Wednesday, June 13, 2007


This post is an outcome of one of the innumerable chats that I seem to be having these days..Not all are meaningful.But this one bloody sure was.. I am glad I had it.

One of my dear friends was amazed when I told him that even though I have widely covered India and some places in the US now ,Manali was one of the few places which simply blew me off my feet.He told me that I should pen my thoughts even if it is 9 years since that day of unbridled joy,when India looked beautiful to my eye.

I here under describe the places/monuments that are a must see in India,atleast once in one's lifetime.I also furnish the reasons why I feel there is a need to see these places.
They are in no particular order cos I feel each one is so vastly different and hence it wouldnt be fair to keep one of them on a pedestal.Here goes:
1)Venkataramana Temple,Tirupati:
It is ironical that Tirupati is about 5 hours drive from Bangalore and even lesser from Chennai,compared to a 10 hour journey from its very own capital,Hyderabad.
One of the many times I have been there was on a biting cold December day.I was not even into my teens then..
Yet the aura of the place was simply too much to ignore,so me joined the brigade in chants of "Govinda Gooooooooooovinda"..Seeing Lord Balaji in the rush near the sanctum sanctorum,where it is impossible to hear anything apart from "Jaragandi,Jaragandi" from the priests is an enthralling experience and one where you are overtaken by devotion automatically..The power of the place I guess..
I had the previlege of living in Tirumala for sometime too..But I was 3 then and I dont seem to remember much.. :)

2)Birla Mandir,Hyderabad:

The Birla Mandir is a breathtaking sight especially when illuminated.Always seems crowded but is worth going to.It is a turn-off for some of the older folks cos one needs to climb a lot of stairs to reach the actual temple at the top.
Last time I went there 10 years back,there were elevators to aid the elderly,so I am guessing the facilities now have vastly improved and it has become more user friendly.

A day out sightseeing in Hyderabad is worth the time.Salarjung Museum,Golkonda Fort,Charminar et al..Birla Mandir is the best of the lot though.

3)Taj Mahal,Agra:

This one doesnt require any description or introduction.

For many foreigners,India is the land of the beautiful Taj Mahal.
That is the first(and on some unfortunate occasions,the only) thing that strikes them when someone talks about India.Need I say more. :)
Indeed a national treasure.A marvel.The Taj Mahal was dedicated to his wife Mumtaz Mahal by Mughal emperor,Shah Jahan.He has raised the bar..I am sure any other emperor,even at his benevolent best cannot come up with what can be termed as a semblance of a replica of the Taj..

The Taj wil forever continue its hegemony as the best monument in India.

4)Golden Temple,Amritsar:

Situated about 450 kms from Delhi is this small town called Amritsar..Small did I say?? Oh it more than makes up for it cos it features twice on my list.

I was far from impressed by the town per se,but I was bowled over by the monuments,its jewels.
Perhaps the only temple surrounded by water..And yes when you do go there,take the Swarn-Shatabdi from Dilli to enjoy beautiful and picturesque nature.

5)Wagah Border,Amritsar:
This is goosebumps stuff.

When your neighbouring country is ten feet away from you and when the Indian soldiers are in the "zone".

A gamut of emotions engulfs you,cometh the flag hoisting hour.

The soldiers do a march of friendship.But believe you me,each step of the march has the soldier's heart and soul in it,letting his arch-rival know he means business.It moves you.If this is called patriotism,I would love to have some of it.

Switzerland they say is beautiful..Is it Manali-esque I ask..
If yes I would love to see it.
Located 12 hours from Dilli,it is simply the most beautiful place I have seen in Swades.
Rohtang Pass,Hadimba Temple are among the places to visit here.I remember the scenery from my hotel room like yesterday.

It was straight out of a dream sequence in a Hindi movie.

7)Mysore Palace:

Call it partiality or what have you.My birthplace has to feature in the list :)
The land of the Wodeyars is a magnificent place to visit.
Located close to the city's Devraj Urs road and Sayyaji Rao road is the city's palace.

It is a resplendent and simply irresistable setting under lights.The reaction in the crowd when the lights are turned on is a great moment.You are stunned for a minute with its beauty.

