Sunday, 29 June 2014

Finally, what you call a poem.

(Thank you Vikrant for suggesting a befitting title)

The question is to squeal.
The answer is to squat,
Don't I see the picture,
As I look back,

The tarrying leash of love,
The dallying on the dime,
The placid tune of rune,
And it evinced like a mime,

The Aphrodite I pictured,
Staring at my face,
The lull at the promenade,
The impasse at the end of my chase,

The livid fortunes,
The lambent dungeon,
The prolific promises,
Battered by the truncheon,

The quest of love,
The tryst of life,
All came to question my intent,
All came with questions rife,

The crestfallen part of me,
That churlishly did chide,
It was far less than an assignation,
From which ye shall hide,

Oh now I realized finally,
How foul I played,
Teeming right above me,
Rancidness is all splayed,

I questioned my conscience,
To the noes I beseech,
To the revile sunset,
I could only screech,

The tepid curiosity,
The anxiety and delirium,
The toxic reality,
And my own opprobrium,

I fought hard not to wither,
I guffawed on my inner faction,
My subservience to my intent,
And My craven traction,

I submitted to being reticent,
I got my angst checked,
I issued a missive to self,
I chose to genuflect,

I lost the cause midway,
Decided not to intercede,
I raked in the moment,
And chose to fitfully bleed,

She went away,
Had no modicum of doubt,
Left me alone,
Dejected in this rout,

Blatant oblivion looms over me,
Questions worthy of bullion,
How quickly it disappeared,
Life like a cotillion,

Her charms and her enigma,
I continue to breathe,
In that moment of nostalgia,
I continue to seethe,

There she is in her wiggly might,
Smiling and relishing the beatific rain,
All I would do to keep her happy now,
Is to keep my end of the bargain.

Our Films, Our Films.

Quite some time ago, the eminent and celebrated filmmaker Satyajit Ray came out with an anthology that bore a slightly different title. It was all about movie making techniques and milestones in both hollywood and bollywood. While the pioneers in hollywood were pretty much at the pro level already, Indian movie making was about the shrewdness and flair. It was about techniques and best possible utilization of available resources. We were greenhorns all right, but we knew how to make meaningful movies with successful reflection of what the maker intended to bring out. Yes, we had plagiarism and larceny with everything from scores to characters stolen from movies made by our western counterparts, yes, we had a roadside hero wearing raiment that was to the envy of even the richest men and we did have all the girls driving convertibles. However, what we had on the other hand, were stories that we cherished for a lifetime. 

We looked at history and we looked at the zeitgeist and we looked at our dreams and aspirations alike. While some movies made us watch things we always dreamt we could have, like Dev Anand with his uber clothing and gravitas, others gave us indomitable characters like Don and Gabbar Singh. Then we had movies like Anand that literally made us shrivel and fidget and ones like Golmaal and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, which were comedies with no contrivances. Even the ones that were good for nothing, had a few soulful songs to offer. In short, every movie had it's own story; the very desideratum of movie making, I guess. 

The epic still from Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron

Fast forward and we move to post 2000. Bollywood was establishing itself as a majestic industry. Came 2001, and we gave ourselves Lagaan and Gadar, starring Aamir and Sunny respectively. It was a replay of 1990, when both of them starred in Dil and Ghayal, which too turned out to be blockbusters. Nevertheless, Lagaan and Gadar struck a chord like none other. Indian movie making was at its prime. Meaningful, emotionally wrenching and yet so viable commercially. Our movies had all epithets of being succesful. We did not have to add things, our movies took care of themselves. All of this went well till about 2005, when came the fad of item songs. Simultaneously, movies were imbibed with inexplicable and incongruous bursts of intimacy. We became forward looking all right, but that was not the reason.

 Movies had now become a paltry means of soliciting what happened inside the theater-  crowds whistling on girls dancing shabbily, a hero flaunting some of his cuts with the denouement unveiled with delays to capture on that, and the audiences rejoicing the moment when expletives were uttered. Maybe the last point was all they could have possibly related their own case to. Suddenly, movies were no longer about carrying something back, either a story or an inspiration. Reviews were now put up for auction, meshugge movies took the cake as they were more commercially appealing, and the final nail in the coffin, the movies with real stories never failed to escape public attention. Even the ones that had a a song or two to throw as bait, had songs that even lacked a proper rhyme and rendition. It's like the creative artists that loitered around to instill some structure and meaning, were all fired at once. I'm happy we continue to have low budget movies that strive with a selected clientele that still prices some sense, but I'm appalled we continue to have movies that are a bete noire and that too in bulk. If the maxim that movies are a reflection of the society is anything to go by, we are in a pretty decant and macabre state today. 

Friday, 27 June 2014

The 5 women.

The first one,
Whom I grew up admiring,
In the tumbrels of passion,
In the parlance of love,
With all my whims alike,
She guarded me like a protector,
From the effluvium of vice,
She carried me on her shoulders,
Carved an Elysium I came to price.

The second one,
Taught me a purpose,
Ensconced in me the means,
From the cradles of love,
Took me to the muddle of scrutiny,
She would delineate the rules of life,
For I was just an instrument of prattle,
She laid down the caveats to follow,
And I stood ready for the battle.

The third one,
The exuberant enchantress,
The inerrant belle,
With all her sumptuous redolence,
With all her serene vivacity,
She exhorted me to dream,
For I just did dawdle,
In front of her emboldening charisma,
I could only twaddle.

The fourth one,
Laid beneath her visage,
Laid beneath her skin,
Lies the hardihood of my life,
Lies my supreme penchant,
Through the gallows of the execrable,
She comes and paints my life beige,
She is the might and the force,
Who buoys me to take the stage.

The fifth one,
With her own crumpled hands,
Looks frail and pallid,
No longer the nymph of her prime,
But still a portrait of determination,
Within the white picket fence,
She earnestly awaits her bail,
Her occasional smile is a requiem to life,
One that serves my soul with regale.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Delhi,Mumbai to Lahore,Karachi

Borders can divide you, but they still can't separate you from each other. The bifurcation from a geographical perspective, can never be drawn as a line between hearts. Years of staying away from each other can change your identities, but it still cannot change who you are. These were some of the maxims I carried with me from the Zindagi Indiblogger #JodeyDilonKo blogger drive, and I'm going to keep them with me for a lifetime. What started with badinage between folks in the luscious Taj Hotel in Delhi, and the blogger caucus gathered at the Leela in Mumbai, ended in a day full of ebullience and enrapturing experiences.

