Sunday, September 30, 2007


It was around seven when I had left the college campus to get a tablet for my hand in which I felt blood circulation was not proper since the time I had slept on it, two days ago. When I reached the Chittoor Bus Stand, the centre point where we go for many things, and where we used to go for almost each and every need 3 yrs back, I saw my friend Manohar from auto, caught him getting into a juice shop, and we had a juice each. Meanwhile he asked me why I had come there and was I going to the Bombay Anand Bhavan. I told him I had come there for the medicines as the college medicine shop was closed it being Sunday. Then I realized that there were hardly any chance of having a good food in mess as for last four years, the Sunday dinner has been constantly bad despite all the good and bad changes the menu has been through. So finally I decided to take a turn towards the BAB as I got my tablets. When I reached the place, it was 8 and the place was really crowded, with no tables available at all. I took the token and reached the counter. The guy there told that it was too crowded and the pizza I had ordered would take 20 mins. I had ample time so didn't mind. In fact the guy seemed pretty much friendly and I told him that I would come after 20 mins to get both the pizza and the shake together.

I came out on the main road and started moving to a side road. When I went in, I felt I had never realized that this place too had a residential area. I got a feel of the newly made colonies of Dehradun (That's the place where I get to live in colonies, except the government quarters of my Jijaji in Bangalore). It seemed so much of my own; something I could relate my past with. Well, due to stray dogs there, I didn't think of staying there for long and went back to see what all was going on in BAB. The condition was the same and in the ten minutes almost nothing had changed. So I started again on the main road. Walking, I felt that it had started raining, drops here and there. I wished, I really wished that it should rain, rain heavily. But it didn't. It kept on the same way for around ten minutes and then almost came to a halt. The time I entered BAB was 8:20. I was right in time. The person asked me, "aa gaye, actually humne order doosre ko de diya". But there was no problem as I still had lots of time so I asked him to get another one ready. He gave it in less than 5 minutes, during which I came to know that there was the same song going on which I had been thinking of while on the road just a few minutes back.

Pizza came, with the shake. I had them both and came out. No signs of rain it seemed. I was disappointed. Then a drop, and after a few seconds another drop. I didn't want THIS rain. I wanted it to rain, didn't want a few drops from the sky. I went on the road, slightly frustrated, when I saw something in front of me. I could see it was 'raining' below the next lamp on the road. I could not understand for a few seconds what was going on. I thought whether to move ahead or not. And then I realized, I wanted this rain. And even if I don't go there, it will come here. So I moved towards the rain, and the rain towards me. It was a raining heavily. It was stormy. After walking for a few seconds, I started almost running. Probably for 100 meters or so, and I was almost completely wet. I moved to a tin shade on one side of the road. Switched of the cell, and remembered God. And some more people. I was feeling so satisfied that my eyes became wet. Though it hardly mattered, because I myself could not feel it against all the water that was there. And then I felt that I was leaving something I shouldn't have. When God had given me the rain I had asked for, I should take it completely. I went to the road once again. And this time, I think I moved even less, but the rain filled me tiptoe. Now i could feel the rain with me completely. This time I stopped under another shade, thanked God, and then seeing the condition of the people there, asked God that I had what I wanted, and requested Him to stop the rain for them all. And not more than two minutes later, I started from there as the rain started fading away. And soon, the rain almost stopped and the lives of people started again.

I caught an auto and came to the college. I had seen almost a miracle. And though I could not help thinking how it happened, I am not going to ask that to anybody, as somebody has said, "Nobody questions a miracle."

Friday, September 28, 2007

When I felt something!

This very small incidence was one of the memorable ones of my life. An incident that I felt while being all alone, with nobody there to share except my computer screen. And still, I was so stirred within.
It actually happened when I got Abhijeet Sawant's second album, Junoon. I liked just one particular song and kept on listening to that one only for many days. Usually I try to find all the details of a song when I get it but this one I had got from my friend Vishal and I was listening without any idea of who all were the composers and producers etc. One day Vishal came and asked me if I knew who was the composer. I told him I didn't know but said that the song I liked seemed to be from Mithoon. Two days later when I was online I just recalled that I had to find the composers of the album Junoon. I googled junoon composer and found there was some Amit Trivedi who had composed the album. Of course I didn't have any problem with that. I just kept on seeing more results out of my interest, until I suddenly stopped at "Guest composer Mithoon". It was for the song I used to listen. Ek Shakhs Raaste Mein...
I suddenly felt on top of the world. I was feeling like I really knew something of music. I felt I was not an amateur anymore. I was learning. And I will try not to stop ever.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Changing colors of mobile telephony