The Chamundi betta,Planet-X,Lalitmahal Palace and KRS make up for a perfect weekend plan.

Not to forget the thrill-a-minute Infosys campus located in Hebbal..A must see this one
These are some of the many gems I have seen in India..
Yes there are traffic jams,yes there are small stretches of roads amidst the huge ensemble of potholes and other things of orderly disorder.
But I believe in the phrase,"Give credit where it is due".
These places make up the aura of the land.

Dazzling and Riveting India.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Phrases reloaded!!

'Phrases' (my earlier blog) was one of the experiments that I always wanted to try out.They say "never change a winning team(till it loses)",so me will take a chance again.


1)Sunil Gavaskar-- Partiality is my motto in life..Tendulkar rocks!!
2)Ravi Shastri-- Show me the money,babeh..
3)Sachin Tendulkar(SRT)--Legend..Drop me for the finals of each tournament,I never play when my team needs me.
4)Sourav Ganguly-- Great leader,impartial..Plays to the gallery and is a great actor too.. :)
5)Rahul Dravid--Probably India's greatest batsman ever. I can't captain for nuts..Who was supposed to bowl the 31st over Mr.Chappell,tel me fast.. And yes he is way better than SRT..
6)Ajit Agarkar--Definition of liability..Dont waste a bullet on him.
7)Harbhajan Singh--These days the only flight in my vocabulary is Cathay Pacific,British Airways and Lufthansa..Flighting the ball anyone??
8)Anil Kumble-- India's greatest test match bowler..Has a circle named after him on the distinguished MG Road in that great land..What else does one want?? Huh..
9)Ricky Ponting--I am sick and tired of winning world cups. But I will win 1 more..
10)Muttaih Muralitharan--Chucker..Great chucker by the way..
11)Shane Warne--The game's greatest slow bowler ever.
12)Brian Lara--More talented than SRT..Better?? NO..Not as consistent..Finals excluded :)
13)Greg Chappell-- Great as a player..Horrible as coach...Disgusting psychopath with priorities in the wrong place.. Sucked even as coach of South Australia..
14)Shahid Afridi-- If he is 27,Pakistan is bigger than India, in size..
15)Maninder Singh--Now I know why u were always hyper active..Cocaine,Ganja et al huh??
16)Bishan Singh Bedi-- I dont care a rat's a%# on what u have to say on people and cricket...U are a disgusting,arrogant,filthy moron..


1)Pete Sampras-- Greatest player I have ever seen though he wasn't exactly a genius on clay..Fought vs amazing contemporaries..It was genius vs men not genius vs the boys as in (2)
2)Roger Federer-- More talented than pete..But not better..Huffs and puffs in a five setter cos he hasnt seen many against these children..
3)Andre Agassi-- Superb player..Was born in the Sampras era..Despite his bravura feats wil always be Mr Steffi Graf and that's sheerly out of respect for Steffi..
4)Williams sisters--Power play..Slam bang...Is this the ladies game at all??
5)Richard Williams(their dad)--Nut case..
6)Maria Sharapova--Oomph and substance..Package deal..
7)Paes-Bhupathi--A potentially great combination that went awfully awry..Shame that egos took precedence over country..Indian sport's darkest chapter..


1)Harsha Bhogle-- Great knowledge..Yours truly owes a lot to one of his articles in the Sportstar in April 1998..Awe inspiring writer...
2)Charu Sharma-- Super TV person..Wil be unabashed in praise of this chap..But one suggestion.."Be bold da..We know u wanna flirt with Mandira".. :)
3)Mandira Bedi--Actual cricketing lingo from a lady is truly refreshing..Has come a long way looks wise from the gawky young lady in DDLJ..
4)Ruby Bhatia-- Is my make up ok?? By the way who is the captain of this team??
5)Kris Srikkanth--Macha speak in tamil..I can understand..