With umpteen number of people putting up their points, a suave Imran handling questions with a composed and placid demeanor and with an electrifying mood and zeitgeist, the meet was all that a man is willing to savor on a weekend. It appears so very simple on paper, the concept of people linking places, instead of placing linking people, and yet it never seemed this ostensible. As Vineet made deliberate attempts of inveigling and dragging the Dehiites and Mumbaikars in rogue battles, the two sides seemed at riling loggerheads. Voracious and vociferous attempts were made by both the sides to support their respective cases, rounds were won rather controversially, and yet when it came to the conclusion on one final round, it was India, that was declared as the ultimate winner. That moment itself set the vortex at bay and carved a delightful agenda for the rest of the day.

Soon, teams from Zindagi took over and took the theme and discussions forwards. For the first time, the premiere of a TV soap seemed as if its not contrived and surely has a melange of realistic manifestations. A channel whose content is an eclectic and eidetic agglomeration of emotions, virtues and promulgated vice. The stories came up from the other end of the border, and yet they seemed to hve a footing in our own scuffles. Be it a girl and her cognitive dissonance, or be it a scurrilous man with utter conceit, Zindagi emboldens and buoys all the characters and brings the tales to life. I had to capitulate that what I imagined to be another ostentatious display of opulence and opprobrium with some megalomania, was actually very different. It was a collection of real stories, a collection of our stories!

Finally Imran's responses to questions, which literally set the tone for the ensuing discussions, made all of us retinues on the issue. We all provided ourselves an open platform on how geographical barriers proved only doles when it came to our cultural integration. I, never being a vehement soap watcher, didn't know our soaps have got quite a fan following right there in Pakistan, maybe because they're able to connect. And similarly, the telefilms from Pakistan were admired and adulated by their ardent patrons. Somewhere the veil of complexities and inadvertent deterrents put forth between us courtesy of years of insurgency by flagrant and inimical forces, it seemed we still are united somehow, as we still share the same philosophies in life. Walk pass the affectations of our individual visages and ambit of life covers us all, equally. Suddenly, the histrionic and mawkish elements of entertainment seemed irrelevant and that common cultural thread that runs between us, across these massively guarded borders, seemed to vanish. I guessed it was nice to express the otherwise ineffable feeling in words, or simply put up, in a simple yet subtle way, just like Zindagi. 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The last day...

It is 6 in the morning. A tepid eerie silence and a solemn glow of dawn are engulfing everything that meets the eye. The windows were all open, the blinds were in shackles. The entire room was set in tumbrils, things flowing here and there. Nothing was where I kept the last night, and yet nothing went missing. I didn't have no pets, didn't have any company, and yet this morose macabre feeling was prevalent in the room, as if I was being constantly watched and monitored. Hardly being able to pucker open my eyes, I crashed my thumb at the bottom of the bed, and stooped to caress the sore thumb, toppling down in my effort and falling down on my back to cause another hit at the back of my head. It started bleeding immediately. So much for the morning treat, getting the taste of your own blood, feeding on your own diet of iron. And just then, it was just then, when this scurrilous man's voice started ringing in my ears. "12 hours" it said in an emphasizing tone. I looked around in sheer bewilderment. No one to be seen, no mikes, no speakers, nothing! Just that one voice and the constant presence of the one to whom it belonged. 

I fixed my head with some dressing and some strong coffee. It seemed to be a good resort for the moment. I thought maybe the gloomy voice was just a reminisce of what I did the last day. In my own gloomy past with all the somber things I did, there was no scope of complete redemption. I started relishing the mellows of the morning birds that made chirping and warbling sounds right in front of my kitchen window. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the tree to which the nest belonged, to rustle in a violent way, as if something was climbing on it. What I witnessed post that, was one of the most deranging of sights. The birds were blown apart in the snap of fingers, with blood and viscera flowing out in perfect streams, all lowing towards the bottom and going linearly. I saw the sight unfold in utter disbelief and just when I felt like rushing out, I saw the black and red blood assuming a form, as if composing letters. And it was then that the wry calligraphy gave way to the message, "Hurry Up!". I heard a clock gong rattling in the drawing room, and it rung 7 times to indicate it was 7. But wait, I don't have a clock with a gong!

I believed my rooms were ransacked, and started running through all my things; my grisly, gory things, my own depraved universe. I could see all my stuff all right, but my most important creation, my plasma storage device was missing. It shriveled my senses and my heart felt as if it had been impounded. "How in the world they found it?" I whimpered in irate. I immediately rung up my partner, who wasn't picking up his cell. I rang up his wife, and she did pick up. She was incessantly and incoherently crying and maybe didn't even know she picked it up. I shouted and I growled and all I could hear was whining. Then she responded all of a sudden. "He's gone, all blown up, into bits and pieces". Then there was a momentary silence, and the voice said "Can you see your future?". 'What?' I, said, baffled. The voice on the other side wavered in undulatory fashion, like small changes in the modulation every now and then, doing something. It was then that I realized that they were laughing and howling, not crying, with each vying for it's share of limelight. I realized even his wife was gone. I was just about to hang up when the phone started getting hot, like an inferno reigning all over. Suddenly, sparks emanated from it, and I dropped it. I couldn't believe what I saw. The entire phone melted away like that and disappeared in thin air, like plasma! 

The TV switched on its own and a voice full of sobriety, the morning reporter, said "Welcome to the 8'O clock news". I moved towards it, just to see her gaze still fixated on me. It was pretty amazing how big a gaffe they managed to pull off. The reporter, my own girl, looking at the teleprompt for so long. As if she saw me even from the station. I was in her heart all right, but this looked surreal. A few seconds later, I realized she wasn't starring at the telemprompt, she was actually looking right at me, as if she knew I was watching her from this side. Her smile became sordid as if melancholy singing in her ears.  "I'm really sorry!" said her frail voice. I couldn't possibly know what to do. I rushed towards the TV and started shaking it tremulously. I realized soon it wasn't just the TV. I got messages on my phone from pals. "What's going on", "What's she saying" and all kinds of inquests. There was no one to stop her in the station. There was no silhouette at the station, no voices, just pure calm silence. She just kept staring at me, literally breaking all TRP records in Indian history. After a long brusque sigh, she spoke again. "They're out! and now they'll wreak havoc". In what seemed to be a momentous transition, the entire station started tumbling. Her face grew more pale, and my experienced news reporter, appeared like a fledgling just before she was butchered into pieces on national television by an invisible truncheon. She was right, they're out! The TV screen blacked out with a dull yet striking '0900' all over it. Time was slipping out.

I rummaged through the mess at my home for links, but found nothing that could help me retrace the plasma container. Spent my day, running all over, visiting contacts, acquaintances and seeking help from everyone. I was constantly reminded of the passing time through ingenious notifications. All my efforts went futile. There was no sign of the plasma container. I just walked back to our laboratory, which was still untamed, seemingly. The discreetness of its location was of paramount importance and hence we always reached it furtively. A place that only 4 people knew about, 3 of whom were already dead. I didn't know why but we should have seen this coming. 4 scientists of advanced nuclear and material physics, ferreting the world for all plausible explanations. Well, what bad we could have done to have this dastardly wrath fall upon us. I went past the retinal scan and and all access mechanisms. I could have taken a furlough in a place as secretive as this one. However, our enemy knew no bounds. I walked towards the empty plasma container shells and cursed ourselves for not taking them back to labs and putting them in their designated spaces. We just went complacent and took them with us, believing no one could even know what they are. And now, the entire world was in jeopardy, and we could do nothing but await nemesis. Then I started walking towards our other large invention, the plasma loop. I was left agape and the sight sent shocks across my nervous system. The machine was turned on! I suddenly saw 5 infuriated poltergeists, like demon balls, flying past me. I just had one hour left. Enough to tell you my story!

We 4 were scientists by profession, but ones who knew a little too much. A coven of excessively talented schmucks. We analyzed dying bodies, by acquiring subjects that were left stranded  - dying dogs, dying cats, and even dying humans. It sounds more hideous and repugnant than it is but these subjects were not accounted for. We found out that souls are entrapped in bodies partially in mucosa and partially in atomic plasma. Our acuity helped us find out a way to capture the plasma when a bodily entity dies. The corporeal death is inevitable, but the plasma could be saved as a source of energy, what they call spirit in their religious argot. We stored plasma from multiple beings in one container. It was a deadly and lethal melange, much powerful than a ten kilobomb. Hence we stored sturdy containers that could be opened either by force from within the plasma or through external plasmic force or through special codes and apparatus. We became so good at it that we maundered around physics and did further experiments. We invented the plasma loop. It is one of the most mystical things to be ever made and now I imprecate our genius to do that. The plasma loop, whose idea I envisaged, can put the plasma in time warp, which can allow us to do multiple experiments with time travel. We never knew what happens inside but we analyzed results and found out evidence that time travel could be taking place. It all went so well till yesterday, and now, there's 10 minutes to my departure.

Last night, we acquired dying bodies of a sabath, who carried out some seance. We tried storing their plasma. While doing so, we realized that there were multiple beings hovering around in the room already, like free plasma. We ensnared them as well, only to realize that the witch coven actually summoned a billion souls. Only a million souls could be stored in the plasma containers with each million adding 1 Kg of weight. We faltered to store all of them and they growled and harangued as they were summoned but not sent back. It seems we were followed and our clandestine operations, didn't remain clandestine anymore. We had a tail, and that of a rather ravenous opponent. Our plasma containers were taken away and the plasma outside broke off the seals, just like we knew it could. All the plasma we ever gathered, was free now, and chased us down as a congregation. Good though that it's trapped inside the time warp, as the plasma loop tuns on only when plasma is inside. Bad though, that the plasma of three from my team was also entrapped inside, just so that they too could relish the moribund enigma of being trapped forever. Once you're trapped, you can go inside, travel to the past, and see yourself die and your plasma ripped out, again and again! You can only be a silent spectator, you cannot change anything. We dallied with the laws of physics like a philander, but we were a contravention to the laws of nature. It's 6 PM, and I can almost feel it, the metal hallows are nearby, and there I see, my internals getting twisted out, hurled and impelling the other organs to come out, the floor ripe with my blood and forming a pattern on it. All the energy left in my was enough for me to vanish post seeing that. "Time's Up! Ready to go in again?". The next thing I remember, was waking up at 6 again, with my room in utter shambles, and with a heavy groaning voice pronouncing "12 hours".  

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

When the world went from Teslas to Edisons

The late half of 19th and the first half of 20th centuries witnessed revelations in the world of science and technology. All the technological grandeur and enigma we witness today is mainly a series of experiments carried during these few decades. Initially it was inadequacy which forced the virtuoso to employ all their mettle and fill the lacunae. Later on, the most savaging of all wars compelled mankind to come up with some of its most ingenious of inventions. That one century, literally paved the way for all that was to follow. That one century's purpose was not to result primarily in inventions that seemed like riveting epiphanies, but to create the turf for the future maestros and thinkers to score on. The world witnessed rapid progress. We moved from projectors to TVs, from cars to spacecrafts, from mechanical to electromechanical and finally electronic computers. And hold your breath from this one; the world went from wired to wireless electricity! But why is it that TVs remained the same TVs for half a century post which virtual reality came in. Why is it that we couldn't ravel to Mars for the next 4 decades. Why is it that we waited nearly a century for wireless electricity chargers. The answer is simple. The world went the Edison way!

During the original epoch, inventions came out of the need of solving problems. Take any of the Noble prizes pertaining to science and you'd see a revolution ensuing after every invention or discovery that was conferred during that time. Inventors and experimenters alike, carved new realms. In short, it was not as much about improvement as it was about exploration. None of these vagabond stalwarts had anything to lose except for another chance. The world may have really progressed afterwards, at least on a tangible level, but it were those 100 years between 1850 and 1950 that literally set the tone and paved the way. Post that  however, we were bit by the fangs of a deadly being. Commercialization!

It's true that all inventions served the purpose of tackling real life problems and to accord some providence. However, once the big honchos of the corporate giants eyed the potential profits, it was all too late. Patents were soon sold or never filed and the ravenous and rapacious corporations were quick to cling on to them. From them on, it was just about the stereotyped "return maximization" and "shareholder value creation". All the research begun to be directed through R&D departments of giant corporations which simply sought to build products that they could market, too wary to invest any extra pile of funds in new solutions. The initial inventors became rich and tasted one time fame by selling the patents. However, all the post invention deliberation and experimentation that was carried out by independent fellow scientists, was not exalted. As the intensity and magnitude of inventions became large, the pariah not so greedy scientist group went bereft of the required resources. Soon, pure research got died in the labs of a few university laboratories which get enough funding, or in the cahoots of a few large companies. The rail of tremendous unbelievable progress, was now exalted.

