तू राजा की राजदुलारी मैं सिर्फ लंगोटे वाळा सूं

If someone said "Friends are necessary in life", I could never agree more with him. On a Saturday night binge with some of my oldest friends, in the alcohol induced haze, one of my friends put this song on.

I was like "Damn!! How did I manage to miss this song for so long".

This song is a revelation. This is the story of all the guys like me who somehow have managed to get a great gal in their life.

If you have seen the movie, Oye lucky, Lucky Oye, then you must remember this song. If you do not, then just go and download it from somewhere and listen to it at once. And this is specially meant for all the bloody smokers, dopers and bingers out there.

For the record, this is a ragini, a form of folksong very popular in Haryana. This song describes Lord Shiva warning Parvati about the unpleasant circumstances if She marries Him.

I am posting the approximate meaning of the song for the lazy/unlucky ones who couldn't listen to the song.

तू राजा की राज-दुलारी, मैं सिर्फ लंगोटे वाला सूं
भांग रगड़ के पिया करूं मैं, उंडी - सोटे वाला सूं

Sweetheart you are the darling of a rich Dad, I am a guy without money even for my clothes
To hide from my poverty, I drink loads of cannabis.

तू राजा की छोरी सै, मेरे एक भी दासी दोस्त नहीं
शाल दुशाले ओढ़न वाली, म्हारे कम्बल तक भी पास नहीं...

You are a princess, I have never ever had any servant or friend
Designer labels are what you wear, I don't even have a blanket on me.

तू बागां की कोयल सै अढे बर्फ पड़े, हरी घास नहीं
किस तरयाँ दिल लागेगा तेरा, सतरा चौ प्रकाश नहीं

You have always seen gardens in your life, I have never ever seen grass... it always snows here
Dunno how you will live here, light also is a scarcity here

किसी साहूकार के ब्याह करवाले, मैं खाली सोटे वाला सूं.

Please go and marry some rich i-banking dude, I have nothing on me to give you

मैं धूनी तपा करूँ, तू आग देख के डर जायगी,
रंग घोल के पिया करूं, मेरा राग देख के डर जायगी

I am not that easy to handle, my mood swings are a plenty
You will be scared to death if you start seeing me from close

सौ सौ साल पड़े रहे जल में, तू नाग देख के डर जाएगी.
तांडव नाच करे बन में, रंग राग देख के डर जायगी

I have snakes for pets, I dunno how you will deal with that
Tandava is my passion, and you will be devastated to see me dance.

तने जुल्फां वाला छोरा चाहिए,
मैं लाम्बे चोटे वाला सूं.

You need a Prince Charming, with metro-sexual grooming
I am just a simple guy who thinks twice before even going in for a hair cut.

Hope you liked the translation (I have put in a lot of effort :))!!

What does it mean to be a Bihari?

Few days ago, I watched a special report by a leading news channel : What does it mean to be a Bihari?

I was amazed.

Does being Bihari mean anything different than being a human? Are we any different from people living in Kerala or Delhi? Are we really a different species altogether?

Well in a sense we are. It took us more than 20 years to decide that having food on our plates is much more important than whether we are a Yadav or a Rajput. May be we would have never learnt this fact.

80 million odd people have faced the brunt of the worst governance seen in the recent history for two long decades. The populace was bullied into believing that being a specific caste or religion meant we need to elect a representative who had a one-point agenda : Loot the people and bully them even further. In a sense, we Biharis had become insensitive to the fact that there is something called law and order. All this due to the greed of one man : Laloo Prasad Yadav. Never before in history has so big a populace been fooled for so long by one man.

Most of these have changed now. Nitish Kumar has brought some semblance of law and order in the state. The goondas of Laalooraj are now cooling their heels in jails. Roads and bridges have been built. Employment opportunities have been created. SMB are now encouraged. Industries being welcomed with open hands.

I am still a bit cynical about the fact that Bihar has seen a turn around. But I sincerely hope that the pot-bellied civil engineer Chief Minister champions the cause of Biharis.

All we Biharis dream of the day when we would be able to go back to our homeland and earn two decent meals honestly. I for one would definitely love to go back !!

Living your dreams

How many times have you read a book and felt that the bugger is almost living your dream?

Last weekend I read "Don't ask any old bloke for directions", and I felt the same. A 200 odd pages full of what I have always dreamt of doing. In fact I am so impressed by the book that I am contemplating the same sometime next year.

This book is by an IAS officer who gave up his cozy job, something which he had anyways hated for 20 long years. Fed up with being "a round peg in a square hole", while in the service, he decided to go out and seek his round hole. He gave up his job. Bought a Thunderbird. Packed up two tees and a jeans in his backpack and left on a 25ooo Km journey across India spanning over some nine months. Without any prior plans and preparation.

