Sunday, May 31, 2009

Srivats did this tag on his blog and it was supposedly on one of the most interesting subjects in my life, Books. So I decided it would be fun to do it. So here I share with you my take on one of my passions, books-

One book that changed my life:
Every book we read affects us in one way or the other. But the books which have had the most impact on me are-

Bhagwad Gita
Richard Bach- One

Select Essays by Bertrand Russel

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Autobiographies of Lee Iococa & Carly Fiorina

The book you have read more than once:

All the books mentioned in the point above and

Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts

Atlas Shrugged- Ayn Rand

Q&A- Vikas Swarup

Five Point Someone- Chetan Bhagat

Snapshots from Hell: The making of an MBA Peter Robinson

Jonathan Livingstone Seagull & Illusions - Richard Bach

Arthashastra by – Kautiliya

One book you would want on dessert island:
Harry Potter Series

Bhagwad Gita

PG Woodhouse

Ayn Rand Series

One book that made you laugh:

Calvin & Hobes

Haven’t read much in Humor though

One book that made me cry:

None though Oliver Twist & Tuesdays with Morry made me very emotional

One book you wish you had written:

None I wish I would write my own book

One book that you wish had never been written:

Coffee Table Books, I never am able to understand the purpose of Obnoxiously high priced books with fancy pictures. It actually spoils all the purpose of the books existence rather focuses on the kind of money people have.

One book you are currently reading:

The great Secret- Talks on Kabir by Osho

Words of Kabir- Sam Kerwal

Another book on Kabir which just has the title as Kabir

One book you have been meaning to read:

Shivaji: A Hindu Ruler in Mughal India (I can’t read it as it is not available in India, as it is banned)

In the Company of Women - I have read it now, but I actually waited for it so long. The book was in news and controversies and our school library had a copy. I asked to issue it (was in class XII then) and I was refused that it was not meant for us, I actually took it up with the principal that how can a school library has a book which is not fit for class XII students after all it was the senior most class. Anyways was not able to get my hands on it and when I actually got an opportunity to read it, it was 3.5 years later.

So this has been my journey with the books till now. So hows your journey to the wonderful world of books has been? If you are into reading and love your books and find this tag interesting, please feel free to do it.

Posted by Prats at 8:22 PM  

Is Virtual Enough?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I spend a lot of time over the internet, and I have an awesome virtual existence where I have friends. But one drawback I always felt about the virtually existence, the personal touch of being friends only comes after a face to face conversation. The online world can start friendships/relationships for you but it’s highly unlikely that it can take it to the next level.

I have always loved the idea of twitter, but surprisingly I have felt that somehow the 140 characters may be enough to communicate, start a relationship but it drops a lot of thinks as well. Here I produce 5 instances I had online where I feel a bit left out/weird-

1- I have a lot of friends on twitter & blogs as I have already mentioned in my last post here but still I don’t think I am aware when are their birthdays and other trivial details like these which I think friends should know. I can add any all of them on a facebook or Orkut but then simply the essence of a virtual presence is a complete persona but it simply isn’t at one place

2- One of my friends Brainstuck, we actually were having a conversation when something conversation happened where actually my comment would have been unjustified if his age wasn’t close to mine (which I had assumed by default). I actually had to specifically ask him his age before giving comments on the situation. Now friends don’t do that.

3- Then another friend of mine Meera, I actually came in touch with her because of her awesome cartoons which I saw during the election period. Now after reading the cartoon and her take on Indian politics I always assumed somewhere she would be an elderly lady around 40 years of age with a very mature and balanced viewpoint on the Political scenario and obviously an amazing sense of humor. Yesterday when she shared her pic on the twitter, I realized the only thing I have misjudged more was to have thought of Meera as a guy. Well this is her pic and you will have an Idea how wrong I was.

4- I met Nikhil the other day at Costa Coffee after interacting with him on twitter and email a couple of times I always had a perception of him as a mature and serious guy. I was actually jaw dropped when I came to know that he was such a chill & cool guy and had actually recently completed his graduation.

5- A lot of times this happens that my friends are not online, I have telephone numbers of them and I have the inquisitiveness why the hell they are not online. Something wrong, something happening but somehow I never call, because it might be inappropriate.

I don’t if it happens only with me, but I think I sometimes feel a need more than twitter, blogs, orkut to make friends. May be I am skeptical, or may be I will grow with time. So people what do you think, have you also made similar mistakes online, do you feel a need for real connect too?

Posted by Prats at 8:27 PM  

Fun Friday Questions

Friday, May 29, 2009

The tag was started by Preeti and since it is called Fun Friday and needs to be done on a Friday, so I am doing it without delaying it. So here goes the tag-

These are the 5 questions I had to answer to complete this tag-

I have just discovered --- Jerry Maguire and I am in awe of the character (Yeah people I hadn't seen the movie before)

One thing that I will unabashedly admit— I am very opinionated and stubborn. I take quick decisions and am often rutheless in communicating my thoughts.