1)HD Kumaraswamy--No english me..Only kannada..Me son of Devegowda..
2)Chandrababu Naidu-- Hyderabad is the hen that lays the golden eggs.. Rest can wait..
3)SM Krishna- Bangalore..
4)APJ Abdul Kalam--Finally someone whom we can(or wil it be could??) call President..Hats off Kalam sahab.
5)Jawaharlal Nehru--Flirt..Actually a lot more than that..Lady Mountbatten anyone??Unfortunately his name is the second that pops up when we talk abt freedom fighters..Gandhi,Nehru blah blah...Bhagat Singh,Patel,Tilak,Azad anyone??
6)MGR,Rajiv Gandhi-- A disgrace to the coveted Bharat Ratna..Puhleezzz..Gimme a break...
7)NTR-- 2 rupees a kilo rice mythologically...
8)Sardar Patel--India's nearly,very nearly man..Might have been the boost we needed early on..
9)MK Gandhi--Epitome of simple living..Is he a mahatma?? Thats debatable.
10)Bhagat Singh-- Forgotten hero..A martyr in the truest sense of the word.. I salute the man..
11)Toady,Sycophant,Servile flatterer,Boot licker--Rajiv Shukla..
12)Jagmohan Dalmiya-- Kaam bhi bahut achhi tarah karoonga aur jhol jhaal bhi..

Will keep options open for the third part of the trilogy..Cheers :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


As I started thinking and pondering and wondering abt the topic for my next blog,got a gut feel that I should try something entirely different,instead of the routine run of the mill articles that people churn out day in and day out and expect people to comment.This one might fall flat on the face or hit the jackpot..I am prepared to gamble this time.. :)

Coming back to the topic,I thought why not describe many of the celebrities that I know in a sentence or less...It could either be a first impression or the first thing that comes to your mind when u think of these people...I wil cover desi celebs this time...

Here goes:

POLITICIANS (Political leader is an utter misnomer..I dont believe in that phrase)
1) Dr.Manmohan Singh-- Man of integrity.. Economist par excellence..A thinker..PM??? nah...
2)Atal Behari Vajpayee-- Along with LB Shastri,one of the few politicians(call him a leader,I am fine with that) I doff my hat off to.
3)LK Advani-- Hardliner...Dude take a chill pill...We are all Indians for God's sake...
4)Laloo Yadav-- Joker....Entertainer..
5)Sonia Gandhi-- A Mrs..G in the making..
6)Jayalalithaa-- Dictator...Period
7)Karunanidhi--This is my last election..
8)Pramod Mahajan,Rajesh Pilot,Madhav Rao Scindia,Ranga Kumaramangalam-- India's future..Sadly curbed by cruel twists of fate..
9)Praveen Togadia--Need such people to counter Karan Thapar and Prabhu Chawla..
10)Dharam Singh-- Who is he?
11)HD Devegowda-- Ex PM..No qualification needed for the post...

1)Prannoy Roy-- God of indian news..Pro. Never searching for a word...
2)Rajdeep Sardesai-- A dynamic Prannoy...Great for TV
3)Barkha Dutt-- Hype (she is good but she aint no saviour)
4)Nidhi Razdan-- Sexy..
5)Vishnu Som --Stop flirting with Nidhi mate...She is married :)
6)Prabhu Chawla-- Dude u suck...
7)Karan Thapar-- I know to make people cry..Ask Kapil Dev Nikhanj..If this guy has to be punished, ask him questions til he cries..
8)Ram Jethmalani-- Side effects of BP
9)Aaj tak-- Breaking news that breaks out every minute
10)Udaya TV-- Change the channel

1)Amitabh Bachhan- Indian cinema's greatest actor.ever...If not him then who..Tel me .
2)SRK--Wil do anything for cash..Super actor when director is at the helm(read Swades)..
When jokers direct him,he plays SRK on screen as well..:)
3)Aamir Khan-- Hindi cinema's version of Kamal sir...Not as good yet but may get there one day.
4)Karan Johar-Something's seriously wrong...Stick to TV..U aint no director..
5)Dr Rajkumar-- Biggest influence in Kannada cinema..LEGEND
6)Raghavendra Rajkumar-- Biggest mistake of Kannada cinema
7)Shankar Nag-- Maestro of Malgudi..
8)Anant Nag-- Truly great entertainer..
9)Rajnikanth-- Superstar..Leave ur brains at home..
10)Kamal Hassan-- Genius..In the top 5 actors ever in indian cinema
11)Paresh Rawal-- The definition of the word actor is him..
12)Om puri-- Great voice..Greater actor.
13)Vidya Balan-Ethereal beauty
14)Rakhi Sawant-- No comments..This is a family blog..:)
15)AR Rahman-- Flawed genius. Too much of hype..We need more Roobaroo's macha not the Rukhi Sukhi rotis .
16)Sonu Nigam--Mimic par excellence...
17)Aishwarya Rai-- U settled down finally..Aunty..:)

