Location: mumbai, India

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nakul and Sheetal.....

Ek Wills ka packet dena” and I hand him a 100 rupee note..
Mentally calculating ”100 minus 25..no its 27 since the budget…it comes to be” and I see 73 rupees looking straight at my face.
I look at the boy, he is probably 15-16 years old on the steps of adolescence with light facial hair and a pitch that’s transforming from girlish to manly..
What if he had all the facilities like a middle class person like me..Would he been topping his class or would he have fallen into wrong company and got addicted to cigarettes, drinks and who knows, even dope??

I took the packet and my change and return home, only my mind is too occupied now with all the thoughts…

Consider a scenario…day 20th november, the D day for all the CAT aspirants.
A guy , named say, Nakul leaves from Thane to his centre in Kandiwali via a local. His bag’s strap is torn so he hugs it tightly under one arm and with other, he holds the over crowded train’s rod. He is sweating profusely, wipes his forehead with his already not-so-clean shirt thus dirtying it more.

A girl, named say Sheetal, gets ready to leave for the Kandiwali centre again from Thane in a chauffer-driven AC car..only this time the chauffeur is replaced by her Daddy dearest..”Beta, its ur important day…I have taken a leave, I ll drive you to the centre”. Her mom says from behind “ I have packed some health drinks, butter toast and your favorite tandoori chicken pizza…you are not going to eat anything from outside”.

After changing his train from Dadar, Nakul enters another even more over crowded train which all of a sudden stops much before Andheri. “It happens!! And I have lots of time in hand..thank god, I left early!! The train will start within 2-3 minutes.” He assures himself thereby dirtying his shirt even more..But no, its 10 minutes now..the train seems to be stuck…Someone tells him there is some problem on Western line, it ll take time..Nakul panicks. He took exactly 100 rupees with him. 15+15 train fare and 70 if there is some “emergency”. But, this is an emergency!! And he knows that with 70 bucks he cannot do anything. Mobile phones, a common feature with even the paanwallas and rickshawwallas was a luxury for him. ATM card is something which rich people use when they dine in expensive places. He rushes out of the train that deceived him to find a local booth. Luckily, he found.. only to realize what is the use of calling his neighbourhood (who will eventually infom his family) at Thane..Then he makes a quick decision and calls his friend from Andheri to come as soon as possible.

And there, Sheetal instructs her Dad, “ Papa please, don’t turn on the music system.. I wanna take a short nap before reaching the centre so that I am all fresh when I face the paper.”

Nakul makes it to the centre at sharp 10, praying that the invigilator doesn’t play a spoilsport and create problems. Luckily, the invigilator doesn’t. He gets his CAT paper, for 2 minutes he cannot concentrate…what if, his Andheri friend would not have been at home at that time…What if, the invigilator had been strict…he muses. But then he realizes the importance of his time and starts solving paper. For Sheetal, it was an easy run. She reaches the venue 10 minutes before the scheduled time, settles down, sharpens her pencils, prays to God and starts solving the paper.

When the final results come, both Nakul and Sheetal have cracked CAT with a very high percentile, both get calls from all the IIMs and both are now eventually batchmates in IIMA….

Well, this was a very optimistic picture…or on second thoughts, was it???

Was I too prejudiced, too biased when I went to Pagalguy poll and despite seeing an option of “there should be reservations for economically backward people”, I voted for “there should be NO reservations”….

Was I all wrong in the first place???

Monday, June 12, 2006


I had a very hectic day…I reach there late…to see her waiting….waiting for me…. Expecting an outburst, I prepare myself mentally for an explanation. About to utter some words, she puts her hands on my lips…”No need!” with a genuine softness in her voice. I look at her eyes, my heart melts and the whole day’s weariness disappears..

And then the unexpected happens..the whole surrounding freezes…everyone expect we two..i clasp her hands, look into her eyes, she blushes, then looks straight into my eyes and finds nothing but love in them…

And far away, in a boat that has frozen, “mere haath mein teraa haath ho…” from Fanaa plays….

When will it all be true???

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rang De Basanti????????

Well, I am fed up of receiving Arjun Singh smses and forwards, not to forget the much hyped conversation of our honourable HRD minister with Karan Thapar.

But are we all missing out on something important? Is he really the villain as he is made out to be or is he just the scapegoat? Knowing Congress and its President (not to forget her umpteen “sacrifices” for the country), where, to use a hindi phrase, unkee marzee ke binaa ek patta bhi nahi hiltaa, is something possible single-handedly and that too when that hand is not of The Congress President?

A few facts first:

---- External Affairs Minister resigned(well, again, wrong word…thrown out…for not even for a moment it appeared as if he is ready to relinquish his post) after his name was splashed throughout the country( well!! Even world!!! How can we forget how desperate he became that he started criticizing Bush and others!!) and to think that it was not his name only but the whole Indian National Congress’ name and how smartly the whole Congress( and its President) distanced from him and the whole brunt was borne by him and he slides into depths of annonymity- a punishment for putting his foot in his mouth.

---- Amar Singh and the famous tape controversy..where Ambika Soni says a very out-of-the-context statement…”Forget all that!! But why is Amar Singh not calling Sonia Gandhi Soniajee…(sycophants!!!) and after some days we hear that she replaces Renuka Choudhary as the Tourism Minister.

---- Kapil Sibal, one of the very few politicians who had the guts to say that reservations are bad, is not heard anytime after that!!!

So, as is evident, not even for a moment one should assume that Arjun Singh is the only person responsible for all the chaos and confusion. For even in his much hyped interview, he has categorically stated that The PM and The Preaident are well informed..

That poses another important question. Who is our PM? Why cannot he be an economist (now after this quota controversy, even this term seems like a farce!!) and a suave politician at the same time? Why he has to clasp his hands in front of Priyanka Gandhi’s daughter in Rajiv Gandhi’s anniversary? (Did I again hear the word sycophant???) Why hasn’t he taken a “proper” stand in the Bihar-Buta Singh controversy…

Mind it, I am not against any political party, ….welll…umm….to rephrase it…I am not against any single political party…for what is BJP (with a person I still hold in high regard Atal Bihari Vajpayee) doing? Fighting over inconsequential Aamir Khan’s remarks and banning his movie in Gujarat when the whole country is burning!!!!! What is the so called “Opposition in the real word” Left doing..celebrating its Bengal and Kerala victory when the nation’s future is at stake??

Rang De Basanti way seems to be the most appropriate way…but the main question is Who all will you kill?? The HRD Minister, The Congress President, The PM, The Gujarat CM, The CPI Head…or all???


I still remember when the to-be seniors of SOM while giving a presentation informed us that Shyam Benegal came for a guest lecture to SOM…and then it starts again…daydreaming…my favorite pastime…

Shyam Benegal comes again to SOM now giving a lecture on management plus movies and we all are(well…uh…dunno abt others ..but surely I am) listening very intently. After the guest lecture, he turns around to leave. I quickly follow him, also conscious of the fact not to leave any strong impressions on my peers as to what I am about to do….and then when he is all alone, I blurt it out “ I want to do Summers with you!!!”

Behind my back, my fingers are doing the routine thing..criss-crossed fingers praying to God that he should agree…and then yes!!! He agrees. After assisting him, I also become familiar to RGV, SLB,KJ and other stalwarts. And my career begins there in Bollywood……..

The reverie is broken by the harsh realities life poses in front of me. But when I tell Saumya about this dream, she is supportive. But she warns that paisaa kam milegaa aise Summers mein…and I am like money is not an issue- a sentence which doesn’t sound convincing being uttered from my mouth and the expressions on Saumya and Sujal faces also confirm so…

But only if all this is true……..