One thing that I would never ever do, even if you pay me a million pounds— I don't know but I think I would not compromise on my core set of values.

Right now I’d rather be ---Sleeping (Yawn!!)

If I had to choose between a date with an ex (with no potential to make up) and a new office hottie (who is a dimwit) I’d choose— Whosoever is hotter :-)

Well anyone who feels like taking this Tag, go ahead and do it.

Posted by Prats at 11:43 PM  

Kavi Sammelans

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I have always been very fond of Hindi Kavi Sammelans, the sense of humor of Indian poets is really unparalleled. Its been 2 years since I have attended a Kavi Sammelan and I so much want to attend one as soon as possible. Till then enjoy one of my favorite poets who actually had so much passion for Hindi poetry that he dropped out of an REC (NIT now) to pursue to be a poet. He is one of my most admired combination of Hindi Poetry & Philosophy with a passion for the subject. So Enjoy Dr. Kumar Vishwas, a legend of Hindi Poet.

Posted by Prats at 9:45 PM  

19 Again

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I have always been a very passionate driver all my life. My interest in cars started quite early on, and I was 12 years old when I drove a car for the first time and never stopped after that. Hailing from a family where there has been an excellent drivers be it my dad or my mamaji both have been an excellent drivers. I have followed their legacy and have been always willing to drive at any opportunity possible. So over the years my total driving experience would be over 200,000 Kms. I used to be a very reckless driver early in my life, and then gradually I matured to be a very safe driver. I have become generally very cool minded and precise on the road taking only calculated risk and accounting for errors on road. So tonight I was heading back from the office and I had promised a friend to meet her at a given time. Now as you would already know that I hate being late, so I sped up as soon as I gate of the office. There was a guy, in a black Alto and I sped across him and moved quickly. I took the first turn on the highway and suddenly I saw in my rear view mirror he was very close to me. Within two seconds he carefully slid to my right covered my movement space and sped across ahead of me, forcing me to slow down. And my instant reaction was, that was clean. Suddenly, I felt adrenalin rushing though my head, this generally doesn’t happens to me that I get in road brawls either physically or with machines. But I guess today was a different day, this was a different guy. Something similar to me, as I was 8 years ago. I sit erect and got involved in a street brawl. He was driving with awesome dexterity and I actually was behind him quite some time where we actually got ahead of each other quite some time. Then as soon as we were crossing the Highway I got a small space and I sped past him and took a lead. He also sped back and was soon tackling just at the tail of my car. Then I swevered left getting non driving side of my car on the raw ground and the driving side of my car on road. I overtook the a long lines of cars from the left. Speeding across through the rough ground. He also followed suit and was behind me, then he came forward and was overtaking from the right. There was a divider ahead and I didn’t moved to give him space and Finally sped past him when my exit came into the colony. This was the end of an awesome ride, and I had a smile on my face when it ended. The smile was not because I actually won it, or I managed to stay ahead a lot of time. The smile was because I was 19 again, I still had the fire and insanity to cross the line, I still had it in me to be 19. I so much wanted to step out of my car, and thank him for giving me an awesome 25 minutes of adrenalin rush, giving me 25 minutes of my teenage years back. Given the fact, I have moved away to be a professional, a person who is practical, who looks for a reason to do everything, who tries and drive as safely as possible. For a person like this it was so much fun to be 19 again. So my friend who works in my company, has a black Alto with an MH number in ET series you are awesome driver and you gave me some awesome moments of my life. Thanks a lot.

Posted by Prats at 11:31 PM  

Domestic Disasters: Mosquito Bytes

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monika tagged me to write about the domestic horrors. Well I have been a very civilized kid throughout. My lazy self and averseness to do anything in the kitchen which includes lighting the gas stove, they are really complicated procedure and should be done only by the trained professionals (Read: Mom). Then upholding of family tradition in taking laziness to new levels, I never experimented with Ironing of clothes or anything of the sorts. Even all the electrical circuitry experiments which was the most I did along the house were carefully handled.

