Coffee becoming Chai !
So finally I have booked a hosting space and registered a new domain.
Yes , its the name that i have taken to migrate Xpress Coffe blog
So Coffee is going to be Chai (tea) soon !
Earlier , I had booked a domain name YatYatY.com but when I ran a poll on the name , I found most of them did not favour it. So i decided to shelve that name and went for this new one.
I may need bit of time to understand and experiment with the technicalities and bring life to the new site . May be it will take bit more time to freeze the right look and feel . Anyways , am excited ! My blogging would be carried forward into new realms and have some few plans to make it more interesting too. Lets see.
Would like to know your feedback on the new name choice !
My (mis)adventures with traffic cops
Men in white and khaki who man the notorious traffic of India. At times I wonder how they manage to keep their white shirts clean with all the pollution around them ! They should be made brand ambassadors of any premium detergent !! This blog is not about the white part of the traffic cops but the grey shade that prevails !
My first brush with the men in white came in the first year of my bangalore arrival ! Till then in my native , i had hardly come across traffic cops. Infact it was only recently few years back we have signals and traffic cops visible in our native town !! signs of progress !!!
Well back to bangalore episode, during my fad end of my first year of bangalore , I had brought my new bike – a KB 125 – I took a left turn. The signal was very much green during the turn. Round the corner , i was stopped by a traffic cop who jumped to the middle of the road ! I took side.
” Show me the driving licence”
I flashed it from my purse.
” Bike papers ? “
I pulled it out from my back pocket.
He looked at me. I wonder what he read from my face.
” Insurance ? “
I patiently showed it too. He again looked at me . Looked at the signal.
“Give me 100 rs ” He asked with ease.
” err …. for what ? ” I asked in english , bad that I didn’t knew even broken kannada that time.
” Jumping signal !!! ” There is always a reason to frame charges , isn’t it ?
” but .. it was green when i took turn ! “
” No .. it was red . I looked back ” It was red when i turned now , but i was sure it was green then .
” no … it was green “
” 100 rs kodi (give) .. “
Well …. I understood he won’t leave me till i give something.
My first tryst with bribing !!! Did someone say giving bribe is offence ? well …. am a culprit then.
” I don’t have 100 rs … am student sir ” Trying to get sympathy.
He looked at me again. Mind reading !!
” 50 rs kodi “
” sir .. please … “
Finally we settled for 25 Rs !! Immediately i vroomed from the spot.
My second (mis)adventure wtih the men in white came a year later.
My friend and me had gone to MG Road for shopping. We had parked our vehicle in the parking lot. After we finished our shopping , we found the bike missing !!! Frantically we searched the stretch ! My eyes went across the wide road and i was shocked to see my bike being pulled into the tow vehicle !!! We ran across the raod. The tow guy gave us a look , nonchalantly said come and pick it from the station. We went to the cop and pleaded for the vehicle. He said no way pay the fine in court and pick it . We played the student sympathy card again !!! Finally we paid 50 rs and got away ! I was sure we had parked in the right slot but our bad luck it was on the border of the parking and non parking area !!! Anyways we have to bid goodbye to 50 Rs !
My next adventure was a some two years later . I took a turn and found 4 cops ! Two on the side of the road including the inspector. Two on the middle of the road. The guy in the middle of the road stopped me , I slowed down and took side. I don’t know what devil was inside my mind then. I did an unexpected thing. I slowed down . I steered slowly to the side. The cop loosened himself seeing me slowing down. The devil in me made me suddenly raise the acceleration and I made a ” S ” and fled ! I admit it sent a pseudo hero feeling in me but if i had been caught my cop that moment when i fled , I wonder how the situation would have taken a turn !!! Breaking the law ! Bad boy !
Somewhere later again i had to pay some 50 rs , this time my emission certificate had expired.