This is a precursor....More coming up in the next blog...:)

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Saas bahu sagas...Soap operas...A lady casting an evil eye on another lady..Jealousy..A clandestine affair...A cover up..A murder for property or gain..An irate household disowning the person involved...A bahu becoming a baa..Generation leaps..Glycerine... Bitching....(Each of these things wil start with K)... Kyun ki baa bhi kabhi beti thi...Kyun ki hum sab pagal hain...Gosh.............

This sadly is the symbol of new age India.The modern India..The India of the 2000s..Dr Kalam says by 2020,India should be a superpower.I am sure he is unaware of the going ons in the TV and entertainment world..Cos these are making India move,rather run in the opposite direction...

You have these very well educated, sophisticated housewives(and others) of the modern day,who stay in these posh houses in metropolitan and new age India, shedding tears on some bullcrap serial and a godforsaken character rather than contributing in someway or the other objectively..The mind is rotting..Creativity is a word that exists only in the dictionary these days...We will all agree that India is shining..Definitely more lustrous than the India of the 1980s and the early 1990s.But is the shine going to stay..Or is this surfacial and artificial??

A look back to the olden days reveals a striking difference..India wasnt shining as much,if at all..It was still in the infant stage of improvement and development..But what was being telecast on TV,generally the pulse of the nation at any time, was of an entirely different class..
The story of the pandavas and the kauravas,the epitome of courage and sacrifice,The legendary Mahabharatha...

The story of the great Sri rama and the peerless Matha Seetha warding off the threat of the monster Ravana... It was the ultimate story of victory of truth over lies, good over evil and the perfect lesson in morals and virtues..

The story of a cherubic town that can be located anywhere in Southern India and the simplicity yet magnanimous nature of its innocent and distinct characters...The Malgudi days...

The simple story of a household in the india of the 1980s..Hum Log..

These are some of the many classics that the public followed..
Each day people ran home from work and postponed all possible useless activities so that they could follow their story..Will karna be humbled by the brilliance of Sri Krishna? Wil ashwathama be brought down to his knees by yet another stroke of genius...

Will swami be beaten up by his dad and mom for his notorious yet lovable activities with his friends..Wil jagan accept his firangi daughter in law in Malgudi.. This was clean entertainment..May not be socially relevant in some cases,but it wasn't something that pulverised the mind, day in and day out..It definitely did not impede learning...There was a small moral that you could take home daily...There was a small trait that could be imbibed each day to make yourself a better person...There wasnt this bitching that we see nowadays where a lady is almost everytime the vamp in a designer saree and out to wreck the family...

I personally feel that our minds wil be cleansed either if we stop watching this crap or still better if these serials are never made..I am sure none of these two will happen..The latter because it is the bread winner for the production houses,winning them TRPs and raking in the moolah and the former because of the TINA(there is no alternative) factor for the viewing public...

People,grow up.

I only hope that after all the India 2020 vision, Saas bahu serials are not being tuned into at Rashtrapathi Bhavan...That's the least we can expect...

