Yaaron, Dosti, Bari hi haseen hai

A group of 2 boys and 1 girl had just got off a overnight bus. They looked around the busy highway, as if in search of a familiar sight.

Dressed poshly, they looked like kids out of college, maybe into their first jobs. Minimal luggage – plastered with airline tags, signaled towards busy feet and travelling habit. The girl carried a cuddly pink blanket. Cute.

Obviously they were new in town.

The other side of the highway suddenly cried for attention. 2 pairs of hands, waving frantically, trying to capture some eyeballs. 2 boys appeared, running, walking, half falling, but constantly moving their hands, and cutting across the crowd of people and automobiles.

5 pairs of eyes met across the traffic, there was silent signal transfer, and then a flurry of  movements, as both groups moved towards each other. The 2 boys, protectively guarding the girl in the centre, who just wanted to cross the busy highway on a run.

The road is crossed, a battle won against the rash drivers and the incessant traffic, and the two groups meet on the non-existing footpath.

Big hugs. Group hugs. Twinkle in the eyes. Hi-fives. The joy of meeting pals.

Standing 5 feet away from them, at Alwin cross-road, I missed my friends.

Guys and girls, you out there, who came in my life and made my life the way it is, beat me up when I deserved it, and were my pillars of support when I needed it, I miss you all. Maybe I don’t call too often. I never send emails. Maybe I don’t even wish u on your birthdays.
BUT!
Believe me, I miss you all.
Enjoy this ode to friendship, My friends.

Goodmorning, Friday the 13th

So, it was Morning of Friday the 13th.

Down-under, The Aussies were giving us a good beating – more like beating our bats with swinging fast deliveries, and we were soon 4 down.

I have been listening to music on Saavn for the last few days. It’s good. So today morning, I clicked surprise me, and came a playlist.

And it played – “Itni shakti hame de na dataa, man ka vishwas kamzor ho na“.

Kinda matched the match situation.

But then, my brain went into a Friday overdrive.

Literal Translation of the lyrics:
Give me enough power O Lord,
So my belief in you never wanes,
So I always walk on the right path,
So I never make a mistake.

How a statistician will interpret it(Probably)
Give my TEST enough POWER, my DATA,
So I can accept my Alternative Hypothesis,
Let me DESIGN as best as I can,
So I can cover for all mistakes during CONDUCT.

What do you think?

As stupid as they come

So here’s my little piece of confession.

  • The CHENNAI debacle:

There was this 3-day weekend, and I was destined to visit Chennai to meet my brother, maybe take a trip to ooty. But tickets were hard to get. So we postponed the whole gig for a week later, and I checked on irctc that there were available seats on the trains.

2 days before I was supposed to travel, I logged into irctc to print the tickets, but was surprised to not find them there. I looked at my mails, and I can’t find the tickets there as well! WTF!
I reasoned that I had booked a lot of tickets in the past weeks for multiple people, so I must have forgot to book mine. With a heavy heart, I informed my brother about this. He was pissed (obviously), as we had planned I’ll buy him a guitar on that trip.
So nothing doing, I’m stuck at Hyderabad, while I guess he cursed me to hell sitting in Chennai.
Next Monday, Saurabh (my roommate), found my Chennai trip tickets in his irctc account!

  • The rail-roko farce:

I’m supposed to be on my way to Secundrabad railway station now! 

But, well, the Telengana strikes are back, and in good measure. First the state transport buses went off the roads from Monday, then there was a hue and cry over the Petrol Pumps, many of which opened and closed at their whim and fancy. There was also a potential stop on Autos. I saw so many people walking to work in the last 5 days, it looked like a scene from a war movie where refugees are walking off towards a place that holds hope.
On Friday afternoon, I was informed of a website where they had a list of cancelled trains, due to the agitation, and proposed Rail-roko to be held in Telengana region. My train, unfortunately, was on that list.