The last time was some few months back. I had all the papers intact. I saw the cop in the road ahead. I could have taken a turn but I was thought to go ahead , I have the papers and am not in a hurry so why to fear even if they stopped. The cop stopped me. He asked for the papers. I calmly parked the bike and moved my hand towards my back pocket to my purse. I Freezed . I had forgotten my purse and papers at home !!! Argh ! I looked at the cop with a idiotic look. He pulled my bike key.
” Pay the fine”
” Sir , i forgot my purse and papers , how can i pay ? “
” Talk to the inspector”
I went towards the inspector. I told him my sheer bad luck.
” I will write chalan , pay in court “
” But sir .. “
I know how to tackle the situation. I went back to the junior cop.
” Sir , i stay near by only … i forgot the purse and papers .. please understand”
he asked me where i stay . I told him . Infact my home was only 2 kms away from the spot. He looked at me again . Somehow he seems to be convinced.
” Ok , do one thing leave the helmet here and go get the papers”
Cool. Men in white with white heart !
I thanked him and took the key and left the helmet with him. When i was about to start the bike ..
” Wait .. what if in the next signal a cop stops you for no helmet ?!! “
Sensible guy indeed ! I thought , he may leave me .
” Do one thing , leave that bag you are carrying and take the helmet “
Well ….. he is double sensible !
I left the bag i was carrying with him. Sped to my home. Took the papers and purse and came back. He glanced through the papers and gave it back and the bag too. While i started the bike , he slowly asked me , give me something atleast for chai with a smile. I smiled back. I gave him 25 Rs and exited.
My (mis)adventures ends here as of now. One thing i learnt from experience , when caught my traffic cops don’t talk directly to the senior inspector over there. Always deal with the junior cops , if you want to get away without chalans. If you argue with the senior , he will not entertain in public any out of way dealing. It has to go only through the proper channel , in this case the junior cops. Secondly , be friendly with them. Don’t raise your voice . I have found many many do this basic mistakes and end with heft fines and running around station and court. Well , if you are law abiding citizen , do pay the proper fine .
Well , i have my papers intact now . I take care to part my bike in the proper parking lot without even a slightest chance for getting into no parking line. Since am grown up now , i don’t allow for getting fooled like my first experience !!! So am trying to be a proper driver in the road !
P.S > Well am not generalising all the traffic cops to have grey shades. There are good cops , bad cops like good people and bad people elsewhere. My salute to the good cops who take pains ( and pollutants along with ) to serve their best to control the bad traffic situation of our roads.
Indian Idol 4 – Part 6
November 7 – november 8 , 2008
7 November :
I was half hour late to catch up the programme. My wife said Mohit and Nirali got eliminated.
The wild card entrants are being introduced one by one now.
First to come was Shini . She sang really good. I wish she gets the votes to get back into show.
Sandeep followed , and sang well ok kind.
My another favourite Sunakshi minus tedddy and spectacle sang as usaul good ! i wish she gets back too ! hmm lets see…
Mohit was the next wild card entrant and sang in his usual style..
Prasenjit and Charit followed and the last to enter the wild card entrant was much talented Bhavya !
There was no voting code annnounced , i suppose there is no voting .. goood ! Judges would select the wild card entries !!! Voila ! good decision !! Lets see who all makes it back to the show !!!
Wild Card Results : Ok , so we have 7 contestants who sang their heart out for getting back to the show. Javed Akthar came to stage to annonce the results. He said after a much thought the judges have decided to select 5 contestants today and the 5 would sing a song given by the judges tomorrow and from them the final 3 wild card winners will be selected. Bhavya , Prasenjit , Mohit , Shini , Charit were the lucky 5. Tomorrow lets see who will be the luckies 3 among this lucky 5 !
8 November :
Ok so today we will know who are those 3 to make into the show again enroute wild card entry ! This round judges will give the song that the wild 5 has to sing.
Anu asked Mohit to sing Jash- ne -bahar , one of my favourite song ..
