Monthly Archives: June 2013

15 Rupees – Part 1

15 rupees

By Ravi J Singh

“The next station is Tilak Nagar, the doors will open on the left. Please stay away from the doors” – This announcement has lately become the cue for me to vacate my hard earned seat in Delhi Metro, which I mostly win at Rajeev Chowk metro station. It being the biggest terminal so far in Delhi metro for different metro routes, always gives you an opportunity to earn the seat, but only if you are already in the metro not outside.

However, even for that you have to act smart, you need to be swift and precise, you need to read between the lines, you need to understand the sitting composures of the people occupying the seats, you need to make a very good guess if the person will change the metro on or before Rajeev Chowk or not. Otherwise your bet can just get horribly wrong, making you stand the whole journey. And, these days from the time they have this separate compartment concept for women, standing in metro has become very less attractive.

See it is not a joke after all, you need to have a hawk eye, the analytics need to be good, sixth sense needs to be precise; the seats are limited. Moreover, you cannot bet on the four seats which are reserved for elderly, physically handicapped, and the weaker sex, oops, the stronger sex, sorry! So, that leaves you with only 12 seats. I don’t go for the 2 couple seats at the side, not my turf.

My law of probability says only 30-40% vacancy rate for these 12 seats on Rajeev Chowk. And, moreover there are other smart people too who act the same way and stand literally on the top of their ‘party’, to ‘say’ their claim on the seat. I was lately becoming very good at this business, as my guess earned me the seat today as well.

It was still another 15 minutes of journey remaining when at Patel Nagar entered two women and three men, the seat next to me got vacant and one of the lady and the man shot themselves for that seat, man just winning the race with a millisecond. I don’t know why I felt bad for that lady. Not that she was very attractive, she was of average looks, not my kind, but I felt bad for her loosing the game. 2 minutes later another race was won, the good man won from the apathy-man inside me, and I decided to offer my seat to her.

But, suddenly a young boy seeing this as a chance snapped towards the seat. “Hey, hey, hey, I vacated the seat for the lady”, I told him catching him from his shoulder. “I never knew, I thought you were getting off the train”, he replied a bit frustratingly while the lady occupied the seat. The conversation was enough to evoke attention of the 30-40 souls present around us. I told him smilingly “you saw I offered her the seat, and got up, still you thought I was getting off-board”. “Anyways, you were sitting on the ladies reserved seat, see there”, he pointed towards the two corner seats, which are reserved for women and tried to enlighten me. I was not surprised on his shamelessness and ignorance, and replied “Dude, those are only two seats in this row which are reserved, not the whole row”, and added smirkly “By the way, you seems like to be one of those men who even after occupying those two seat do not get up by themselves when a woman arrives around you”.

This line was enough to embarrass him completely, there were chuckles around, people were entertained swiftly, don’t know if some lessons were learned or not, no apology was offered by the guy, no appreciation was shown by the lady. The chivalry took the backseat. The metro and its travelers were mundanely running on the tracks as usual.

“The next station is Tilak Nagar, the doors will open on the left. Please stay away from the doors”. My station had arrived, or rather, the metro train reached my daily destination. I got off the train and ran towards the exit point. I had this weird habit of running towards the exit point daily, and challenge myself to be at least amongst the first three people to exit from the card swipe area, as if some gold, silver or bronze medals were awaiting me. But, I was winning, winning in my mind, and by now had scores and scores of virtual trophies and medals and self- acclamation of ‘how fit I am’ with me!

तू खूबसूरत है बहोत

beautiful

By Syed Bilal

तू खूबसूरत है बहोत

जानती है क्या !
संगेमरमरी मूरत है तू
पहचानती है क्या !
पलकों में तेरी सुबह की
आहट कुबुलाती है
नैन जब खुलते है तेरे
तो सुबहा  मुस्कुराती है ,
मेरी सुबहा और शाम है तू
जानती है क्या !
मेरी सुराही मेरा जाम है तू
पहचानती है क्या !
तू चाँद की करवट है
नदिया का पनघट है
दरिया की सरहद है
जानती है क्या !
रोते हुए चेहरे पे
हसी की दस्तक है
पहचानती है क्या !
आँखें है तेरी दो दीये
रोशन सा इनमे नूर है
मुड़कर जो देखे जिस तरफ
दीवाली छोड़ जाती है
जानती है क्या !
बाहें फैला जो खड़ी होती तू
बारिश तुझपे उतर आती है
पहचानती है क्या !
आपका :
बिलाल

Garhwal Diaries 12 – Rishikesh Retro Riviera

Some moments captured within a span of 24 hours in Rishikesh – the gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas.

IMG_0380A bird in the eye

IMG_0381Painted Bark

IMG_0383The Bridge

IMG_0394Ray of Hope

IMG_0389Still Life

Ghanchakkar Review: Meat Missing From Story

ghanchakkar-lead

 

By Ankush Kumar

The one thing that is common between the intelligent filmmakers of Bollywood, the dumb ones and the pseudos’ is their love for the disease called Amnesia. The pseudos’ mostly get this one right because their audiences are equally mushy and stupid.

The dumb ones have little options but it’s the intelligent ones that goes horribly wrong. When expectations from a cult filmmaker are massive and you are treated to an overdose of amnesia the end result is ‘Ghanchakkar’.