So I frantically search for other options, for I have to be home on Sunday(Mom n Me plan to catch a nau se barah show 😉 par, kisi se na kehne).. I find a connecting flight through Mumbai, leaving Hyderabad at 11PM, and reaching Vadodara at 7 AM. Prompt booking is done, Bye byes are said at the office, and I run home. Takes me an hour to get home rather than the usual 20 minutes. I pack, things don’t fit, I repack. Its 8.30 PM. I should leave. Get a Auto to ferry me to the Aero Express stop. Bugger has no change, and I part with 100 bucks. Just missed the bus. No info on when the next bus is. Take a taxi (Thankfully the driver was hunting in the area). Reach the Airport at 9.30. Oh! I’m on time. The cop at the entry looks a t my ticket.
“Sir, ye to aj ka nahi hai”.
“What?”
“Sir, ye 24th hai, aj to 23rd hai”!!!!!!!!!!!

As stupid as they come, I say!

The Facebook notes – Now on the blog

Taramandal
by Korak Datta on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 11:23pm

Potol Babu – Filmstar by Satyajit Ray was adapted by the Delhi tadpoles into a bedazzling Taramandal – with well timed silences, background score(which sounded like to have been inspired from Ray’s compositions) with hindi and motzart(in the dark) thrown in for effect, a beautifully strung together bunch of stories – All showcasing a person’s wish to act, monologues, and the original story, peiced together, created a mesmerizing effect. Yes it didn’t create as much effect as Miss Meena yesterday, it still left me wondering how the creater came up with this concoction!

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Ugadi weekend, 2011
by Korak Datta on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:30am

It was destined to be a weekend of doom!
But well, Ye saali zindagi always turn out differently than we imagine it will, right?

So there was a night of joy watching the Final with Mahesh, Radha, DDY, Samy and Priya.
Then came the next day.
The next two days passed with Kerala cuisine, Ugadi food, Famous Icecream, and unbelievable Chinese food. All this came with perks, F.R.I.E.N.D.S – KK[P], Krishna and SSC..

It didn’t go that bad, huh?

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Weekend
by Korak Datta on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 10:50pm

I did precisely 2 things over the weekend-
1) Read a book cover-to-cover: Chocolate Guitar Momos is a mushy romantic story with plots “inspired” by many flicks – in a good adaptive way, set in the lazy days and nights of Guahati. Its the story of a 27-ish year old musician in the quest for that special someone.. A good read for any romantic soul.
2) Watched Dum Maro Dum: I would rate it as a pretty decently made watchable entertainer movie – with paisa wasool thrill/suspense, except for some of the fight scenes(involving Jr. Bachchan) and the dancing shots of Deepika. The second one the worst bit actually.

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Dabba gull
by Korak Datta on Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 2:40am

Remember the last time you were on a roller coaster ride?
That small point at the pit of your stomach you never knew existed suddenly starts gathering weight, and you feel exhilating and intimidated at the same time. The adrelanine rush prepares you for for the impending fall down, from the peak.
But after you finish the ride, it vanishes quickly, leaving you gasping for more, another ride maybe.