The Tesla Tower
While Tesla concentrated on progress and research, Edison concentrated on monetizing. Both of them represented the face of the erstwhile inventor fraternity. Two guys with very different motives. While Tesla sought intellectual accretion, Edison sought pecuniary might. While Tesla simply kept inventing and experimenting, Edison set up General Electric. While discourses on them are common and hackneyed, I'd just leave you all with one fact. Tesla was the kind of person who was ready to go to any heights for the sake of putting concepts to test, even if it meant putting all his reputation at stake. Soon after endowing the world with the wireine electric transmission system which was the provenance of all future development, Tesla soon started working on wireless electric transmission. That was the kind of insight he possessed. His only motto was continuous improvement. While he could have suggested many a improvement in the existing system and capitalize before anyone else, he sought to tread further.

Tesla's vision 
His experiments and demonstrations from 1891 and 1897 suggested how electricity could be transferred wirelessly. His giant induction capacitance methods even worked with illumination of a wireless lamp and with transmission to a range of 48 Km. Tesla suggested how a large network of industrial grade wireless electricity supply could be setup to create a global network of wireless devices. Today's wireless Internet is an example of that. Tesla even wanted the driving power to be supplied wirelessly. Tesla, the clairvoyant, envisaged how ships and buses could run without local power source, with them hopping from one power zone to another. Unfortunately, Tesla's project was halted midaway due to lack of funds. The same funds that went on to make sure the world didn't see wireless electricity for another century. His large humongous tower in Shoreham, Long Island, New York, which was sabotaged by the US govt which itself is a corporate stooge, was the last that remained of that era of selfless innovation. No matter how much we innovate today, selfless innovation is never going to come back. We'll always have profits in the back of our heads. We made the wrong choice. We made the world move on from Teslas to Edisons. 

Because Egypt holds all the answers!

On the very onset of writing a hypothetical account of me and my family hitting a new station, I zeroed in on a specific set of places that we could have a penchant for. Unlike the ridiculously overhyped, covertly marketed with percipience, and exaggeratedly sought after destinations, which people are likely to click selfies at post arrival, mine family appears a little too incongruous for all of that. Mine are the kind of folks and agnate who watch Ancient Aliens together and quibble on what could have been the rationale behind a mural scripture on a random wall of a random monument in a random place. We are the kind of people who deliberate on the source of all human intelligence and the only thing we draw swords on, are disagreements on the suggested provenance of a grand monument or some historic decision. Blissful hill stations with all their scenic and serene escarpments, or even any radical city, wouldn't satiate our insolent appetite for mystery, mystique and unanswered questions. So, what's the place that offers it all? Egypt, of course!

I'm not very good at conjuring precise scenarios but just imagine the aura of riding on the hunch of a
capricious camel, with its precariousness, all in the middle of a gigantic illimitable desert, when suddenly, you see tributaries linking up to a giant river. Later on, you see the entire system of river extending along the horizon with all kinds of randomly erected vestiges, until you set your eyes on what's supposedly the single largest mystery of mankind and its evolution - The giant pyramids. One after the other, as if discounts raining in a generous store that's up for clearance, large humongous man made marvels, erecting out, like Poseidon himself boding his arrival. For ones like us who've spent years admiring the rococo and the callously large effort that would have gone into it(Actually aliens made it for them so not that much effort but for complete subservience), that would be the moment to rewind and live again. It can happen only once. The very feeling of seeing those mighty pyramids lined up in their positions representing celestial patterns, and the head of the giant sphinx, standing out like that of a majestic potentate, it all makes me drivel and quaver.

Post living that ecclesiastical moment, we'd quickly get onto our jobs. More than admiring the balustrades, we have to find out the truth at our own level. Yes, the queens' caskets have already been ripped out and hence you can't enter the narrow tunnels fearing to be caught up in a scuffle with mummies. However, you still have the entire labyrinth of passages and pathways running all over. Irrespective of the fact that many a savant couldn't discern it, it takes a family like mine to interpret the positions and to unveil the true purpose. Maybe the great gods of the shore of Nile were waiting for us. With different people with starkly different demeanor and acuity, all tied with one single objective, apart from their being a family of course, you can never escape that one thing that kept mankind from finding all the answers. 

Those granite obelisks which have piezoelectric quartz embedded in them by nature, and which just exhibit pertness for anyone else, are ancient electric power transmitters for us! And those discarded tunnels within the great pyramid, from where the never existent Nefertiti's sarcophagus was hoaxed to be stolen, were actually mixing pipes for chemicals which produced the gas that was burned to produce activated hydrogen beams to titillate the quartz containing obelisks and set them in action. These very obelisks would then supply power to all the obelisks around the world, even the one in front of white house, and the world would communicate happily ever after. That's the kind of insight we possess in regard to that place and that weird and wicked are the things that we are likely to experiment on to find the truth. 

It's hard to believe an entire family can be so heretic. It's even harder to believe that one single place is capable of providing them their nirvana. We seek answers not in the relics we plan to pilfer, but we seek the answers in the people who live and who once inhabited the now esoteric place. It's people who made that place so wondrous and momentous, and it's their creations and their preaching that created the realm, where I and my family seek the answers we hold most dear in our life. Yes, we as a family, are on the hunt for the provenance of mankind and all its progress. It seems that no matter where you are and what you do, there is a place, just like yours or just meant for you, with people just like yours or just meant for you. And it is precisely this place where your quest and tryst ends, and it is at this place where you attain that ephemeral salvation, even with the mere dream of being there just like my family did above. That's how people and places get linked in perpetual connections. That's how ties connect our hearts. That's precisely the tie which a topical new channel Zindagi is about to explore. Their content is weaved around the same and is all set to engulf and environ you with some enthralling vignettes. Visit to know more. They also have a befitting motto, #JodeyDilonKo. Let's see what they have in store for us. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

5 kinds of people who watch CID.

ACP with his usual pride and elation
CID is perhaps the only thing on TV that’s stayed with me ever since my childhood. It was in 1997 when Sony suddenly gained a lot of prevalence on Indian cable TV and CID became the poster boy of the new era. With an umpteen number of changes throughout these years, the ACP, Daya and Abhijeet have remained an immanent part of the team. Some reports suggest that CID have been able to crack more cases in these 17 years than have even been registered and reported across the globe by all law enforcement agencies cumulatively. Here we observe the five kinds of people who watch CID. 