Bhavya is to sing Aisa lagta hai
Charit was given yeh shaam
Prasenjit was the last contestant to perform. I think he got the toughest song of the day. Well , I have no knowledge of classical singing but I feel he did a good job on the tough song considering he had only one hour to practice !!!
Well , so the performances are over . Definitely its going to be tough to eliminate 2 people out of this 5 !! Lets see what the judges decide.
So were Prasenjit and Shini given each song for the day.
They were given one hour to practice and to perform their last chance to stay alive in this show !!
Mohit lalvani was the first to get on stage . He sang good but then i felt he didn’t give his best.
Bhavya followed next .. I felt she sang really good !!
Charit was on the stage next . He too sang good.
Shini sang soulfully well !!!!
The last to perform was Prasenjit ! He was given a tough song but he did justice to it considering that he had only one hour practice time !!
Its definitely going to be tough to eliminate 2 out of the 5 ! lets see what happens …
My 3 Picks : Prasenjit , Bhavya , Shini
Now the moment has come. Prasenjit was first called before the judges. He was selected !!! He deserves to be in !!! Next to be called was Charit. He was not selected. Well , he was the weakest of the 5 contestants. Mohit was next on the call and he was selected . Now that leaves out Bhavya and Shini means one of those two talented girls would be eliminated ! Sweet surprise ! They selected both of them for the galas !!!
So its going to be 14 contestants for the galas !!!
Indian Idol 4 – Part 5
31 october – 01 November , 2008
31 October , 2008
First news , there is no elimnination result today. Both female contestants and male contestants elimination result will be announced together tomorrow .
First to sing was Kuldeep , he sand Ji Karda . Average performance. Next sang Prasenjit , my wife said maza nahi araha. Anu malik and Sonali seems to be impressed though. Charit was ordinary and this time Javed Akthar said maza nahi. I agree with. Roshan , one of my wife’s favourite contestant , was next in line. He sang good but not that great too. Well so far all the men who sang were just ordinary.The best among male contestant so far , Rajdeep sang “Oh habiba” ! He proved his mettle yet again this round. I only hope the public don’t vote him out.The good looking Mohit was next and his singing was good too !! Sandeep sang and dedicated to his sapno ka rani !!! My wife found his singing today yuk ! Well , Javed liked it though ! Chota Don Remo Ghosh came , sang “jeene ke” and did a dance movement but that didnt impress the judges ! Next to sing was the man from namma bengalooru , Keshav. He sang “adha”.. well , this time he impressed me a bit and seem to have improved from previous rounds. Strangely all the judges seem to dislike his performance ! My wife and me were confused a bit by the strong criticism the poor chap got. Common yaar , his performance was not that bad. I admit being a play back singer judges expect a bit more from him but then it doesnt deserve such a bad criticism.Indian Army’s Kapil Thapa sang “mussu mussu” and i liked it and Sonali liked too ! Javed found him singing with nasal accent and Anu found it ok ok while Kailash wanted him to choose a better song next time rather than such easy song. I cant disagree with Kailash on this. The face of this season’s Indian Idol Bhanu pratap sang one of my favourite “kaava kaava” and wowed the audience and judges !
My Pick of the day : Bhanu pratap , Rajdeep
1 November , 2008
Elimination result (female) : Shini Kalvint is out ! Can you beleive !!!! The girl with sweet lovely voice and much of talent is voted out ! Dont faint , there is more shock in stock . Bhavya Pandit is out too !!! Also to exit are Akansha , Sreejitha kar , Megha sharma.
Voting method sucks ! but then the show must go on … so first to sing today is Torsha. She sang good but then still the shocking result hangover exists. Next to sing was Priyanka , she is good to as usual. So most propably Torsha and Priyanka would be eliminated next week coz they are singing good like Srini and Bhavya so according to Indian Idol trend should be voted out !!! *sighs* Nirali was next to sing. She sang average. Grrrr am still to recover from the elimination result shock. Dancing diva Ananya sang pretty well. Cute Sourabhee sang cute ! Tullika Ganguly was the pick of the day as far as am concerned!
