Archive for June 2007

What Not To Write

June 26, 2007

Let me tell you that it is great to be an anonymous blogger. But, I am fast losing that status. It seems to me that more and more people are coming to know who I am. Now, that creates a problem. Suddenly, I am unable to write all that I want to write. See, there is a certain cushion, a certain buffer when you know you are anonymous.

For example, I cannot swear as much as I want to, since I am scared of losing the “good boy” tag. Oh well, that’s a bad example. But, you get the point, don’t you?

Prose or poetry, English or Kannada, I have always written about something which I have seen, experienced or lived through. That comes so naturally to me and I guess that is the norm in most cases. It makes it more difficult to write, now that I know I am not all that hidden.

In general, how much should a blogger reveal his/her private life? How many of these would be appropriate?

“Hey, I am in Love”

“Please come to my wedding”

“It’s a boy!!! And a girl!!! Yes, twins!!!”

“I don’t know what to say….I lost my father last week”

“Ahhh, end of a chapter…the divorce is final”

“My job as an underwear model is quite tiring”

Well, the list can grow endlessly. You see where I am going? My wife is more of a hush hush type. She does not want the whole World to know everything happening in her life. But, I am more open. If I am in the mood, I don’t mind writing a lot more things about me, my childhood, my life, my World, my friends and Little Johnny Green. At the end of the day, it is my decision to write what I want to. But, it is fair that I respect my wife’s wishes. So, I restrain from writing so many things I want to. I think that is the right thing to do.

This brings me back to my original point, that if I were truly anonymous, I would have had so much more freedom. And, that made me think if it would be a good idea to kill this blog and start a new one. I am not convinced that it is a good idea. For one, I will surely miss the regulars here. Two, I will still go to other blogs and comment there. So, people will somehow come to my new blog. They will go through the topics and style of my writing and easily figure out that it is my blog.

Anyway, I have digressed enough here. I am still not sure where to draw the line when it comes to writing. It is quite hard to write at a superficial level. Adios, not yet.

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Winners In Life

June 25, 2007

A famous violinist – my violin guru and a great family friend in India – was performing at a friend’s place. Several people were invited to the concert. People walked in as pure music filled the air.

A few hours passed by and I heard a sudden hard knock on the door. Since I was sitting very close to the front door, I got up and opened the door. An American lady in her 50’s was standing there, all confused and tensed. She pointed to a car parked around 100 feet from me and asked if I owned that car. It was not mine. Seeing the conversation, a friend of mine joined me. And yo, that particular car happened to be his.

Now the lady started apologizing profusely. She said that she was backing her car up and accidentally hit my friend’s car. She gave him her name, phone number, and all the insurance details.

I was surprised that she knocked on my friend’s door when there are several more homes in the locality. She told me that she went and knocked on many other doors before coming to my friend’s house. She desperately wanted to find out who the owner of the car was. She said she just couldn’t live by hitting a car and going away, without apologizing to the car owner.

That lady chose the path of righteousness. She wanted to make sure that the car owner was properly compensated for the mistake. She took time to go from door to door in search of the car owner. That is integrity and the trait of a true human being.

I was so happy to talk to her and I mentioned that I would blog the story. She was thrilled!!!

From Russia With Love

June 22, 2007

A good friend of mine is looking to get married. He has his profile on shaadi.com. Guess what? This Kannada huDuga is getting mails from quite a few girls from Russia (no, NOT the mail order brides!!!). Apparently, a few Russian girls are ‘active’ in hunting for an Indian boy through shaadi,com, for whatever reason.

My friend forwarded me two of the mails he received. Enjoy!!!

Hello!!! My name is M!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How yours affairs??? You are surprised to my letter???;
Dear I, has very much liked me yours profile.;
And I wish enter with you contact. It would be more convenient,;
if you will write to me, on mine e-mail: <>
I with impatience wait for your letter!!! Your photos!!!Dialogue with you.
Once again, my e-mail: <>
With the best regards, sincerely, yours M!!!!