     Ones who want to feel like a genius
While ACP’s prowess in solving crimes and telling that gushing blood over a pale cadaver means someone has been murdered is a gem by itself, you already know what I’m talking about. CID might be able to solve crimes but their deductions are to the envy of even Sherlock Holmes, on the oppressive front though. Even the most naive, credulous and idiosyncratic of people would be able to reach at the same, if not better than, conclusions as the ACP. Hence for the outright rejected folks who’ve been vanquished on intellectual fronts, watching CID is likely to provide them some aplomb and make them feel like a boss.

Ba from Kyun Ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
Ba, witnessing the inaugration of the Taj Mahal
The sanctimonious Ba, who is the only person alive to have witnessed all the three battles of Panipath, has seen the world changing its course every few years. She was smitten by television around a good 80 years ago when it was invented and she was also there when the first projector was test run. Ba had enough time to finish watching all the movies, soaps and sitcoms and hence she was left with no other option but to watch CID because she needs to stay connected with television in some way or the other as that’s the ground on which she thrives and would live another millennium.

      Laggards in high school physics

There are a few innocuous souls or iconoclasts who falter in practicing and applying Flemming’s left hand and right hand rules. ACP who has become almost obsessed with these two and applies them 8-9 times while claiming “Kuch to gadbad hai Daya” , gives these folks some good practice everytime. In fact Salil Ankola who witnessed a bad run in every walk of life, joined CID back in 98’ just because he wanted to make sure that he learns at least 1 rule of physics before departing this life.

       Souls going through perdition in hell
So strenuous is the task of watching a complete episode of CID that souls that were pulled to hell for their misdeeds are made to watch each and every episode of CID in loop, ever since its first run, and that too in HD.  In fact it’s such a lethal activity that a few souls prefer the acid massage and inferno pedicure instead of that. A few guys even opt for voluntary plunge in volcanoes just to escape ACP’s wrath.

      All the guys named Daya
It seems that there aren’t many guys out there named Daya, as it’s not a very topical name anymore. And even the ones whose parents forced it upon them, the poor guys had to resort to legal services for an immediate change of name to avoid ignominy in friends circles. Surprisingly though, a few guys kept the name, either out of volition or due to impecuniousness. These guys couldn’t escape the continuous jocular elements that environed their lives and they had to finally start living with it. They eventually accepted the bitter truth and instead of living with the utter resentment, they started adulating CID as well as Daya. A few of them even feel emboldened and overjoyed because they now believe they can break every door in the world, just like that!

While there’s no denying CID has remained a subject of persiflage and banter for about a decade, the show still enjoys TRPs that are to the envy of many a show. It’s a surprise to see that a show with a bounded realm, grew so illimitable that it’s going strong even after 17 years and that too in the same slot and with the same format. Kudos to them. Just hope they won’t mind this, which was just another light hearted gig. 

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Is there a lyricist in the house?

A good few years back, I would have enjoyed my Sunday mornings by spending the first few hours with cups of tea, something to chirp on, and finally, a good few melodies to relish and rejuvenate. I had this routine of scrolling through all the music channels in search of something cathartic. Music channels were music channels back then, not rife with contrived reality shows and phony soaps all around. As I tried doing the same today, like I've been trying to do for so long, I realized that in its quest to rake in as much as it could in the wave of commercialization, Bollywood has brought itself and its music particularly, to such a depraved state that there’s no going back.

Back in those days, I was pretty confident of getting at least one song from every genre. One with the lover in sigh, gnawing at his beloved’s portrait, impeccably delineated with stunning lyrical prowess. Or I’d get a heart wrenching number, with a soldier helplessly asking the winds to deliver his message to his hopeful mother. I even got a few delirious ones, with love being portrayed through the quavering worlds of a brusque lover, but with true honesty and even obsequiousness. Finally, I’d wrap up with a song perfectly expositing the ordeal of a pauper, putting it in words with such flair, that you could almost empathize with him. The songs lacked the varied instruments we use today, but it was the lyrics that still mattered the most. Mine time was a transitional phase with almost equal weightage to both the message and the means. Now, it’s only about the means, with the message being extinct already. Let’s see what I got today.

I got a song with a lecherous girl, waiting to embolden a nation with her bulging bosom and a callipygian rear. While picturesque beauties with all their aura and resplendence are an everlasting theme, it has become a recipe for success. Showing her get wet in the showers to make her pearls become a little more conspicuous, with a brawny guy with protruding biceps, swaying her in various positions. I mean, I got that in two songs at least. Then I got one in which people were dancing woefully, with no synchronicity and in a rather tremulous way. Once again, the guy with burly muscles would hold the bacchanalian girl tight, so that the licentious crowds could devour a moment or two of splendor and erotic verve. And then there was a valorous attempt to make a good song out of a rather incomplete love story. The attempt was good, but the song worked its charm only when accompanied with the video. The song in itself was not capable of telling any story of its own. You need the video for the song to speak out. Moreover, you need a framework of mellows and dulcets for it to become a crescendo. The lyrics, in their own accord, can’t even be deemed existential. They’re merely a necessity to make the song from becoming a rendition. Alas!, I turned it off.

I browsed through my own collections to reminisce some of those redolent melodies. Allah Ke Bande Hans De from Kailash Kher, with just a soothing guitar score, sounded much more heavy and powerful than oodles of metallic beats, and his singular frail and forlorn appearance told much bigger a story than jumping monkeys all over the screen. Listen to that song even today, and it shrivels you with an enrapturing and environing feeling. Then there was Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera, from Swades. A song that singlehandedly links you to your land and roots. Even a puerile movie with its peevish screenplay won’t be able to deliver that today. Finally, there was a Kya Karein Kya Na Kare from Rangeela. Yes, the movie had helluva music and that took it to the apogee of mellifluousness, but the lyrics once again, went in perfect tandem with the mood and the zeitgeist. Once again,  the lyrics in themselves, told a story of many a men, and rather effortlessly. I was happy I left the TV and came there, while I was sad I’m not going to witness anything new in that department. It was then that I asked, Is there a lyricist in the house?

Gulzar, whose lyrical bravado knows no bounds

Javed Akhtar's grip on his words is mesmerizing

Mehboob needs a special mention for his fickle genius

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

What makes it worth living.