Vodafone boxer now?
Indian mobile telephony, though it has been there for a longer time of course, came to a real existence with the advent of Reliance India Mobile, A dream of Mukesh Ambani, something that brought the very concept of cellphone for every person, a company that gave away cellphones for as low as 500 bucks, and is still providing people with cellphones at the lowest rates. Though, the name of the company is different now, the owner has changed, and so is the color.
if you remember, there used to be a number of small companies in the early 2000s most of which had started during '96 to '98. Namely, Escotel, BPL, Oasis, Spice, Orange, Essar, Aircel, Hutch, even Airtel. But then times changed and BSNL and then Reliance came up with services, threatening small companies to an extent and thus came the era of M&A, that is, Merger and Acquisitions in the mobile telephony, and the colors really started changing. With this new era, a race started off, prices fell, fundas like airtime came to an end forever, and the number of users grew exponentially. From thousands to lacs and finally, to crores. In this game of M&A, Airtel turned out as the largest company, crossing Reliance and BSNL both. In the race of getting the top position, Airtel bought Oasis (Rajasthan), Aircel bought RPG cellular (Tamilnadu), though it is itself a small entity, and Hutch made a pact with Essar. The light colored Escotel was bought by the relatively new Idea cellular and changed to a beautiful light blue. Whereas the orange Orange and orange Hutch changed into a green background pink when an egyptian partner came in. The Hexacom's Oasis, active in Rajasthan, turned from a light blue (as long as I remember), turned a Vibrant red when Airtel bought it. Last year, the blue circle BPL also changed into Hutch. But one of the major changes was brought by the split between Ambani brothers when the dull looking Blue-green RIM was converted to a Vibrant red-Sky blue logo of ADAG with two big A's in the centre.

Old Reliance: RIM New Reliance Mobile: the ADAG icon

And now, the Hutch puppy that followed us for so long, has been given a new shining bright red home by Arun Sarin's Vodafone, changing the ages old logo of India's big brother company, Hutch, to a new Red comma, seen majorly on the England Cricket team's t-shirts till date.
Anyways, happy new home, dear puppy!

Monday, September 17, 2007


How many languages I know??
Well, seriously, some 3. Hindi, English and some HTML.

But if I start counting all I have some acquaintance with, I'll come to know that I know a number of languages. The number goes in 2 digits for sure. Lets start counting.
English, C, C++, Hindi, HTML, Urdu, Java, Sanskrit, Tamil, French, Assembly language, Bengali, Gujarati, C# and used to try some Kannada as well.
Well, the story seems interesting to me. And pretty much unbelievable to people. That I come to know when I see their reactions.

I started learning Hindi at home. From a newspaper called Amar Ujala, I learned the first letter of Hindi 'a'. (It sounds nearly the same as the English 'a') Started English too at home, and of course did them properly when joined school at an age of 3. Then came the third language of my life. Urdu. It was an optional in my school and mostly members of Muslim community used to study Urdu. Thus, I was reading 3 languages at an age of 3, while in Kindergarten.

The 4th one took an entry in std II. With Sanskrit, I started 4 languages at a time. I myself do not know how I used to do that. But I know I never felt it very difficult. Then, after 3 yrs, I left the school, to join a high school (with +2), and left Urdu too.

But in 7 yrs, I had got enough not to be forgotten easily and I still can read Urdu somehow, having completely left it 11 yrs ago. Here came a large gap and I lived with a knowledge of 4 languages which seemed like an achievement at school. After completing my +2 in 2003, I left for coaching so that i could get into some good engineering college. In kota. Kota is a place famous for that. Those who have lived there know about the Kota life of course. Nothing new of course, in terms of languages.

And after the one yr coaching, I went to DA-IICT in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. That was a turning point. Gujarati was a language which looked a lot like Hindi. So I started trying. As a result, during my 2 day trip, I didn't get the college, but got something new. A language. And a confidence. That I could learn a script without any books, even in two days.

After those 2 days I landed in Bangalore (now Bengaluru), Karnataka. The language of the place is Kannada. And nearly everything that is owned by the government displays Kannada. I started trying again and got some letters of Kannada soon. No books again! This time I was delighted with my achievement as it was not that easy. Kannada was a tough language for me compared to Gujarati as didn't look like Hindi from any corner. 15 days later I joined VIT, in vellore, Tamilnadu.

The local language, Tamil, was something I tried and tried and tried. But it seemed nothing went right. I could not get even 3 letters in the first one month. But I wasn't lost. I was pretty much determined that I would get this too. In fact, once a friend of mine, Apoorv, who has been living here since birth, and speaks some Tamil too, challenged me saying that he couldn't learn the language in 17 yrs. I asked for a yr's time. And voila! When I gave my job interview, I knew Tamil, at least enough to convince my interviewer that I knew the script. In fact I had learnt a lot of it in just 7-8 months.

And all this happens without any books. Some of my friends ask, how? Here, I'll answer, after a break. :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Once again: Judge

Well... I never thought there would be one such day. First, the friends of my class made me the judge for Besuregama, and now, this time officially, I was judging a 'kavi sammelan' on the Hindi divas, that is, today, 14th September. I had no idea I could be a judge in two events in one week. Simply a hilarious experience. And once again, I come to know that judging in live events is really tough. The people who always used to say that 'It was a tough decision...' are not joking. They really mean it, seems to me now. This time, I had to judge among 13 people for 3 positions. And after the calculations on the basis of 4 criteria what came out was 5 people sharing top 3 positions.
Though, now I do not remember the poems which got the prizes, I have some idea how the poems were. And how were the people who recited. I still find so many poets who write well but fail to get their credit because of improper recitation, or rather, lack of confidence. And I once again felt that girls do better when it comes to stage performances. I always used to think the same during my days of school while most of the winners used to be girls. (That doesn't mean I never won prizes there)
When I reached the stage to announce the result, I told them what I and the secretary of the organising association (Hindi Literary Association) had talked when I was invited. He had said that judging won't be difficult for me as I had been editor for the college magazine, Splash. But truly speaking, editing is ten times easy. I had to put the 5 best poems/articles in the magazine. And if I liked 6, I had to ask the management for an extra page. Here every single mark was important. So it was an altogether different, much tougher job.
I ended the speech and the program saying that their job was not simple and all these poets/writers had to keep on going, because their pens do not give words to just their own thoughts, they gave words to all those people's words.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is my big big world. And here is my experience of the be-sure-gama which took place last Sunday, September 9th.

It was a singing competition, organised by some of my friends, on the tracks of sa re ga ma pa which is being aired on the Zee TV nowadays. The major difference being that we had only besuras and were determined not to have any person with any experience in singing. I was the only one who had once sung on the stage and mind it, I wasn't a contestant. I was a judge.

Well, the plans boasted of a great competition and it turned out to be the same, when the final round came, cause the contestants were looking pretty tensed by the time.

In all we had 7 contestants one of which was our host, Ambuj. The other 6 contestants were Anuj, Ashaf, Devanshu, DD, Manohar, and Sandeep. The 3 judges were Abhishek, Aritra and me, Harshit. The contest had three rounds. In the first round, 2 contestants, Sandeep and Ashaf were eliminated. In the second round, again 2 contestants, Ambuj and DD got eliminated. In the final round, we had 3 contestants, among which, one, Manohar was really an unexpected candidate who had sung an exceptionally well (at our level) 'suno na suno na sunlo na' and surprised nearly all by reaching the finals.

Thus, in the finals, we had three contestants, Anuj, Devanshu, and Manohar. Coincidentally, these three were the people who were the hosts too. In the last round, judges wanted the contestants to sing the types they had not touched yet. So, Devanshu, who had sung a high pitched Rabba(Musafir) and I love u o sayyoni (Aap ka Suroor) was made to sing a lighter 'Kuch saal pehle' from Yaadein. Anuj, having sung two light numbers took 'O Sathi re' (Muqaddar ka Sikandar). And Manohar chose a difficult, 'Tu hi meri Shab hai'.

The end turned out to be pretty tough and the final round ended with a difference of just one mark between the winner and the runner up while there were 3 judges difference of less than half mark per judge!!) Telling us how tough a competition was it. The final winner was Anuj.

After all the contestants, judges were asked to give performances. Aritra presented a sweet 'Raat Kali ek khwaab mein aayi' and won hearts. Abhishek went a step ahead by presenting his own beautiful Ghazal. I sang 'Bin tere kya hai jeena' from 'Woh Lamhe' to end the program.

And now, all said and done, I m thinking that if here, where we have hardly any interest in winning and cannot think of taking music seriously, the environment gets this serious, what might be happening at the national level talent-hunt programs such as Indian Idol and Sa re ga ma pa??