was a curious muttering teenager who asked questions to which my mother seeks answers. Sarah had answers though. Answers of her own.

Out of the blue cam Bobu's first question. I evesdropped onto their conversation. This girl with a cream complexion, hazel brown eyes, suave skin and black hair answered. As if she knew it all. As if she was God. God was She.



In your tears and in your blood
In your fire and in your flood
I hear you laugh, I heard you sing
I wouldn’t change a single thing

And the wheels just keep on turning
The drummers begin to drum
I don’t know which way I’m going
I don’t know what I’ve become








P.S - To be continued...
Btw, Bobu's first question is - " Didi why do we, at times, follow our heart and not our head?