They say every man has his own story, his own purpose, and his own compatriots in the journey called life. He struggles, he strives, he soars, he dives and he either comes out all guns blazing with eidetic memories to cherish, or comes out with tales of his odyssey that he shares with no one but himself in solitude. Lives go like that, every man keeps playing his role, everyone dreams and works towards manifesting them in reality and yet there is this community, this clique of schmucks that makes life anything but hackneyed, that makes it much more rejoicing with no expectations. I can call them imbecile, fatuous or even cantankerous, but the truth is, they're merely contrarian. 

In a world mired under anticipations of returns for every action and every deed, I wonder how this herd wades its way. Moreover, with our lives becoming so tenacious, I can't fathom where this frail group gets its strength from. And suddenly I realize, it's the very service they provide which fuels further the desire to remain egalitarian. I can't give you a face for whom I'm describing, I can't id anyone of those whom I know either. Truth be told, this community is not comprised of persons, but a philosophy. Selfless service to the mankind. While service is immanent in even economical contraptions, these people service without the desire for the fruit! They're the ones who just do it for the sake of doing it.

The 70 years young BM Ramchandra managing traffic in Bangalore

Talk about the first guy who gets out of his car in a traffic congestion and makes an ardent attempt of resolving the same. He knows he'll have to keep doing it till the blockade disperses, he knows he'll lose time. Yes, it benefits him as well, but it's the thought of collective benefit which kindles him. Talk about the guy who provides free coaching to the destitute prospects just to make them and not him realize the dreams. Talk about the public activists who bring to light the plights and predicaments of the deprived and even provide counsel and legal resort. While newspapers are inundated with poignant and macabre pieces of news, such evasive men do exist. Can we find a common incentive?

The mathematics maestro Anand Kumar opening gateways to the IITs

Now talk about the other ones. The man who passes a genuine smile at your achievements and happiness, despite being bereft of any in his own life. That man who faltered on all his dreams and yet makes sure he can help others realize the same. The man who has been a subject of subterfuge and cheating and yet takes a moment or two to help a stranger on the streets. What makes these people click? What makes them usher happiness through helping others? It's all too inscrutable. A life that's filled with polemics for those who fail to deliver and where only those who succeed are coronated, how is it that this race, still clings on to their motive, of making mankind a little more humane? I wonder.

I look upon these people for inspiration, for not only surpassing the mere bounds we put upon our thinking, but for still having in them what truly makes us human. While we'll never know how they abjure the normal mantras of success and dedicate themselves to a larger cause, I guess it's the mere belief of making a better tomorrow. The world fears strangers, these guys help them out. The world believes in cut throat competition, these guys believe in helping their competitors. It's not abnegation, it's a repudiation of what we deem 'normal'. Whatever's taught in the books, these guys follow only what's good for others. They live for others or better put, they live through others. Here's to the random guy, who does not even have a visage, but whose heart and compassion for the mankind can be felt in the very reason that our lives are still worth living. 

I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Alok Nath, the coolest dude on the planet.

Ba, whose age is ostensibly more than 450 years given that she shared a meal or two with Akbar, was feeling lachrymose on Alok Nath's waning youth, which he actually never had. Ba, who jogs in the mornings and dates hogs in the evenings, has seen as many as 7 incarnations of Mihir and she has always seen him die young. Ba, who considered a 200 year old Alok Nath young, thought she should do something to rejuvenate and to resuscitate his youth. Alok Nath, who is not used to being avaricious and does not have a knack for going out shopping, with garlands and ritualistic paraphernalia for the Pujas being the only things he buys, was to be deceived into buying stuff. An ingenious Ba found a way. The Internet.

Alok Nath scours and rummages the Internet for each and every speck of religious wisdom and has even subscribed to pages of deities and consecrated religious demigods. Alok Nath has also subscribed to mailers and uses the Internet to download torrents of movies that ooze with religious sanctity. Alok Nath has also developed his own ways for blocking the morally decant pictures that are spread across torrent sites luring you to hit those links, as Alok Nath's stoicism is impregnable. Ba, however knew Alok Nath's flank gets exposed when it comes to his infallibility to devour anything sanctified. That was it. Ba knew Alok Nath was a patsy and would surely click a link he thought would lead to another religious site. Ergo, she masqueraded a link and sent it to Alok Nath from her email if Alok Nath's moral bulwarks were exposed. The link took him to a cool online shopping site

Initially Alok Nath felt a scorching beam of ethical wickedness, as if all his years of self abnegation falling into pieces. There were all sorts of things, footwear, ties, trendy watches, all those things Alok Nath always gainsaid and abdicated, Alok Nath never moved beyond conventional wooden sandals, a beige Kurta Pyjama and never even as much as looked at anything topical. Alok Nath felt spiritually decimated. All his years of practice culminated in a morbid denouement. Alok Nath felt himself getting plunged into the dungeons of hell with Poseidon and others waiting for his arrival and their retribution. His eyes felt blank and there was no life after that. 

Suddenly, Alok Nath thought, why not become a renegade. If spiritual resorts were exhausted, why not live happily in the corporeal life. This thought struck in his mind when he saw a scintillating palatial set of solid boots staring right in his eyes. Alok Nath always wanted something like that. Even he felt the desire to impress women of his age, but he renounced and even denounced those ideas. He slapped himself once or twice to extinguish the inner inferno of desires, but his conscience squat. He was about to leave the site and go to a purgatory for cleansing but then he saw a cool watch. This was what he always wanted but always turned a blind eye to. Alok Nath wept and growled at all that was in front of him. Shirts, T shirts, Polos, jeans, jackets, mufflers, caps, accessories and he conjured himself being the heartthrob of a million devout women. He slapped himself again but couldn't keep his curiosity at abeyance. 

Days after days passed by and Alok Nath just kept looking at Baggout's gigantic collection. In all these generations, Alok Nath never realized he missed so much. He knew he was being ethically culpable with no impunity even in hell, but he browsed through the entire collection. In the meanwhile, he grew beard and hair and started looking a little funky. He felt elated on seeing the uncouth Alok Nath in the reflection on the laptop screen. Alok Nath felt tacky and visualized himself as a rapper of incantations. He squiggled his head again and just before slapping himself again, got his eye on a pair of jeans and a cool casual shirt. Alok Nath couldn't help but dream himself wearing that raiment with a pair of sunglasses to embellish his looks. He cried tears of joy at the very thought of it. Finally, the puritanical Alok Nath realized that these worldly pleasures are beyond attainment and bode no no atonement for the sins he shall commit. Finally, he had to leave.