Elimination results (male) : Roshan , Prasenjit , Charit , Sandeep and Keshav. Well the results are not that shocking when compared to female contestant result though I would have liked Remo out and Sandeep or Prasenjit in.
I thought the show is over for the day but it is not to be. The guys are singing again. Bhanu Pratap started the round. Sang ok . Kapil Thapa followed in with yet again soft number. My favourite Rajdeep was the next to take mike and sang mein hoon na . He encountered some mike problem in the middle but still caught up with the rhythm with ease . Kuldeep sang “eh zindagi” and surprisingly he did a good job this time ! “bachena haseena “ with lots of energy Mohit lalwani sang the peppy number really good ! Last to sing was kid Remo . He sang a number from Taare Zammen par and sang pretty ordinary.
Vishy – King of 64 squares
The ” Tiger from chennai” Vishwanath Anand won the FIDE World chess championship title by beating Vladmir Kramnik in the German city of Bonn. The champion chess master retained his world title by winning the 11 match race for the title by scores 6.5 – 4.5 .
He and Kramnik will share the total prize fund of $1.94m.
This is how the title chase went about .
Game 1 – Draw
Game 2 – Draw
Game 3 – Anand wins!
Game 4 – Draw
Game 5 – Anand wins!
Game 6 – Anand wins!
Game 7 – Draw
Game 8 – Draw
Game 9 – Draw
Game 10 – Kramnik wins!
Game 11 – Draw => Anand wins the match 6.5/4.5
Congratz to Vishy the King !
Hello is the movie adaption of best selling novel One Night @ Call center by Chetan Bhagat. Couple of months when i read the book , i though it would make a good bollywood story material. Well it should have been a good bollywood film but …… well some wishes shall only be wishes when we have no control over it.
Star cast : The problem with the movie had started right from the star cast. This is a movie that has no place for Salman Khan to begin with. The star has been roped in mainly to increase the saleable factor of the movie but it has definitely misfired. So is Katrina kaif. The director , Atul Agnihotri should have shown the confidence on the story rather than on the super star cast. Gul Panang and Isha Koppikar are again a misfit for the main roles. Sohail Khan , Sharman Joshi , Amrita Arora fits well into their roles. Sohail and Sharman steal the limelight.
Story Adaptation : The original story by Chetan bhagat had lots of potential to make a neat bollywood movie. Director wonderfully manages to spoil a good movie. I wonder what is the need to cast Salman khan and Katrina kaif and then go overboard by having helicopter and waiting lounge to replace the original story line on train journey. Argh ! the introduction Salman khan song was a total dud. Unwanted to the core. The movie would have struck the chord with audience if it had been shot in train and with underrated actors replacing the star power. Alas ! this is bollywood and here people tend to believe in spending money on star power and glossy visuals .
The climax was rushed in . I feel it would bring a vaccum and something missing or lacking feeling in the audience when it ends. If you had read the novel am sure the feeling would be multiplied.
Only saving grace is Sohail khan’s funny acting and Sharmaan Joshi’s subtle performances. My wife found the tiny red devil symbolising the inner voice of Sharmaan Joshi interesting and cute. Well that is one spark of good innovation on the adaptation but unfortunately its the only good spark.
My Parting shot : Hello , Oh Wrong number.
Both are mathematics
The line ” Both are mathematics” used to be a popular one among our group during my bachelor days. At times , even now i use it . One of my friend coined the term and like a wild fire it soon found in the tongues of our friends circle.
Well my friend is no nerd nor am I , so dont think that this line has anything to do with mathematics. Loosely translated , it means ” Both are one and the same thing ” Suppose two of our friends are arguing on a matter and the end result of the argument means the same thing , then we can quip in to say ” Both are mathematics” To explain with a little element of spice , Say A is talking about Kingfisher Beer and B is talking about Haywards 5000 beer and C comes and says , ” Both are mathematics” both gives a high at the end of the day. Hope it clears the meaning of the phrase !!!