So I have not involved in major domestic disasters, except for a fact where I almost try to burned the house down by leaving a switch open for a fan which had its coils burning or the other time when I burnt down the Hostel room with the incense sticks (Agarbatti) which I left burning on my room after the prayers. But there is one disaster I managed which was not very deadly, but yeah it’s a paramount display of my care and concern for the family, health and hygiene, despite that I got thrashed badly by my mom Hitler V6.0 22nd Reprint. So here is how the story goes-

I was a kid then you know something like 8-9 years old. The time around May used to be a happening time in the house, as my holidays would have been going on and my cousins Ekta & Shweta would come to live at our place and I used to get someone to play with me and boss around for some time. This was also the time when my Mom used to prepare a lot of delicacies, specially different kind of Achars (pickles). Now my mom is an amazing cook and she puts in lot of effort to ensure that whatever we eat is home made this generalizes from daily meals to sweets to ghee to pickles to papad. As a matter of fact I have hardly seen any of these being ever bought in my home.

Getting back to the story, so this may the mango produces were good and my mom decided that she would prepare aam ka achar (mango pickle) for everyone in the family. Undertaking this mammoth feat she actually put in pickles in a tub must have been around 10 kgs of kacha aam ka achar. I don’t know where and why, but during some part of her preparation this pickle needs to be left out in the air for drying or fermenting. I don’t really know why, so mom actually made place for the huge tub which had all 10 Kgs of Achar on the table and then she left for some work outside home. At this time me and Shweta were at home playing around the house and having fun, when my sharp eye for details noticed the biggest fallacy done by my mom. She left had left the tub with all the Achar open, and there were mosquitoes all over the achar.

Being a diligent student that I was, I remembered my teachers telling me that mosquito bites can cause malaria. Well and I didn’t wanted everyone eating the achar to be sick, so I we decided that we would set it right. So we got which was proclaimed to be the best solution for mosquitoes on national television aka doordarshan, the Odomos and with all due diligence we applied odomos on the achar where the mosquitoes were sitting.

Being the humble person I am, I forgot to report this incident to mom, No point making her feel guilty her responsible son had covered her tracks and the achar was good to go. When my mom saw the achar she tried to figure out what went wrong. She also thought if butter had fallen into the achar. Then finally she asked me, if I knew what happened. Well I surely did and I being a true gentleman, I obliged and narrated the story in full detail. Man what happened after that was real disaster, I got a well deserved thrashing and mom had to throw away a lot of her achar.

Everyone in the family including my sis & mom we still laugh like crazy, over this incident. But deep down I just thank god, the hit & baygon Sprays of the world were not invented, and bombarded from the TV at that time. God knows what would have happened then.

Posted by Prats at 1:06 PM  

The High-Way to Drive

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dark and lonely it was, on the stretch of the road,
Quieter than usual, with the city in holiday mode.
The pathway was familiar, broad and wide,
Atmosphere unusually cool and wind was light.

The life was ecstatic, with fun all around,
And the two of them were homeward bound.
Fired with the youth and the rush of adrenalin,
And the gush of Alcohol flowing in the veins within.

The spokes of the wheel revolving so fast,
The smiles on their face were vast.
Running ahead of everyone, they felt so high
As if they were reaching up and above the sky.

Way ahead was bend a bit sharp,
His speed maneuver he decided to harp.
All they knew destiny had some alternate plans,
Incoming was a dumpster which they failed to glance.

Was it the folly of the youth or the effect of spirits,
The trajectory of path they couldn’t aptly fit.
What they never thought was about to be done,
Thinking about chances, they had none.

The two human figures rose high into the air,
As the wise main said, life is not always fair.
When they touched the ground, they hit so hard,
The two bodies broke with sounds that jarred.

The onlookers heard and came running by,
First-Aid & doctors were rushed, hoping some time to buy.
But the red elixir of life had flown without a stop,
The souls simply left the abode and the pusle had stopped.

The two fine boys in the prime of their time,
For nothing which would be called their crime.
Lost the most precious thing they ever had,
Were the two extra pegs worth for the lads?

I saw a horrible accident yesterday, freshly happened the bodies were still lying on the road. It made me write this.

In India 130,000 people die every year of road accidents which is 30.2% of people dying an un-natural death. Everyday on an average 250 people die in road accidents across this country, which is like a plane crash with no survivors and a mojor cause is Alcohol consumption while/prior to driving.
To set the perspective right the most hedious terrorist attack in India on 26/11 had a death toll of 173 people. If that was so huge imagine the rucus we are creating on our roads.
So from next time drive responsibily and Do not drink and drive.

I had troubles deciding the title of the posts and I actually asked a couple of people on my Gtalk list and they actually laughed it off, and suggested some titles. Alternate titles of the post-
1- Don't Laugh it Off
2- Here too High
3- High on Drive

Posted by Prats at 11:21 PM  

India: The Transition

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Its been close to two an a half decades that I have spent living in this country. I have grown up with a lot of things and have seen them changing and suddenly becoming irrelevant. This is a 3 series of advertisements which marks the an amazing transition which Indian society has gone through in the two wheeler market. From the old Bajaj Scooters which I am sure every kid of my age would have driven and would have a memory associated with it, to today's so called performance bikes which kid 10 years younger to us keep zip zapping on the road. I just share the transition from the eyes of a kid who always loved & related to advertisements.

