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November 28, 2008


Never felt so helpless, so restless in my life. I am sure there were many like me following the news closely, unable to get back to the normal pace of life. Goosebumps and shivers accompanied every bit of information that the media passed on to us. What is the end-goal of these people? Do they think nations like the US, the UK and India will handover their governance to them? What are they fighting for? What are they spreading terror for?

I am totally clueless as to what I type now. I wish that never again the people anywhere have to go through what the Indians are going through now.

दहशतगर्दी का मंसूबा है दहशत, पर सिर्फ़ दर्द दिखता है हमारी आंखों में.

November 17, 2008

My second encounter with the White Tiger

Yesterday, after my chance encounter with the White Tiger, I got back to work but not for too long. The load shedding kept me tied to the living area surrounded by the light of two candles. So, with nothing else to do, I started reading the book again. In some time, there was a knock on the door. As I opened the door, A flashed a big smile and handed me a wrapped packet and said, "Gift!" He must have anticipated a pleasant exclamation, instead he got this, "Don't tell me you have bought White Tiger!"

A's face fell and before he could ask me the reason, he noticed an open book in the candlelight. With brisk steps, he reached the book, turned it over, and simply uttered, "Arrey!"

November 16, 2008

My chance encounter with the White Tiger

In the middle of planning the work towards meeting a couple of deadlines this week and a few family and social commitments, I went to wake up M from his untimely sleep when I noticed Adiga's White Tiger on his bed. I have closely followed all the discussions, articles, the special report in the Sunday Times following the book winning the Booker Prize. I somehow developed a strong feeling that I would loathe it. Yes, I am being extremely judgemental, and at times, like many others, I judge a book by its cover.

Anyways, coming back to now, I opened the book and started reading it. I did not realize that I had got myself hooked to it until the mobile rang. I realized I had to get back to work and that I could not afford to read a book today or rather the entire week. In the fifteen pages that I have read so far, I have had fifty different thoughts, not about the book but about the many aspects of life and being Indian.

I do not know if I will love the book or loathe it, but I feel it will not leave me stoic.

Honoured and humbled

I sit down to write a post with a feeling that it's high time I posted something. However, I cannot focus on only one subject. Seems another assorted post is in the offing. Or, a confused one.

I have had a multitude of new experiences over the last two months. Now, one would argue that an experience is always new when it happens. However, when I say 'new', I mean 'fresh and unprecedented'. One of such experiences was an invite to the launch of a music album and the consequent feeling of being honoured and humbled. No, I was not involved in the music album in any way. I was invited to the launch by virtue of being an acquaintance of the person who was behind the launch of the album. Gopakumar, the man behind Saaral, a Tamil music album, was a colleague of mine at IBM. He moved to Chennai sometime ago. He made sure he updated me regularly on the album's workings. So, in September this year, when he informed that the album was due to be launched, my happiness knew no bounds. I had a tough time containing my excitement. When I reached Chennai on the D-day (September 29), I was humbled by the splurge of talent around. Being unfamiliar with the popular faces of the Tamil film and music industry, I kept bugging my new acquaintance (a lovely lady called Kumudham) for information on the people who arrived at the launch.

The famous faces and the launch had no trace of pomp or arrogance. The occasion had humility sprinkled with the right amount of pride. When the album's songs were being played, I could not resist tapping my feet or nodding my head to the tunes. I could not fathom a single word of the songs but they still seemed to make sense to me. And they say we are different. That moment, I felt I belonged to Chennai as much as I belonged to Bangalore or Kolkata or Dhanbad. If we were asked to remain in our states, how would we relish the friendships and tastes of the different lands of our country? OK, I am digressing. Will keep this for another post.

When Benny (Benny Dayal) sang a peppy song from the album on Sanjeev's (Sanjeev Philip Thomas) guitar tunes, people found it difficult to resist the temptation of hitting the floor.

I was humbled at the sight of the singers Unnikrishnan, Karthik, and Naresh Iyer. And I felt proud at being introduced to Benny and Sanjeev who obliged me with their autographs on the album's cover. Gopakumar was of course the first one to autograph! I cannot quite imagine his feelings at being able to finally make one of his dreams come true. Oh yes, he is the main music composer of the album, lyricist for a few songs and singer for one.

After the event, I was a part of an informal dinner with Gopakumar's family and a few friends. This guy has always been someone for whom family comes first. Even with ambitions of movie making, a fulfilled dream of a good music album, a passion for photography and a secure job, he has his wife and daughter as the number one priority on his list. I wonder how he manages. But I guess, people like him are the ones who can. During dinner, I casually remarked, "How do you manage to make music, work on making movies, stick to the passion of photography apart from attending a 9-9 job? People do not even find time to watch movies!" With a smile, he said, "I watch movies too."

P.S. For all those who would like to experience Saaral, you can order the CD online here.