Thats not what happened today though. I think its been about 8 hours from the time when I finished the ride. And it was no roller coaster either. When I booked the tickets, I knew Amol Gupte’s, oops sorry, Partho’s “Stanley ka Dabba” was about a cute 4th std kid, who doesn’t bring a dabba to school. He is a master story teller, weaving his thoughts through the imaginative realms of life to come up with engrossing tales for his classmates and teachers.
The movie opens with the best opening credits i have seen in a long time – old style animation. The first real shot is breathtaking in its own way, sunlight beaming through from behind a cluster of leaves, waving a silent hello to the viewers in a gentle breeze.
We are introduced to stanley, a cute kid, who looks like he has taken some beating in the recent times, but who happily goes and takes his place in the classroom. Slowly, we are introduced to Rosy miss(All of us had a rosy miss in school, the favourite teacher whol oved all her sweeties, and encourages every act from them), the snooty science teacher, Iyer madam(“Is this global warming?” “No” “Parts of body?” “No” …. well, you can’t dare to go off topic with her), all the teachers, the headmaster(Father), and the second character of the film who doesn’t carry his dabba, Khadoos, the Hindi teacher, always salivating on other peoples food.
Amole Gupte takes us back to our schooldays, briefly disturbing the space-time continum. We are brought back to reality soon though. Atleast I was. THe camera angles and the editing left me with haunting images of a kid who drinks water inplace of food, and lies through his teeth to proclaim hightened senses of satisfaction with the food he is eating.
His classmates are like the ones all of had in school, jovial, loyal, and friendly, who don’t wait a moment before proclaiming that they wil share their Dabba with Stanley till his mom returns from her trip to Delhi. And Amol Gupte plays Khadoos, the jerk, with finnesse mostly absent on the big screen.
When the movie ends, it leaves us, well, I don’t know. It left me with a blocked nose, and tears streaming down my face. Don’t get me wrong, it was not a sad movie. It was just, well, a movie with a biiiig heart. Go watch Stanley ka Dabba, only if you are not a crybaby like me, or if you are comfortable letting a few tears roll down your cheeks, because those, I promise, will make an appearance, at least when you get to know the story behind the real dabba of Stanley.
There are a lot of things to speak about the movie, its cast and the director. The story touches you, the characters make an impact, and the dialogs and situations tug at the strings of your heart with ease. But I have to stop. And before I do, I must thank Gupte sahab for the film. I must also thanks Stanley’s classmates. Its not easy to act, and that too when you are a small kid. These kids, wel, were mindblowing. And at the end, I have to thank Partho, our Stanley. Maybe one day when you grow up ,and watch the film, you will really understand what you have depicted on screen. Til then, enjoy the innocent childhood you have. Becase to be fair, most children in this world, don’t have it.

This is my Stanley Ka Dabba review. I have re-read it, and honestly, I think its no good. But I don’t want to change it. So folks, read it. Watch the movie, and lemme know if you agree.

“Tere Andar bhi kahi,
Chhupkar baitha hai kya,
Koi STANLEY?”

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Mutant Chronicles: X-men : FIRST CLASS
by Korak Datta on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 2:09am

X-men First Class fell into that one hole that a prequel or a sequel often falls into.. Trying to tie up all the knots, and plug all the holes in the storyline.

It was enjoyable while it lasted(2 hours + some), but now that I look back into it, it was a tad bit disappointing.

Action sequences are good, some scenes are nicely done(technically, scenically, or with feelings). Magnetos rise is a thrilling ride(an I kinda agreed to his reasoning.. call me a traitor)..

But the whole theater went crazy in 1 scene.. 2 seconds on screen, and we know who is the real star of X-men.. Wolverine. wow.

Watch the movie if you are a fan, and can handle small disappointments..

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My review – Green Lantern
by Korak Datta on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 2:04am

Disclaimer: I am a comic-book loving, video-game gazing boy of 25 who has 2 hot wheels miniatures on his office desk.

That said, let me come to my review of “Green Lantern” (translates to a very funny hindi term).

Well, the movie has a lot of Corporate lingo – it has words like job description, behavior patterns of company managers who think too much of themselves, you know what I am getting too.
What it also has is some stylized set-piece action sequences – some of which use the 3-D tech to highlight the green will-power energy, or the sun beams, for that matter. Some of the sequences though, are done up in a way that they look right out from a in-game video [Is a green lantern game out already? maybe they jut did the video in it 😉 ]. But wth, this is content right up my alley of taste.. So great.
As for the story, its not as bad as the reviews said it was(at one point I was contemplating not going for the movie at all, after reading some of the stuff out on the net).
It has a cocky pilot-splitting image of his fearless dad, a woman leader of a company(his chaddy-buddy n love interest), a pal of a software geek, a metamorphosing once-human depressed scientist with evil powers, the thriving on fear villain, and a lot of weird aliens. What else do you need? Well, thrown in for bonus I guess, are nice punch lines too.
So guys, comic-geeks, fellow cartoon fans, this green lantern may not match up to the ‘brother’ we enjoyed so much in JLA, but cut the guy some slack, will you! Go watch it and enjoy a nice time out.

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Shaitani times
by Korak Datta on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 2:26am

Starting out on a very unrelated note at first:
When I heard the soundtrack of the now-famous “Slumdog Millionaire”, wasn’t really impressed. It was ok-ok stuff. But only after I experienced the magic on screen did the brilliance of the music hit me, how well it picked up from where our visual sensations took leave, and engulfed us in the movie sensation with the sound and score from Rehman.

This was a similar case with Shaitan. Only 1 track, Nasha, had actually sounded interesting in the audio release. But only once after I watched the movie late on Sunday night did I realise the beauty of the whole album.
The movie had a tight script(most of the times), and added with great camerawork and editing, was able to create its own space in my mind.
It has been compared many-a-times with the unreleased Paanch, Anurag Kashyap’s first movie. Maybe that’s why it attracted him. And thank god it did, or otherwise the movie-lovers would have missed a movie which falls short of reaching epic proportions not by much, considering its the first film from the director. He knows what he wants, and how to get it. Yes he does.
There are gut-wrenching moments, and also frames filled with camaraderie, and pain. There are signs of strengths, and weaknesses, and fragility, from all the characters – proving yet again the line from swades: Man se raavan jo nikale, Ram uske man me hai, although in a pretty crooked way.
The cast acts commendably, though I would like to see Kalki doing something different next time, Her innocent/naughty/daring character is one she has pulled off with aplomb before too. The other actors, especially DASH, are good. Rajiv Khandelwal does justice to his role.
2 sequences that make this movie memorable fr me:
1. Action/Chase sequence, when the cops find the German girl’s body, parallely showing the friends running off from trouble. I knew these are different occurances, happening independently. But still, some how, I just kept believing, its not. Thats what great cinematography can do.
2. Khoya khoya chande remix is so so so damn cool(sadly, its not in the audio release).

Watch this if you can stand blood, gore, and deadly catch-phrases.

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Punched – Sucker Punch
by Korak Datta on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 2:19am

The story could have been better, but hell, you can’t really control your imagination, and this movie is about imaginations. And I guess that’s why the movie spins out of control.

The visual effect, most of them, are well done. How it never shows any of the misfortunes of its characters, and still conveys the feeling to us is good.

The creative team has grown up on a lot of fiction, mythology, fantasy, comics and gaming! Evidence? 1) Dragon scene – out of Harry potter, 2) Ogres – LOTR, 3) The train – Batman, 4) The sniper – out if a damn good sniping FPS, 6) Samurai fight – great version of any samurai stylized fight game, 7) Steam-powered undeads in WWII and humanoid robots- So DC comic-ish. And I can go on and on.

Inception had levels of dreams, this one has a multitude of levels of imagination from the lead female protagonist, who escapes into her make-belief world to escape harsh truths of her life. To be fair to the creators of the movie, we only figured out 1 level by the time the movie was half done, and the 2nd level was comprehended only at the end, so a good job done.

Only drawback I see is that it had huge potential that was not truly explored, but well, what was served at the end was good too.

How I Met Your Episode #3: THE ILLUMINATED FLAGPOLE – by Shanky

THE ILLUMINATED FLAGPOLE

Kids, when I first joint my last school, in 2004, I had already spend three years in the Banyan City. My new school was creating waves everywhere. On the 7th day of the month that comes between MnM, I entered my new school. Well……very soon it became my second home, but more on that later.

I was an outgoing kid and never had problems making new friends. I joint as a seventh grader. In those days, there used to be four sections per class. I was put into the 7-C. My first few days were spent in exploring the school along with a couple of other newbies rather than interacting with the old students. One such day, I was walking behind (read:stalking) this attrociously pretty girl (well, I was hoping that she being a senior would take me to some hitherto unknown corner of the school. I had no other intentions), when she suddenly turned around. I later (after 30 seconds) found out that she had to go back to class, but my heart skipped a beat, wondering if the stalker (me) is now going to be ‘punished’. (Punishments are of two kinds you know :P). I turned around and quickly retraced my steps, when suddenly I ran into a…lighthouse? nah….electricity pole?…..nah……an illuminated flagpole (found the right phrase five! Whaddup!). He was a boy (well, still is), thin as an anorexic twig, tall (well…taller than me). It was a dark corridor but the twig-boy with a baby face seemed to be holding a torch in his mouth. But in fear of being ‘punished’ by the hot-senior girl, I denied my brain the chance to ponder over why the twig-boy (or for that matter anyone) would walk around with a torch in his mouth.

As fate would have it, I saw him several times in the coming days. I soon found out that it wasn’t a torch. They were his teeth. The twig-boy was always smiling. I have not seen him not smiling till date.

On my 8th day in school, I had a Social Studies class in the Social Studies lab (oh yes, we had a lab for SS). It was there that I found out that The Illuminated Flagpole was after all my classmate from the A Section. He was notoriously famous for always showing his set of 32 dazzling teeth (I wonder whether he uses white/ivory varnish to brush his teeth), eating more than most but still remaining like a twig and for well….always smiling that crooked smile. He was also an accomplished soccer player, who ‘boned’ everyone and stole the ball away and even after being violently pushed by his hefty comrades on the field, stood up smiling and letting loose a volley of well-chosen and deeply embedded-in-the-brain(stringing together old words to make a new phrase five!) expletives. Of course, while smiling. Photographs he would care to be a part of were priceless. His teeth lent an earthly glow to everyone standing around him. I also found out that he was quite popular among members of all 3 sexes and fell into the category of ‘true friend.’

The years piled on. I never quite spoke to my friend, the Illuminated Flagpole since we were seemingly in different worlds in the same universe. It used to be just acknowledging nods and sometimes ‘We’re both walking in the same corridor fives.”

But then came the year 2009. 11th Grade. You see kids, in those days, students were assigned a class in 11th grade on the choice of their 5th subject. Me and your Uncle K…i mean, Twig-boy both chose C++. I cannot recount how the next couple of months flew by, but suddenly, we were friends, fellow Manchester United fans and fellow class-wreckers. I knew he was always there alongside me, be it for bunking a boring class or for asking the teachers for a free period. Playing soccer with him was a different experience altogether. He learnt the lesson that being a boner (I said being, not getting) in soccer doesnt help with flesh-covered monsters like me(I was fat back then). Whats more, we had largely similar interests in both sports and music. In food, he ate just about everything. He had a pretty dumb and pretty girlfriend, owing to which the Illuminated Flagpole became one of our favourite verbal dart-boards. But with all this, there was an underlying realization. I had a new friend. Somebody around whom you can’t get bored. Someone you can trust to make your life hell for you if you make a fool of yourself. Someone you can trust with secrets (provided you know a few of his or else he’ll take every opportunity when you’re relatively isolated and tease you till you feel like tearing at your hair). Someone who, along with you can always come up with multiple meanings for things (boner has two meaning. So does lateral thinking). Someone without whom my school wouldn’t have felt like a second home, nor would tuition have been as much fun as it was.

This kids, is the story of How I Met Your Uncle Kunal. To me, he still remains the Illuminated Flagpole. Our friendship has grown since then. He has taught me that every cloud has a silver lining. If you’re to visit a funeral ever, remember to take him along. For even in front of the body of the deceased, he shall flash that smile of his, and shall treat you to a bottle of Mountain Dew on your way back home. Kunal, if you’re watching this, more about you AND your girlfriend later. Cheers five!

by Shanky
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1272952552

Hind Mahasagar ki sair (A trip to Indian Ocean)

Hyderabad has been a city of firsts for me.
My first job, The first promotion, First exposure to corporate culture, The first brush with death and loss, My first monetary independence, my first professional theater attendance, etc etc etc.

Today, there was another first added to this list.

Today I attended my first music show.
And it was a great one.
I went to see Indian Ocean Play in front of a packed house at the Hard Rock Cafe at GVK1, Hyderabad.
The band had a look I would have never imagined, 5 people! But well, life moves on. It has to, right?
So, when I walked in, I was a little confused about what to expect.
I saw a lot of people, outside and inside, cramming up every bit of space inside the cafe.
Then, as a moment passed, I saw Amit Kilam walk right past me, murmuring his Excuse me-s and Sorry-s as he waded through the crowd.
Then came Rahul, who walked right into the smoking box as people stared, shook hands, and said Hi-s n Hello-s.
Susmit was nowhere to be seen(well, he is the lonely serious types, right?).

So as the crowd started getting impatient, the band members took their place on stage.
From the left, Drums(Amit), Bass(Rahul), Acoustic(Susmit), Tuhin(Tabla/percussion) and Himanshu(vocals).

They started out with their (probably) the least known song, Kya Maloom(Kandisa).
And after that, I had no IDEA what happened for the next couple of hours. They played from all the albums, the cart toppers Kandisa, Hille Le and Ma rewa, along with the instrumentals from the first album, and new tracks from the new album(16/330 Khajoor Road – available for free download for another month on their website).

I recorded audio and video, and clicked photos, but what I was doing the most was getting lost, sometimes in the Serenity of tones emerging from Susmits guitar, sometimes in the madness emerging from Rahul. Amit the shy star came out a couple of times from behind his bunker, to play the gub gubi and the clarinet. Also the new guys are worth a mention. Himanshu has picked up the songs well ,and brings his own persona into the songs. Tuhin is good, and a tad bit younger than the rest. The jugalbandi-s on stage that Rahul, Amit, Susmit and Tuhin did were unbelievable.

Amit at his starry best, Rahul at his wittiest, and Susmit calm, composed and lost in thoughts as usual held our attention. Tuhin and Himanshu matched the passion with their performances, making it a night to remember.

!!Aseemda, you were missed!!

Ghosts

Like shadows they circle,
Like panthers they pounce,
If you are hit, don’t fall, stay up!
Because if you fall, thats the end of it all.

You get down on your knees,
Beg to them to go,
They retreat a little,
You sigh!
They pounce again!
You are the mouse,
They are the cats!

Do you want them to go?
What will you do then?
What will be your purpose?
Becase you are the mouse,
They are the cats!

Sometimes, when you have a drying wound, we can’t stop ourself from volantarily scratching at its sides. Some would say, “I’m just checking if it has dried”. Are you really? Or do you like the controlled quota of pain that you are calling upon yourself? Sometimes we do like pain, don’t we? But is it really an intelligent move to live on the edge, and to put oneself in a position to experience pain?
Well, I have been a good boy all my life. Don’t get me wrong, and no offence to people who chose different paths, but my path in life was always kinda simple. Eat, Sleep, Study, Read, Play games, Chat with friends. Thats all.
Then one day, the list expanded. Came in “Fall in love, Be in love”. It was still nice, actually better than the rest of my life before that day. And one fine day, the list got a little short, as the new items were dropped. Added “Feel the pain”.
And that item still remains. But slowly when the pain starts receding, the inner conciousness forces a response, to bring back the pain. And the cycle continues.
Till when? How many iterations?

do i=1 to EndOfLife;
pain=infinity;
do j=1 to (infinity-10);
pain=pain-j;
end;
if i eq EndOfLife then DIE;
end;