To all the people who curse India for everything, We have come a lot forward, not because of you, but despite you and we will go still further

Posted by Prats at 2:24 PM  

Kabir: Words of Wisdom- Part- I

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I have been reading a lot on Kabir lately. Kabir is one of my favorite thinkers and philosophers, he is one of the most underrated philosophers globally and I fail to understand why. The amazing part about Kabir is, that he managed to communicate all his wisdom through couplets (I mean if he would be alive these days he would be the best twitter, communicating amazing philosophy in lesser characters) I would illustrate some of the couplets for Kabir and my understanding of those, and people who read this blog, would like to know their understanding of the couplets-
Kabir on Temptation-

Kabir Man Martak bhaya, Indri apne haath.

Tou kabun na kijiyen, Kanak Kamini ke saath.

Meaning- Kabir says, even for those who have attained a complete control of their senses and have killed the desires in the mind or brain (I don’t know what would be the exact word for Man). Even them, they should be very careful when getting exposure to wealth and woman. Because these two are the greatest temptations for man and they lead him to his downfall.

Kabir on Death-

Pav palak ki khabar nahi, karein kaal ko saaj,

Kal achanak jahdpega, jyon teetar ko Baaz.

Meaning- The fallacy of humans, they are not even aware of what happens to them in next 100th of a second, but still they keep planning for tomorrow. Kabir says that they would not even know that tomorrow the Eagle, the metaphorical death, is going to grab the bird, the metaphorical human life. So Kabir makes a point that one should not waste too much of time and efforts on planning for tomorrow and ignoring present.

Chakki Firti Dekh ke, Diya kabira roye,

Do kunth ke beech aaye ke, sabut gaya na koye.

Meaning- When Kabir sees the traditional Indian flour mill which has two stones revolving over each other and crushing everything in between. Same is the fate of human life, irrespective of rich, poor, achievers, failures, weak strong eventually will get grounded by the grinding stones of death and would eventually meet the same fate

Kabir on Words-

Shabd Sarikha Dhan nahi, Jo koi jaane bol,

Heera to dame mile, par shab na aavein mol.

Meaning- There is no wealth greater than words, only few can understand its value. You can get a diamond for a price, but words of wisdom, love, care and understanding are simply pricess.

So people I leave you here with this food for thought. May be will come back and do an extension of this again.

Posted by Prats at 4:39 PM  

Question Meme

Friday, May 22, 2009

Saw this list on one of Farting pen’s blog, really liked it so thought would shamelessly put it up on my blog without being tagged. Yeah that’s my desperation level to post new posts. The gem had allowed every1 to copy it so here I go-

Kissed any of your friends on social networking groups? Yes

Been arrested? Yes

Kissed someone you didn’t like? Yes

Slept until 5 PM? No

Fallen asleep at work/school? No

Held a snake? Yes

Ran a red light? Yes

Been suspended from school? Yes

Totaled your car/motorbike in an accident? No

Totaled a friend’s car/motorbike in an accident? No

Been fired from a job? No

Sang karaoke? Yes

Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Yes

Laughed until something you were drinking came out of your nose? Yes

Caught a snowflake on your tongue? No

Kissed in the rain? No

Sang in the shower? Yes

Sat on a rooftop? Yes

Been pushed in a pool with all your clothes? No

Broken a bone? Yes

Shaved your head? No

Blacked out from drinking? No

Played a prank on someone? Yes

Felt like killing someone? Yes

Made your girlfriend/boyfriend cry? Yes, and a lot of friends too

Had Mexican Jumping Beans for pets? No

Been in a band? No

Shot a gun? Yes

Donated blood? No

Eaten alligator meat? No

Eaten cheesecake? Yes

Still love someone you shouldn’t? No

Believe in love? I don’t know

Sleep on a certain side of the bed? Yes.

Believe in fate? Yes, especially when I make my own luck!!

Believe that things “happen for a reason”? No, most lame excuse ever!

Held a grudge longer than a year? Yes, I never forgive, I never forget

Hid a secret for a long period of time? Yes

Miss someone on your facebook list of friends? No.

Changed the oil in your vehicle? Yes

Threw up after riding a rollar coaster? No

Bought a gift for someone and kept it for yourself? Yes, That’s how mean I am

Bought something and returned it worn? Yes

Tripped on LSD? No

Have any tattoos? No

Seen a ghost? Yes.

Done body shots? No

Peed in the pool? Yes

Passed gas and blamed it on someone else without their knowledge? Yes

Have body piercings below the neck? No

Think about the future? Yes.

Posted by Prats at 12:50 PM