Loosely inspired by the Danny Boyle film trance where a man robs a painting and forgets this one has money as its subject. But as it has happened umpteen times an inspiration with dash of Bollywood clichés and the movie gives its audience a burst of amnesia at the end.

The movie starts perfectly well. Setu has shot the bank heist brilliantly. Quirky humor, stellar performances and bouncy music gives you a hope that delicious biryani is being cooked. But beyond the first hour the movie begins to fizzle out. Repeated gags and the film starts to choke. In the end you feel cheated when you realize that bharta has been served instead of biryani.

On the acting front Emraan Hashmi is honest to his role, Vidya Balan is brilliant playing a boisterous Punjabi housewife whose fashion sense will give complex to the behenjis from Delhi. But it’s the funny don who is a stand out in the entire movie.

Raj Kumar Gupta is better of picking up real life issues than making a mockery of short stories. In the end you can only hope that the intelligence will return in the future. For the moment though the meat is missing.

ghanchakkar

 

 

The Stupid Girl!

stupid girl

By Ganesh Subramanian

She thinks she is beautiful

But in reality she is pitiful

She thinks she is everyman’s dream

But seeing her face in midnight makes a child scream

She thinks she is intelligent

But her brain can’t be activated even by a chemical reagent

She thinks she is worldly-wise

But her superficial knowledge is like melting ice

She thinks she is a super star

But she is nothing more than a black stone of tar

She thinks her boyfriend is a Rambo

But who will tell her that she herself is a Dumbo

She thinks she is the cynosure of all eyes

But she is nothing more than a walking dead body hunted by flies

She thinks she wears the best dress in the town

But seeing her colour choice makes even the apathetic frown

She thinks she is a heavenly wonder

But her friends know that she is only a God’s blunder

When trying to think, her lips curl

But thoughts don’t come to her, after all she is a stupid girl !

Top 5 Summer Getaways in India

To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.

                                                                                                            Philip Andrew Adams

For those who stay near the national capital region in and around Delhi, between May to September, brings months of torture with regards to heat and humidity. Thankfully the northern region has some getaways that you could think of to rejuvenate yourself and get back to action that your work so demands in the daily life. We bring out 5 places that could get your body; mind and soul back to sanity through the sheer climate and locales of the place.

shimla

Shimla: Nothing beats Shimla during the heat. The “Queen of Hill Stations” as it is so famously called is choc-a-bloc with people from all parts of the country during summers. If that makes you feel apprehensive you can rest assured that there are least 15 places around the town which will give you the peace you need away from the hustle and bustle. The place got its fame first time when the Brits made it their retreat and also their winter capital. The remains of those times can still be seen. The place is also a huge honeymoon destination because of its serene, quite and romantic environment.

Major Attractions: The Ridge and the Mall, Christ Church and the Tara Devi Temple.

leh ladakh

Leh-Ladakh: If you are an adventure freak and also have a largish holiday window, Ladakh is the place to visit during the summers. It needs time though and if you are travelling air, the duration could be 7 days and if you are travelling road you need at least 10 days to figure out the entire place. Because of the climate it actually needs acclimatization of a day or two to settle down. Ladakh is the highest plateau in the state of Kashmir and most of it is a minimum 3000 feet above sea level. The distance and the extremeness of the location has made sure the rest of the country is still far away and the beautiful place is sparsely populated.

Major Attraction: Leh, Drass Valley, Nubra Valley, Pangong, Tso Moriri, Zangla and many Buddhist Monasteries.

manali

Manali: “Valley of Gods” or “India’s Switzerland” as its known as, Manali is a wonderful place to be during the summers. The great climate, the scenic surrounding, Himalayas by the Beas river make it a perfect getaway from the hectic city life we so awfully lead. Trekking, skiing, river rafting and mountaineering make it a destination to explore for the adventure nutties as well.

Major Attractions: Snow capped Himalayan peaks, Beas river, adventure sports and fruit orchards.

munnar

Munnar: When we talk of holiday destinations, “God’s Own Country” Kerala cannot lag behind and Munnar is definitely one of India’s best summer holiday destinations. Tea Gardens, dense vegetation, awesome surroundings and magnificent weather mean Munnar has people flocking from all over the World. It is also very popular amongst honeymooners.

Major Attractions: Tea plantations, National Park, Walk in the clouds, lakes, waterfalls, vegetation, Bird Sanctuary etc.

Nainital

Nainital: For those looking for a break from the dust and the heat, Nainital comes across as a great solution. One of India’s biggest summer destinations, Nainital is a favorite amongst tourists during summers. The high mountains and the vast stretches of green across the horizon add to the pictorial beauty. The name as believed by the locals has been taken from the Goddess Naina. There is also a temple dedicated to this goddess, present in Nainital that you can visit.

Major Attractions: high mountains, Naina Devi temple, fabulous resorts, greenery

Garhwal Diaries 11 – A Day at Devprayag

I waited for more that 2 hours on the road. But when the authorities declared that it will almost the entire evening for the roads to be cleared, I decided to return to Devaprayag for a night halt.

One of the five Prayags, Devaprayag is the Confluence of Alkananda and Bhagirathi.

I put up in a motel for the night. I must say it was a welcome break. Especially keeping in mind the view from the motel balcony.

IMG_0228A bend in the river

IMG_0334Bend Captured from the Motel Balcony

devprayagThe Confluence

IMG_0344Chai with Choco Pie

IMG_0353Vegetable Garden at the Backyard