Hello my name is T. To me of 26 years. I live in Russia city of K. Looked your structure and it is very much interested in you. I very romantic girl who searches for serious relations. I do not want and I have no time to play with You in what or games. Therefore I ask, that you wrote, if you will not play not what games. And Will be serious in our acquaintance. If you are interested in me. And if you really search Serious relations I ask you write mine E-Mail: ( <> ) With big Impatience I shall wait for yours the answer. T

Headliners

June 18, 2007

They were all celebrities in their own right. We all watched them on Doordarshan at 9:30 every night. It was fun to predict who would be reading the news that day. Yes, they were part of a generation, they were part of tragedies, they were part of the Indian voice and above all, they were the messengers.

Minu certainly had her share of admirers. Grapevine was full of colorful stories which included her and a certain Ramakrishna Hegde. Apparently, one of my friends’ friend who happens to be an electrician, saw her at Hegde’s house in Delhi, when he went to do some electrical repairs.

The stoic Neethi Ravindran was supposed to be from Bengalooru. Don’t ask me why or how I heard that news. You could see her aging gracefully as the years rolled over.

And, the charming Geethanjali Aiyer. The story was that she was not a Tamilian, but a Maharashtrian from Mumbai and was working for a 5-star (Taj ?) hotel as a receptionist. The Aiyer tag apparently came in after the marriage. Whatever the truth is, I certainly know that my father had a soft corner for her. I liked her too. My wife seems to think that she was ugly. Well, what does a girl know about another girl’s beauty anyway!!!

Komal GB Singh was popular even outside the Doordarshan circles. She was the choice MC for any international event, be it a SAARC summit or the International Film Festival of India. She had that twinkle in her eyes which made her so popular. There was a sitar player in Mysooru who was a replica of Komal.

As far as news reading is concerned, the best of them all was undoubtedly Rini Khanna nee Simon. The voice modulation, grace, and punch in the delivery was unmatched. She had the English pronunciation for the word “issue”, at a time when most of us in India had the American pronunciation. I do remember that the last page in Star of Mysore carried a news item on Rini Simon marrying Deepak Khanna, who was employed by Indian Airforce.

Later years saw too much of Usha Albuquerque. She was a decent news reader, nothing special about her. But for some odd reason, Doordarshan seemed to like her a lot.

Sheila Kaul, Mrinalini, and Nita Thomas dropped in once in a while.

As for the men, Uday Bir Saran Das was my mother’s favorite. She always wished that she had a daughter so that she could marry her off to this guy. Das was so regular in late 80’s, but suddenly disappered from the screen one day. I saw him come back after several years, but the charm was lost and he looked very old and ill. I just hope he was fine.

Shashi Kumar became popular through Doordarshan, but quickly shifted allegiance. He was in PTI for some time and even hosted ‘Tana-Bana’ (the cheap remake of ‘Surabhi’). He used to host a lot of live events too. He had a very good style and manner.

Tajeshwar Singh was so boring. His likes for theatre apart, I thought his news reading skills lacked enthusiasm and good demeanor. He was quite banal (with a ‘b’).

Fo some magical reason Suneet Tandon always paired up with Komal in a variety of international events. He was a good news reader. But as some said, he looked like a person suffering from TB (I hope that isn’t true!). He was so thin and he certainly did not carry the weight (literally!). But he did deliver quite well. His pronunciation and accent was just right to be appreciated.

We also had Najeeb Jung, Raman and a host others who passed by.

I did not watch Hindi news all that often. But, I did have a good handle on who’s who in Hindi news. Avinash Kaur Sareen was undoubtedly the prettiest among them. Shobhana Jagadeesh, Manjari Joshi, and Sarla Maheshwari were certainly good readers. The oil faced Salma Sultana was undoubtedly the worst of the lot. She could easily win the worst news reader award any day. I was told that she was Zia-ul-Haq’s grand daughter (or somehow related to him) and thus Doordarshan promoted her big time. Well, there goes yet another rumor. Shammi Narang was perhaps the best among the guys. Raman was quite lousy. I do have to agree that Shobhana and Shammi were both excellent singers. Avinash wasn’t bad either.