On the road he met a lot of characters, shared meals with them and slept alone on his bed. He payed off his karmic debt to a lot of them. In the meanwhile he found his tamzi with the world

As a travelogue this book lacks a lot of details. As a philosophical guide, it doesn't score well too. As a satire, it tickles you and makes you think. About a lot of things. It is like the personal diary of a man who thinks about a lot of stuff. And to ride with this man is one thoroughly enjoyable ride, only you have to keep your mind open.

I would have loved to share a drink with this guy, had he not gone on a longer journey. RIP, P G Tenzing!

I would recommend this book to anyone who cares for my advice.

On a totally unrelated topic, I am now a proud donor of blood platelets. One bugger less now to pay off my karmic debt. Here is one to the dengue viruses! Hear, Hear!!

These are exciting times... In India.

There was a teacher in my primary school. She used to tell me something which makes me remember her everyday.

"Always remember that you are living in very exciting times."

I also remember her for her perfect beauty. Wanted to marry her when I grew up, but that's another story altogether.

Coming back to the exciting times, last few weeks have been quite "exciting". Sample a few of the exciting news of the recent times:

Pakistan was termed Pornistan: An ultimate triumph for the 170 million Pakistanis. They finally have something to boast about. Discounting the fact that they already had the proud distinction of being the beggar bowl of the world. And also the terror capital of the world. But being termed Pornistan is something no one can take away from them.

This one was a real killer for the dreams of all us Indians though. Damn!! all the hours spent in front of the PC uploading and downloading all the Riya Sen's and Soha Ali khan's MMSes gone in vain. Such is life. You have to take the titles as they come. We will have ours one day too.

Delhi Commonwealth Games: We Indians love pan masala. We love to spit guthka on the corners in staircases. We love to urinate in public. Going by our hygiene standards, stray dogs soiling our beds are no big deal. We live in buildings where basements are waterlogged and the walls have seepage. These are some points of enlightenment I got from the electronic media in the last few days. Now I feel like the Budhdha of Indian etiquette.

The media is having a field day last couple of weeks on the cost of a few thousand crores of rupees of the tax payers' hard earned money. The TRP is soaring as all we Indians (with our balls missing) are glued to the TV sets. Almost willing the Games to be a disaster. We Indians love melancholy. Another point in my kitty of knowledge about Indians.

Amidst all these shouts of down with the games and jail the jokers of the OC (Kalmadi, Bhanot, et all), however, none of them care about the fact they are the ones who will foot the multi-crore bill. But that's normal in a "Monsoon Wedding", isn't it?

Forth coming Ayodhya verdict : One news that has not got its due in all this fan fare about the Games is Ayodhya verdict. Something which was built 5 centuries ago over something which was supposedly built some 10 centuries ago has caused a loss of some 2000 people already. And now its threatening to take some more lives.

What baffles me is that even after some 5000 years of the so called civilization, we Indians still care so much more for bricks, mortar and pieces of land than human lives. And then we say that being territorial is a thing common to animals. Hypocrisy or should I say primal instincts.

Train Accidents in India : I always thought Bengalis were an intelligent race. If you witness the quantities of fish they consume, you would think the same. How come such a mobilized and intelligentsia populace can't see through Mamta Bannerjee is something I would never understand!

Maybe she is the Laloo of Bengal. We Biharis always have loved him. We acknowledge the fact that he had sucked the life out of Bihar. But he is still affable coz he wears a ganji-dhoti and gamcha. And he eats sattu. And he speaks like a buffoon, supposedly like the way we all Biharis do.

Anyways, both of them have something else in common apart from the uncalled for and undeserved adulation from the populace. Both have led the railways and both have some achievements there. Laloo, questionably, brought back life into railways and Mamta is taking lives with the Railways. Mamta is too busy trying to realize her dreams of becoming the Bengal CM. And with her rising popularity in Bengal the number of railway accidents are also going up. After every accident, there is a stock comment from Didi:

"We will pay 50K for all those who are maimed and rendered useless for their life. We will pay 1 L for the ones killed. BTW this was a conspiracy of the CPM to malign my image in Bengal and I will not let them break my dreams of becoming the CM. I have done so much for the Bengalis. I have fought for Nandigram. I have fought for the Kolkatans. I.... I... I..."

Nothing about the reforms in railways to stop such accidents. None. Zilch.

But we Indians, being ball-less that we are, have learned to live with such impotent politicians.

Anyways, there are so many other stories to share about the exciting times. Can't waste all my talent in describing an ugly woman in a dirty saree, can I? Will come back with some more news from the exciting times I live in next time.

Cats and Dogs

What do you do when the road you are driving on has got two feet of water on it? I drove through all of it. Ditch or no ditch. Road or no road. I drove through it all.

Last weekend was a test of my patience, driving skills and luck. Luck above all.

