Pizza And People.

I came across this quote from one of our genuine heroes, and just could not resist the temptation to share it with my readers.

Pizza always confuses me. It comes in a square box, yet when you open it, it is round, And when you start eating it, it is a triangle!

Life and people are like pizza; look different , appear different and of course behave absolutely different.

~ A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Posted in Humor, India, People | Tagged | 21 Comments

The Shahenshah.

My blogger friend Rasheed Hooda has written a flattering post about me and a couple of other blogger friends of mine as being writers of No Niche Blogs.  For the first time ever in my life, I have been called Shahenshah by someone and I am flattered!

I can’t resist the temptation to share his post with my readers to share his point of view.

Thank you Rasheedbhai.

Posted in Blogging, Friendship | 10 Comments


Dedicated to my dear friend Chuck. May he sleep as blissfully as this Chuck does. Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

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Calm After The Storm.

“What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.”

~ Anonymous.

I had many storms in my life just like everyone else does. Almost all of them were minor ones of low intensity quickly abating and bringing normalcy and calm almost immediately after.  There were two major ones however that till today stand out for their contrasts in intensity during the storm and the quality post storm.

One storm  was almost like a tsunami which took about three years and a half to build up to climaxing six months of intense discomfort and tension before resolution. I refer to my late father’s last days with me six years ago about which I wrote here. The calm after this particular storm was and continues to be one of the best periods of my life. The calm included getting a grip on my own life, my son getting married and bringing a lovely daughter in love home and to add icing on the cake to bring little Chutki into my life.

All the elements of the calm that this particular storm brought to me made it easier to accept a situation that had been hard to accept earlier which was the storm of Urmeela’s illness and subsequent death. Had I not undergone the very difficult period after her death, I would have perhaps not been able to appreciate just how the bad weather that her illness had brought was just a minor storm unlike the one that the later experience that my father’s presence and eventual illness and death brought about.

If Urmeela’s death’s aftermath was regret and sorrow, my father’s was relief.  What a difference!  Two entirely different experiences but, both were calms after storms.

I wonder if such sequential storms enable to compare and thus appreciate the calm that one brings over the other. It would be interesting to read about the experiences of my readers.

I have suggested today’s topic for the weekly 2 on 1 # 10 blog fest. Please check what Shackman has to say on the same topic.

Posted in Blogging, Family, Relationships | 15 Comments

Red Sparrow.

My son Ranjan had seen Red Sparrow earlier this week and was insistent that I see it. I tried to on a few occasions earlier in the week but, was unable to due to unavoidable reasons. I was able to catch a matinee show earlier this afternoon and I understand why Ranjan wanted me to see it.

Jennifer Lawrence as a Red Sparrow is simply magnificent and the story, direction, photography and action kept the audience spell bound for the entire running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. Some very tight editing ensured that the pace was maintained and all in all a remarkably well made film. The story is built almost entirely around the lead character and so the others make more or less cameo roles in it.

The spy story is unusual and the climaxing turns and twists makes for top notch thrill.

If you are interested in spy stories particularly about women being trained to be honey traps, don’t miss this. I guarantee that you will thank me for this recommendation.

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Memory Trigger 24. Fishing.

I had left my cellphone at home while I had gone out to lunch with some friends. On my return, I found that there were four missed calls from a strange number. I called the number to find a very old friend on the other end, whom I hadn’t seen or heard from in over a decade.

I apologised for not having taken the phone with me and he promptly asked, if I had gone fishing! The connection was that many decades ago, we had gone fishing together off the coast of Bombay and instead of fish had caught a few crabs! Both of us laughed at that memory and caught up with all other news.

That discussion however reminded me of this amazing song by Chris Rea. One of the few songs that I liked but, which Urmeela did not. Please read the lyrics at the end to understand why she did not like the song.

Chris Rea – Gone Fishing Lyrics
I’m gone fishing
I got me a line
Nothing I do is gonna make the difference
So I’m taking the time

And you ain’t never gonna be happy
Anyhow, anyway
So I’m gone fishing
And I’m going today

I’m gone fishing
Sounds crazy I know
I know nothing about fishing
But just watch me go

And when my time has come
I will look back and see
Peace on the shoreline
That could have been me

You can waste a whole lifetime
Trying to be
What you think is expected of you
But you’ll never be free

May as well go fishing.