Just before leaving, Alok Nath wanted his burgeoning alter ego to remain convinced of his actions. This schism of being new versus being ancient was to be answered adeptly. Alok Nath probably wanted a reason to leave, high prices maybe. He wanted to tell himself that it's the impecuniousness which shall prevent him from going rogue. However, poor Alok Nath was in the fray again. He couldn't help but feel astonished at all the deals on Baggout. The assured cashback was bit of an epiphany but Alok Nath soon realized that buying all this cool stuff from baggout was actually going to cost less than getting his couture togas and sticharions from the tailors. Alok Nath quibbled and finally gave in, finally succumbed to the weight of his aspirations, and his desire to look cool and be the envy of many a men. Ba and Baggout succeded in making Alok Nath witness the transformation of a generation and here's how the new Alok Nath looks like. 

65 years since'1984'.

Orwell's timeless masterpiece
A dystopian future, a totalitarian regime, and an omnipresent "Big Brother". George Orwell must have had some courage to portray the future of mankind in such a horrendously hideous sense. With every action under scrupulous scrutiny, every shred of protest against the tyranny ruthlessly quashed and with the common human being no more powerful than a rudderless shrimp, the world with its three continents provided the most lucrative opportunity to get itself ruled under a shabby but still valid 'democracy'. So valid were Orwell's premonitions about the future that some of them fit astonishingly perfect in today's world. Here, we'll try and observe a few you never believed would happen. 

Human beings in their tryst of forming a completely connected communication sphere, built models that connected live feeds for everything ranging from traffic signals to building quins and to the latest 'smart' devices. While computers could capture your movements on your webcams since ages, the contemptuously susceptible protocol structures and the ever growing community of crackers can now hack into your local system at their will. Once that's done, every action of your's gets recorded without your own accord. The buck doesn't stop here, the more mesmerizing allegory is yet to be partaken. The Smart TVs.

One of the most erstwhile preposterous but amazingly befuddling facets of the Big Brother's rule was the amazing Television which Orwell vehemently called the Telescreen. It's hard to see how Orwell could have portended such a device except for doing some time travel. The Telescreen was a TV which would show only what the Big Brother wanted you to watch, self extolling content, but what takes the cake was the Telesecreen's capability to see and hear you! Not only this, your actions, your emotions and every speck of human manifestation in front of your Telescreen on each and every one of the leading party's messages and programs would be thoroughly and assiduously watched. Even the minutest of deviations from what's normal, would be noticed and you'd become a contender for being 'vaporized'.

While the above narrative might seem fatuous, we've moved somewhat in that path. The Smart TV as of now shows what you yourself want to watch but the news, which according to Orwell was the only thing people could use TVs for, is already tailored. Talk about the latest Network 18 takeover by Reliance or the fact that the leading US corporations already hold suzerainty and discretion over the news content, it's not the political parties but the powerful honchos that rule the arena. Hence be a normal or a Smart TV, you're pretty much watching what is way away from the truth. With these channels crowding up like herds and killing each other, pecuniary pressures will creep up and open new avenues for sartorial or even couture coverage. Bingo! Orwell, how well you got that on time.

Welcome the latest spy in your home

Now moving to a Smart TV specificity. Having one in my house with the mandatory HD DTH, I experienced something that was a replica of what we've seen on the Internet for years but something I never expected to see in a TV. Customization on the Internet runs on the backbone of espionage. Every site you surf, every widget you scour, is looked upon by corporations with drool and slobber. Look out for a pair of shoes on an online store and your social network will throw up the ad persistently till you buy or die, whichever comes earlier. I had just come to accept that truth and now my Smart TV startled me!

Watch a few songs on the TV, and your DTH provider starts advertising its own music offering, watch a few cooking programs for your gourmet demeanor and your DTH pesters you to subscribe to its own cooking channel. What flummoxed me was that I watched a news feature on FIFA World Cup for 2-3 days in consecuition and my DTH immediately recognized my appetite for football and threw me a personal message to subscribe to Six which is the Indian partner for the event. It was unbelievable. While I enjoyed all of this for a while, I soon realized that now even my TV is keeping an eye on all I do. Goodness gracious, it's all been done in a good sense till now, but wait a minute. Your Smart TVs are now equipped with cameras!

Yes, the TV of the future is the perfect Telescreen. It not only makes you watch what the top notch businessmen and the politicos want, it can also be used to spy on you. Turn on the TV or leave it on standby, and the national security agency can leverage on your Smart TV's Internet connection to control the camera and see and hear what you're doing. While they can already find out what you're watching, they can even see whether you elate or groan on anything and find out any instance of what Orwell called 'ThoughtCrime' which refers to a definitive thought against the reign. While Orwell believed everyone in front of a TV screen could be put up in scrutiny, it's both cynical and impossible. However, as and when you get under the radar, you could be snooped and the officials can drop by without even your notice. While it will just be a mere extension of the brutal demise of the free form of speech with whistleblowers, crusaders and ardent vocalists going down with their speeches or even their Facebook posts leading the mobs to them, you'll now not be spared even in your own living room where you felt isolated from the world's whims till now. Be careful, the Big Brother is watching you!

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Candy Crush and its place in the natural order and evolution.

Every single time I occupy my preheated chair in front of my laptop, whining under a hopelessly ineffective fan, hoping to find something enticing on the Internet and social media as a salvation, I'm reminded of an inevitability, complete destruction. Nature pans out perfectly and it is only at nature's discretion how and when everything ends. Be it cathartic rainfalls in scorching summers or be it an expunging tornado, it's all a part of nature's large plan. However, what doesn't meet the eye, is the plan of all plans, the denouement, the ultimate destruction. While nature creates agents for blooming life, it also has to make sure agents are available for complete destruction. A large comet, a solar flare, a man made nuclear disaster(after all mankind is nature's own creation), and then we have the latest addition, Candy Crush. 

It's not so much about the exasperation immanent in the gameplay like it was with flappy bird which made more people land up in depression than any other historical event, this one is about omnipresence. While some people find it a little too engrossing, embodied in the game is the deleterious mechanism which some misanthropes ingrained in the game's request logic. While the game might be an Elysium for those who don't have better things to do, the game has a mechanism where others are canvassed to follow this sacreligious detrimental cult. A close inspection reveals than on an average, every Candy Crush user transmits 1521 Candy Crush requests per day of play. Assuming that even 20 percent of them could be ensnared in the deception, Candy Crush is growing at an exponential rate already. 