Incidentally, K also stands for kalam sahab :)

Monday, January 22, 2007


It was a chaotic morning on airport road when I packed my bags from my hometown,Bangalore for my higher studies in the United states

I reached the airport in time and after a warm hug to all my closest buddies and also one to my uncle,I went in to check in my baggage and was promptly fined for excess baggage(the entire JP nagar was in my bag so this was expected!!!!).After shelling out a fortune I took off to Delhi but I couldnt take my eyes off Bangalore till the last moment and I mean it :)

After spending 10 hrs in dilli in the unbelievably cold climate(I was shivering with a monkey cap on!!!).. I left by the early morning flight to london.London was really cold I heard but I never stepped on British land.After 5 hours in heathrow airport where I felt as confused as a rabbit in the headlights,I got ready to board the flight to phoenix.It was a long haul,one of 10 hours.I was happy that I was going to the united states for the first time(as everyone would be),but I couldnt but think anyless of the place I had just left.Call it whatever u want,obsession maybe.It is an emotion that everyone feels when they leave home for greener pastures,I guess.

I soon landed in phoenix at the Sky Harbor airport(and was welcomed by real cold weather,it was deja vu..) and to study in one of the US's premier institutes,Arizona State University in Tempe,about 25 mins drive from the state capital,Phoenix.I was lucky that my cousin resides here,so the initial homesickness was dealt with comfortably and I felt still at home.After a phone call to my folks back home,I felt normal again.

It took 5 days for me and my friends to find a house here and we moved in on the 6th day to a 2 bed room apartment.I realised when I moved in to a house,how difficult it is to set up one on our own without help from the elder folks.Here everything had to be done by us,including that priceless art form called cooking and I knew it would be a challenge.It will continue to be..

My university is a 10 min walk from my room and I was told that it is best to purchase a "Bike",no not bajaj pulser,but our very own do-pahiya cycle(cykil in kannada :)).I immediately did buy one .People think about life in the US as a luxurious one,with all the facilities thrown in for good measure,but for a student it exactly isnt one ,surely not at the very start.

Surely a demotion from TVS victor to a cycle is not luxury,so isn't sitting in the room on the carpet(for the time being) without furniture,without tv,computer,internet and phone.It is a hard grind,but I love challenges.As they say,it is all a matter of time :)

Arizona's(state where I stay) climate is the best in the US during winters(its like delhi),but atrocious during summers(ala rajasthan).My university is the second largest in terms of student population in the US,almost catering to a 50ooo students.The building is also a tone down version of the royal and regal campuses in Infosys,India.This is more of the traditional variety,grandiose nevertheless.

Here the eye always is on the look out for indians,'desis' in the local lingo.There used to be a hazaar ones around me in Bangalore,but here the number is 800(in my university), so it is a very close finish :)
I have seen desis here giving each other a smile,almost a sheepish one(though seeing each other for the first time),as if to say "tu bhi aa gaya kya bete". :)

One lesson that everyone learns when they leave India is that "rupee" works only in India and in the US it is dollars.Strange?? No..I mean you cannot survive here if you convert your expenditure to rupees. For example a good chicken burger is 60 rupees but here cheese chicken burger(cheese seems compulsory herefor the locals,but desis like us desis-t it!!!!) is about 5 dollars or so. 230 Rupeeeesa???? No buddies it is just 5 dollars.(Conversion works when you come back to India.So hold on till the semester breaks:))

I know this is the place I will be in for the next few years and so the mind has now adjusted accordingly.It will be the same with whoever leaves India.It will take time to adjust,may be 1 to 2 weeks... :) The traffic follows rules here(they dont in India),everything seems so systematic unlike the mostly haphazard setting in India.But does that mean this is better? Well you can make your head change its thoughts,but the heart will do its own thing always.

As I write this listening to a few select kannada songs on the internet and having had a good voice chat with my buddies in the morning,I miss home yes.But thanks to internet it is not as bad as it used to be,I am sure.

And yes I do make it a point to catch a bangalorean and speak to him ONLY in kannada because I feel like I am in Jayanagar then rather than university drive in tempe. :)

US rocks,but india is the best,anyday(and this wont change for me,forever:) )

Guys who are planning to leave india in the next few years,do make sure that you enjoy your time out there instead of the uncontrollably bad cribbing that goes on "is desh ka kya hoga" and all that bullshit. And guys home food is the best always.Trust me you will find it out when you eat your own cooked food :)

Keep the desi flag flying high and by the way

Navaduva nudiye kannada nudi.. :)