Father , Son and Elephant
This is a folk story from rural villages of Tamilnadu , India.
Son : Daddy , What is this ?
Father : This is Elephant , son !
Son : But , what these people are doing ?
Father : They are killing it , my child
Son : But … why they are killing the elephant ?
Father : They are killing the elephant , so that they can cut the ivory task and make elephant statues out of it “
Simple but powerful. Short but power packed. How neatly and crisply it riducles the acts of men !!!!
Am not going to interpret the story. I leave it to you. Think about it , relate it to you , me , we , society in general , look around you , look at the world ……. find the meaning of the story from what you see in this world nowadays.
Do let me know…
Someone stole the moon in bangalore
So yesterday was Karvachauth day. In south , we dont have the celebration of the festival. So naturally i had no clue of the festival during my growing days. First time , i came to know that such festivity exists was through the hindi movie Hum dil de chuke sanam. I was quiet dazzled by the romance of the karvachauth images in the movie !
Life moved on. When i watched that movie I would have never imagined that one day there will be karvachauth celebration at our home ! Life takes twists and turns , so the small town boy of deep south India married a small town girl of up north India. Its not only a union of heart but synthesis of two cultures. We discover many new things hitherto only heard or read or not even aware of . It exposes us to new cuisines , new cultural practices , language etc . If you are open to changes , you will enjoy every moment of it ! Life would be beautiful , if one looks at world with an open heart and perception rather than closed one.
Back to Karvachauth. The runup to the karvachauth started one week earlier , when we went shopping. My wife said we have to gift a sari to my mom . So we picked a lovely nice sari. We sneaked it home and thought will keep it as suspense till karvachauth day. Once we were in our bedroom , we both looked at each other’s eye with a stupid look ! Well , i think its impossible for both of us to keep secrets ! Like kids and with a grin , we admited we cant keep secrets and we pulled out the sari and showed it to mom !
The second runup to the karvachauth was the previous day to it . My better half told her butter half that she needs to apply mehendi on both her hands ! We have seen a mehendi artist sitting in front of a sweet shop in Indra nagar. Well , 3 months back when we enquired him , he said it costs 50 bucks for one hand. Next month , when we passed by , the same guy said , it costs 100 bucks per hand. He definitely had studied the pulse of Bangalore within short while of arriving here, possibly from Rajasthan. Anyways, his designs were good and he seemed to be the cheapest we have searched , even at this price. My wife says in her town in UP they charge 25 bucks per hand. Anways , this is sillicon valley of India. So it comes with a high price. So the previous day to karvachauth , we went to this road for mehendi. It was drizzling ! We prayed it should not rain heavy and the drizzle would stop soon. We went to the mehendi artist , already dozens of north Indian ladies were queued up . He said we need to take token ! Hmmm … demand ! We went to the counter to take token ..then came the shocker ! They had increased the price to 200 bucks !!! so it will be 400 Rs for both the hands ! Attrocious ! Demand comes with a price huh . Luckily , on the way , little before to this artist , we saw two girls applying mehendi catering to extra demand of karvachauth. We enquired them , they said 100 bucks per hand . Demand always provides alternatives ! So we sat there waiting for her turn to come. Finally , the turn came . The design was fairly ok . My wife’s face lit up like moon !!! We hit back home. I had to feed dinner to her , since both her hands had mehendi on it. Now i know , why the practice of applying mehendi on both the hands , so that hubbies can feed their wiffies ! heehee.
Morning we woke up to see a lovely darkened maroon mehendi design on her hand. She told me about a traditional saying in north on the colors of mehendi . It seems in some place they believe that if the colors of the mehendi darkens to a nice maroon hue , it means the mother in law loves her D-I-L a lot. In some place , they believe the darkening of the mehendi color is directly proportionate to the love showered by her hubby ! My mother’s love and my love seems to made her mehendi very vibrant with a rich maroon hue !