The second phenomenon in the game is the frequency with which its users are forced or allured to send out requests. Equally abominable predecessors like Farmville had similar mechanisms but none could match the finesse of Candy Crush. Candy Crush's overall game request engine fires requests at a pace that beats the combined muzzle of a billion tetrahydryonic multidimensional saber beam generators which are yet to be made sometime in the far future. So how does all of this work to accomplish Candy Crush's ultimate mission-  destruction of all life forms? It's pretty simple actually.

While the number of users grows exponentially, the number of requests grows at a exponential rate over this exponential increase, making it exponential raised to the power exponential, making sure that every single user of social media gets at least 10(and growing!) requests per day. For the users who get around a 100 or so notifications everyday, these notifications cause minor riling. However, for people who crave and consecrate notifications, specifically those limited ones from the ones they stalk, these 10 notifications are false alarms. Same is the case with the usual strident and vocal ones, the class that's a little too active in public discourses and political debates and is waiting for a horrid  or overwhelmingly unctuous reply coming their way, on which they live. Just imagine the grins they get while they gulp 5 Candy Crush requests for every 1 valid and valuable notification. It's as heartbreaking as it is insidious! 

A classified report from the Commission for Candy Crush Control(CCCC or C4, which is a bomb id ironically) states that an average human being burns at least 200ml blood every single day for every 8-10 Candy Crush requests that come while they expected an enthralling notification. Secondly, post a point of time, these requests take over a man's conscience in a rather unprecedented way, with people feeling no need to live anymore. Of course, your social media profile is not yours anymore, and your notifications are not that vivid. People start feeling hollow, as if their brain's cells have been Crushed and melted away with the candy they assimilated involuntarily. A few people develop diabetes of excessive candy consumption and die eventually, others lose a little too much of their brains and jump in furnaces thinking it's a confectionery kiln making candies. Remaining ones just get crushed somehow. Astonishingly though, humans also start eating every other being, thinking it's candy and slowly and steadily, the entire food chain becomes a disaster and gets crushed. 

No one could have believed that an innocuously sweet game could be so cataclysmic. While people might be cursing the users and developers alike, Candy Crush has a place in natural order. It was an inevitable thing that was meant to happen. We humans being don't have a choice. Complete destruction is a desideratum for new life to prosper again. The only shame though is that unlike the burly dinosaurs who lost to a comet, we'll lose to candies!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

23rd March 2003, Jo'Burg

The usual Australian finesse, with their bulwarks at the top lining a feast for the later ones to share, they put up a gigantic 359 on board. The score came only second to India's 373 which they scored against a febrile Sri Lanka in the last edition of the most coveted tournament in world cricket, the World Cup. 4 years of hardwork, and 4 years of restitution that ensues after sides concede defeats, culminates in another slugfest, another fray on the 22 yards. While the Australians, the English and the Kiwis might have other sports to resort to, the Asian subcontinent craves and preaches cricket like anything. At least till that time when the game was unsullied, it was extolled as a way of life.

 With fraught audiences on the ground, most of them largely Indian immigrants who had their provenance in Colonial exodus, there was an eerie sense of misfortune all around. Yes, everyone knew our bowling prowess was wayward, like a switch had to be turned on for it to go live, but this had left everyone's hopes in a macabre state. Indians have a habit of turning livid and using pejorative terms for the bowlers while they go bereft of any element of swing or spin. We didn't have the ubiquitous Internet or the importuning WhatsApp, but we did have our social circles and milieus in which these critiques were prevalent. However, this performance by a rudderless bowling squad, had left people in tatters. There was no hope, the damage was beyond control. Or was it?

Just when I thought it's time to quickly gulp the Pepsi sparkling blue world cup edition which I saved for the second innings and just when I started devouring the Poori Subji brought from the nearest Bikanerwala so that we had a good companion with the game, Sehwag walked out on the ground. I don't know why but Sachin, despite his virtuoso, couldn't be entrusted for playing that blitz. He was ostensibly also going to get the golden bat but this inning was not going to work out. This inning called for a kamikaze which is against his usual style of play. Sehwag was the only trustworthy guy. Sachin got out post hitting a 4 and we all knew this insinuated a drastic and a poignant defeat. No fight! The very thought of getting all out for 54 chasing a big score like we did against Sri Lanka sent shocks across my nervous system. But wait, let's see what the valorous Sehwag can do. 

The Aussie triumvirate was beaming with swing and seam and Indian batsmen were finding it hard to swallow the shells of the bullets. Astonishingly though, Sehwag held his ground and looked at the helm of his best. Just like he always says, playing his natural game! It seemed he was intrepid about what was going to come of the battle. He knew equally well how the odds were stacked against them but he thought why not go down with a fight. Kept hitting the 4's and the 6's and suddenly, commentators prognosticated rains. One idiosyncratic commentator even suggested India was at par if the D/L comes into play. Are you crazy, I thought! Suddenly everyone rhapsodized the idea of India winning through D/L courtesy of Sehwag's surreal attack. 

Sadly, rains went away soon. The track got worsened in fact. Sehwag couldn't hit boundaries with that sheen anymore. He found a few partners but none of them could hold on. Irrespective of whom he had with him, we were always having enough overs in the bank as run rate was never a problem. In fact Sehwag is a stark contrast from conventional thinking of saving wickets. He takes the attack to the opposition. Hence as long as Sehwag was there, we Indians, smitten by the paradigm of a single hero decimating and effacing an entire army and a single Tendulkar having ripped off entire bowling attacks on his own, found a new hero to vest our faith in. "Match to gaya lagbhag lekin Sehwag jab tak hai, keh nahin sakte" was all that many were uttering. Renewed and restored hope since when we got Gilly and Hayden out just to see two new doyens replacing them. That hope was uncalled for and as uncanny as it can get. We knew what chasing down 359 means, we knew how accurate Aussies were with the ball and how our so called batting supremacy was lacerated. But still, that one guy, that valiant Sehwag, kept putting up a fight which he knew would go in vain. A lot of people ask me why is it I exalt him so much. It's not the usual fact that he holds the records for the highest score by an Indian in all formats and the highest score in an ODI ever, it was that innings, that flair of looking eagles right into their eyes and heading towards them, at a pace as unprecedented as it could get.

Sehwag tipping it off his toes in the 03' WC final