One of my friends, Abhinav, Biwi and I went on a joy ride to Mussorie. The ride up to Mussorie was an almost good one. I say almost because of various diversions on the road. We couldn't read the omens right and still pushed our luck. Reached Mussorie, on the map some 280 kilometers from Delhi, in 10 hours after clocking some 350 kilometers. This was the first time I drove on the Himalayas and I was thrilled. It was a nice ride with the driving duties shared between Abhinav and I.

The stay there was awesome, with the mercury down and rains all day long. We strolled down the Mall road in the evening and did some shopping. Came back, enjoyed a great dinner and went to bed.

Luckily Biwi decided to watch news before going to sleep. This was when the enormity of situation hit us. Whole of Uttarakhand was under onslaught of rains. Tehri dam was already surging upto the danger mark. Rivers had over flown and the highway and the Ganges was threatening to submerge the whole of western UP.

We were scared. We made a decision of leaving Mussoorie first thing in the morning. Good for us that we stuck with the decision.

Driving back is now a flurry of memories. Going down in ditches, crossing roads with people standing on both sides of the road to guide people from falling into the surging rivers, zooming past Har ki paudi inundated by the mighty Ganges and taking some roads we knew would never take again. This was not the first time we had driven in monsoons, having covered NH 17 in last year's monsoon, I was confident that we would make it. However, I was not prepared for the helplessness and despondency in the people affected by the floods.

Here I was inside a tin box, with the AC running, separated by the glass from them. The people of the land who were forced out of their houses by the furies of the rain God. I remember once reading in my childhood that Indians are totally dependent on the vagaries of monsoon. Never before had I understood the full implication of this phrase. Maybe I don't understand it even now. After all, I was inside a tin box, with the AC running, separated by the glass from them.

I truly feel lucky to have survived the journey and writing all these here.

All these and more forced me to reflect on a totally unrelated issue: Did India really need to spend some 80K Crore Rupees on some gaming event when this could have been used to alleviate much poverty in India? Do we really need to be so jingoistic?

Do we need "Human Flesh Search Engines" in India too?

Sample this:

A woman named Aditi Jagtap hits 6 people in Pune while she was over speeding and gets released on a bail of a meager Rs. 15000.

Balakrishna Masli, a child welfare officer in charge of rehabilitating destitute girls in Karnataka molests girls from the care center. An FIR is filed after 6 days of reporting the case. He would also no doubt get bail and the case would not come to a conclusion in the next decade in all probability.

These are two news bytes from just one day (15/09/2010). If we take into account the complex and corrupt structure of Indian media, judiciary and police system, these may only be 1% of total atrocities committed in India (most of whom go unpunished). These unpunished events also boost the self confidence of others contemplating such actions.

Now, I ask you a question : Wasn't law designed by the society to punish the culprits?

So if we ARE the society, can't we, the people, bring these culprits to the books and punish them ourselves?

Maybe we can't hang them or imprison them but we can humiliate them, socially outcast them, drop all social and business deals with them; in short, make it clear to them that unless they serve their time as per the law of the land, they won't be accepted as a part of the civilized society.

Think its undo able? Take some lessons from our chini bhais. They have started a new kind of social media phenomenon, where in the people as a collective punish who otherwise go scott free because they are influential.

Check out the links:


President of India.... a 'He'???

Today I have no qualms in admitting that we Indians as a society are misogynists. How can I say that? When a leading news portal can call the Indian President a "him", then what else do you want as a proof. Check this out (the disputed word is underlined in red):

Delhi Blues

I shifted to Delhi, Noida to be precise, a week back. Since the very first moment I stepped out of the Aircraft, I have been wondering whether it was a wise decision to shift from Bangalore to Delhi. If Bangalore was bad Noida is a nightmare.

There is no power for hours on end. Security for your family is virtually hanging by a thread every time you step out of your house. House rents have been artificially inflated by the property dealer mafia. Water is so bad that the taps rust within a year. There is no public transport as such here. In short all my dreams before shifting to Delhi are squashed to a pulp and flushed down the drain. Its only a question of survival now.

BTW, I am still homeless inspite of searching for a house for the last whole week, day in and day out. So if you know some kindered soul who wants to rent out his house in Noida then you know whom to contact.

The Spiritual Gurus of India


These are my personal views, which I have formulated with careful experimentation and observation.
This is not meant to hurt anyone's sentiments, but just a rational approach to drive some sanity into the insane phenomenon of Indian Spirituality.

There is a restaurant in namma Bengaluru called MTR. Its the famous haunt of all the new comers to Bangalore, specificaly people like me who like to try the authentic food everywhere.

However, the huge amount of interest it generates is a big inconvenience. Here you have to wait for some 2 hours before you get to lay your ass on a wooden bench and some of the famous Kannadiga food in your stomach.