She was fasting since morning. She said she will break the fast only after puja ! Morning she had gone to office and took half day leave. Evening she cooked yummy aloo gobi , mutter paneer , banana raitha and poori/puri.
Evening my wife narrated the karvachauth story and we did the puja. She said she will wait for moon to arise and then do arti and offer jal/water and apply tilak on me and then have food. So we waited for the moon to come up the sky. Luckily , there was no cloud too that evening , so i thought the moon would be visible clearly. We waited , waited and waited. My dad checked on net and said , moon will be sighted 8:05 in bangalore and also said at 7:30 it will be sighted in my in-law’s town in UP . ( he has become google savvy since i introduced him to net ) So we waited for 8:05. Meanwhile around 7:45 , her mother called up to say they sighted moon over there ! We waited for our moon here ! What a long wait ! I could see a glow behind a distant cloud that seem to have formed , where exactly the moon is supposed to arise. I told her , it may come up in 10 minutes. The 10 minutes went on in multiples. 9′o clock ! Still the moon was elusive . We both were in the roof top waiting for the moon ! I have never eagerly waited for moon all this years in my life. May be Moon was taunting me for overlooking him carelessly all these days huh . She was hungry and Moon was playing hide n seek. It was never to be seen except for a faint glow in distance sky. Couldn’t figure out if its moon glow or light from distant buildings. I told her finally , imagine moon and lets do the puja. Moon will always be there somewer , so lets do the puja . The power of puja is not just in the acts but in the mind. The moment we started the puja , from nowhere the clouds came up and started drizzling ! Quickly in rain , we did the puja and did arti , she applied tilak , i gave her water to break her fast and we came down stairs running !!!! It was really a memorable Karvachauth !
So thats how the moon in bangalore was stolen but the spirit of the festivities are not in mere rituals but in the faith , devotion and in mind. So even though the moon was not to be seen , I could see the charm and glow of moon in the love and affection of my wife !
Oh and around 10:30 , i came to the portico and found the moon smiling at me from the distance !!! I remembered the Falguni Pathak song , Oh piya ! oh piya !
My Secret Desire
Adiga won the booker prize of the year .
So when is my turn ? I want to hone my writing skill through blogging and one day i want to publish my own book ! I may or may not win booker but life doesnt start or end with booker for a writer , ryt ? Booker may come the way , if i can cast the magic in words but definitely a person cannot write a book with booker in mind that should sure spell death to the magic in the writing. If it happens , life would have taken a complete cycle for me. During my school days , i used to write poems , i had written close to 100 poems but most of them are unfortunately lost now . Keates and wordsworth were my favourite poets those days. I fancied myself to become a poet one day. Somehow the poet in me died when i entered high school , the priorities of life shifted to different dreams and incidences. In due course of time , I almost stopped writing . When we feel a flame is off then we find an ember still burning rekindling the fire from its dying moments. Technology spells a fresh wave of changes . So when i chanced upon the world of blogging , it sparked the writer in me again . I started blogging. Those day , i used to blog in a different address. Blogging brought a big change in my life – the most important change of my life , infact . I found my wife through my blog !!! We met through each other’s blog and we eventually married ! So writer in me brought a sense of meaning and beauty in my life that not even a booker prize could give me ! Now am back again blogging here , I abandoned my previous blog and started all fresh over here. One reason for me to abandon my previous blog is to retain my anonymity . The previous blog was known to my relatives and friends circle there by restricting myself from saying certain things . Anonymity gives me more freedom in expression. I love it ! I enjoy it !
My desire is to shortly make my this blog into a standalone site with a nice exclusive domain name ! Make my wife co author the site along with me . I need to cajole her a bit , she says she is having writers block oflate ! One day , i secretly desire to publish my own book ! It may not be a master piece , it may not be a reader’s delight but it would definitely bring a smile in my face and propably few more faces !!!