It has been more than a decade since I saw any of these faces on the small screen. I wonder where they are today and what they are doing. As long as my generation lives, they will be remembered.

Genes And Environment

June 14, 2007

So, what makes a man that he is? There are two important factors – biological and social. I have always wondered if one played a more important role than the other. It is quite hard to conclude.

For the most part, we all agree that the way you look, your mannerisms and health are all the courtesy of your genes. I am sure the doctors agree too. That’s why they are very keen on the family’s medical history, not just yours.

What about hobbies, interests and character? Is that not a byproduct of the upbringing? I think so. Sure, genes have their role to play, but it’s more of the world around you which matters.

For example, at our home, we subscribed to tens of newspapers and magazines. We have thousands of books at home!!! So, this obviously made me read and write. Isn’t it as simple as that? Sure, the fact that my mother and my grandfather are voracious readers and good writers also helped. By the way, my grandfather, who is 105 years old just wrote a letter to me last week. He is getting younger everyday.

There are many reasons why I want to believe that the environment plays a more important role than the genes. I know a certain Kannada writer whose sons do not have much interest in literature. The writer is an idol for millions of readers all over Karnataka, but his sons were famous for being quite ‘rowdies’ during their school days. Maybe the writer was always immersed in his work and maybe his kids fell into bad company.

And, we invariably hear the stories of good children with bad parents and vice versa. Even mythology talks about Hiranyakashipu and Prahlada. It certainly is not that simple. Infact, it is quite hard for me to believe that the child will be so different from the parent. But, at the same time, I am convinced that if your surroundings are strong  enough to change you and your perspective, then anything is possible.

At the end of the day, I do believe that both genes and environment play a huge role in who we are. But, I do tend to tilt more towards the environment playing a bigger role.

Let me conclude this post with an incident which happened at Chicago Kannada Sahitya Sammelana last month. After I finished my presentation on stage, a nice lady came by and said that seeing me on stage reminded her so much of my father and that I looked exactly like him. She knew that my father had passed away recently. But, I certainly knew that she was being kind to me and that there was absolutely no truth in whatever she said. Laughing is not all that respectful, so I just smiled at her and continued with my small talk. And, this incident certainly sealed my belief that it is the environment, more than genes, which plays an important role.

Full Circle

June 12, 2007

Last Monday, one of the more famous Kannada web portals published a humorous article written by me. The editor of that Kannada web portal has been very kind to me. He has published several of my poems, articles and reviews.

What was different about this article was that it was humorous. I have consistently participated and appreciated spoken humor. But, my writings are romantic or philosophical for the most part. The day after the article was published, I had tons of emails in my inbox. A lot of people had enjoyed it and they wanted me to write even more. That wasn’t it. I opened my yahoo messenegr and people had added me to their “Friends” list.

I was chatting with a good friend of mine today (he happens to visit this blog quite regularly, I am sure most of you know him). He mentioned that several people had left comments on my article. I had not noticed that until today. I went back to the Kannada web portal and read through all the comments. Very nice ones indeed. One smart gentleman even addressed me as “DS” there 🙂

Talk of coincidences. I finished reading through all those comments and decided to get back to work. I saw a forwarded message in my office mailbox. I usually don’t read all the forwards. But for some odd reason, I decided to spend some time and enjoy the forward. The person who had forwarded the mail had a “Very funny (with a smiley)” as her comment for the forward. I started paging down the email which had gone through several yahoogroups and mailboxes in different software companies. At the bottom of the mail, I saw a photograph of yours truly smiling, article included. Yes sir, someone had copied that article from the web and it had gone all over the world to finally reach my mailbox.

Now, THAT made my day!!!

What A Shame!!!

June 12, 2007

Jamaican police have spoken, at last. Pakistan team must be so relieved.

BCCI jokers are still looking for a coach who will accept their offer.

Well, I think I should stop this post right here. This World is better off discussing other interesting stories.