All this heavenly food with a two hour wait, standing on the road in the hot summer sun, comes only at Rs 125. Before you say that "Its cheap only na saar", let me tell you the same thali comes in a friendly neighbourhood Darshini in just Rs 23.

So what's so special about the immensely overpriced MTR thali? The wait.

Its a two pronged, well devised marketing strategy from these guys :

  1. What means (in true Kannadiga style), after such a long wait you will be too hungry to judge the quality of food that they serve you. You will gorge whatever they serve you and find that it tastes heavenly.
  2. Also, seeing people around you waiting for so long to have this food raises your trust level for it. So whatever they serve has already been processed by your mind as yummy, two hours before you actually have it.
Quite cunning, I tell you.

Coming to what I wanted to write about in this post and why I am ranting about the bakwas MTR food.

My mother-in-law is in town and I have been playing a driver for the last two weekends. We have been to two of the most famous spiritual gurus' ashrams in Bangalore's vicinity : Sathya Sai Baba, the self proclaimed reincarnation of Sai Baba and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the AoL guru.

Now what I found common between these two Gurus and MTR food, apart from the huge amount of wealth generated by all of these, was the marketing strategy. When you see thousands of devotees chanting "Jai Gurudev" or "Sai Ram", when you hear a thousand voices singing in praise of the gurus, you feel an awe for these gurus. You get attracted to the hagiography created around these people.

Its the same as the MTR food, you mind pre-processes whatever these people speak to be divinity even before you lay your eyes on them. Even before you listen to them, you are already institutionalised by the halo created around them by their devotees.

But if you listen and observe them at close quarters, careful enough not to get entangled in the aura around them, you find out that most of the stuff that they teach are nothing out of the ordinary.

Most of what they speak are quoted from ancient books and scriptures (which are ancient anyhow), repackaging and selling them as new profound wisdom. I don't understand why do we need to gather the old wisdom that anything and everything is willed by a mysterious force named "God".

However, if you put all your atheistic thoughts aside, and look at their management skills with and objective outlook, you will be amazed by their efficiency.

Organisations will give anything to be able to will its workforce to be so motivated and hard-working. Someone needs to research into these spiritual orders and bring out the management principles on which they work.

What was I doing for so many days?

Well, to answer the question honestly, before the last couple of weeks, I was doing nothing. Absolutely nothing worthwhile. Just idling away time, doing some junk pet projects. But then one fine day (last to last week to be precise), I felt I have found my way to nirvana (Ain't I lucky?).

I have this habit of reading a lot of wikis (see what level we s/w enggs stoop down to complete 9.5 hours in office). Its an unending journey through the jungle of knowledge and the best thing about it is that "Its absolutely free!!". What else do you need from life!

I came around an interesting topic called Machine Learning. Suddenly, there was thunder, lightning and a huge flash of light. I knew had found my lady love, my soul-mate. I knew this is what I was born on this earth for. I know I am the next Einstein (I have even started growing my hair, sad that I will never have the shocked look though) of machine learning.

Anyway, I have started working on a small project for supervised machine learning in natural language and emotion processing. Please have a look at my other blog if you are more interested in knowing my lady love :).

The wrong Pad

As I have already said before, Apples spell trouble. But this new offering from Apple has got more scope and scale (looks like I finally caught up with the s/w engineer lingo) than the ones I mentioned before.

The newly launched "iPad' has got more scope for pun in its name than any other product ever launched. Maybe the mandarins in the tech giant's marketing division did not consult their wives before zeroing on the name.

You ask me why?

Why? Don't you get it!!

Okay, lets do it this way. Lets suppose you are near the water cooler in your office, and you overhear two of the hottest girls in the office talking :

Seeta: "Oh Dear!! I am feeling so low today"
Geeta: "I can totally understand. Its only for one of these days that I keep my pad in the bag."

Now, what they wanted to say was they were feeling a bit low and could use their iPad for listening to songs. What you (mis)understood, and more importantly (mis)reported to all your lecherous friends, is what I leave up to your imagination.

You still don't understand! Then I can't do anything for you. Its a family blog(atleast my family, read biwi, reads it), for chrissake. Anyways, what's there in a name!

BTW, I have a brilliant idea. If the larger version is called 'iPad' why not call the smaller version (the famed iPod) an iTampon. What an idea, sirji!!

I wanna die young!!

उम्र कब की बरस के सुफैद हो गयी,
कारी बदरी जवानी की छटती नहीं॥

Leave it to Gulzar to write the wierdest but the most philosophical lines ever written. To all the oldies of the world, who believe in this way of living, I salute you!!

My boss says, "I wanna die young, not early but young!". I concur with him। I too wanna die young. When I grow old, I want to be fascinated by the young women and envied by the young men.

No, I don't wanna be a lecherous old dog but a young old sweetheart.