Gone Fishing lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Posted in Family, Friendship, Nostalgia | Tagged | 12 Comments

Road Manners.

Posted in People, Sociology | Tagged | 18 Comments

What is the most dangerous place in the world today? 2 on 1 # 9.

It is a measure of the times that we live in that it is the most difficult question to answer with one definite place. If I choose one, the chances are that within 24 hours there will be a mass shooting or a terrorist attack somewhere which will, for the media, become the most dangerous place on earth.

I thought hard about how to approach the problem and the solution appeared as though a miracle when I was on my back from a movie yesterday evening. I was almost run over by a car despite my having been standing on the pavement waiting for my car to come to pick me up. The vehicle lost control trying to avoid a two wheeler and mounted the pavement. The motorcyclist in turn was trying to avoid hitting a pedestrian suddenly darting across the road in front of him.

I decided then that the most dangerous place in the world today is simply our roads. I did some research and I was stunned to read that China and India are almost neck to neck in fatalities in sheer numbers but the entire world has more deaths arising out of traffic accidents than any other cause.  QED.

And lest I forget or my readers forget that there is a world outside of our roads and there is a place near where I live which is unique, here is a news item from a local newspaper there.

Shackman has suggested today’s topic for the weekly 2 on 1 blog fest. Please check what he has to say on the same topic.

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Among the very few regrets that I have is one that I could not get into any of the Indian Armed Forces due to my myopia. I have compensated for it by developing and maintaining very good friendships with some members of our Armed Forces, all of who know my affection and respect for them and what they do for the nation.

Naturally, I love to see movies involving our armed forces and Aiyyary is the latest that I saw yesterday. I had been waiting for its release since January as it got stuck in our Censor Board for some strange reason but, it seems to have been finally cleared and it was released in our theatres last week.

160 minutes of running time passed in a jiffy. One of the most tightly edited movies that I have seen with hardly a scene that was superfluous. Amazing direction and acting backed with some very appropriate music kept viewers glued to their seats and from the reaction of the audience on the way out, it was obvious that without exception, everyone enjoyed the experience.

Like many new Indian films, this too uses actors rather than stars and that single factor combined with excellent direction and dialogue delivery, makes this, for all practical purposes a spy story, a remarkable movie to watch. I am glad that I did not go by some of the reviews that I had read in our press but decided to go by my love for our Armed Forces.

If you get a chance to see it, please do not miss it.

Posted in India, Movies | Tagged | 12 Comments


I attended an English play Yayati, last Friday. Pune has a vibrant theatre movement and almost all shows are full house performances. Marathi being the most popular language, followed by Hindi and English. I used to be a regular play goer in the nineties but stopped after 2002 about which I shall write later.

Yayati is a play based on a character in our Epic, Mahabaratha. His story was adapted for the stage by Girish Karnad, one of our noted playwrights many years ago in Kannada, one of our local languages. He was requested to translate this into English to enable a drama troupe based in Bengaluru Jagriti, to stage the play there. Having successfully run there, the troupe brought it to Pune as part of a local drama festival and Manjiree, Ranjan and I went to see it last Friday.

This photograph shows the cast, crew, playwright and the director taken in Bengaluru.  Girish Karnad is the tallest male there.

This one shows  some of the cast on stage after the show in Pune. The gent in the middle of those ladies is another stage and film celebrity, Amol Palekar who had come to see the play.  His wife, screenplay writer Sandhya Gokhale can be seen at the extreme right.

Normally speaking wild horses would not have been able to drag me to see a play in any of our theatres here. I stopped going to see plays as, the seats are inevitably uncomfortable and my replaced/revised hip joints makes it physically uncomfortable for me.

Yayati however was special and despite knowing that I would be uncomfortable, I went to see one of my all time favourite ladies.  She features as the last one on the right in the top photograph and the second from the left in the bottom one. She is Vandana Prabhu, my very talented niece who not only is an accomplished actor but, also directs plays. How could I not attend a play with her acting in it and being staged in Pune?

The play was brilliant and so was Vandana. The entire cast were remarkably professional and their delivery of dialogues and monologues were totally fault free and smooth. I thoroughly enjoyed the show despite the discomfort of the seats.

Posted in Family, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments