Monday, December 17, 2007

Pleasure

After a sumptuous Sunday late lunch, you come out of Grand Hyatt, a 5-star hotel and make yourself comfortable in the back seat of a big luxurious car and the car races towards some prestigious shopping places in the city. The other occupants of the car are determined to spoil you purely.

Oblivious of their plans, you are thinking of the Monday evening meeting. Suddenly you look something & ask for the car to be stopped. You step out and dash towards a person busy in his work. You tell him “four” and with a wide grin gesture the other three occupants of the car to join you.

They, with “Oh, she is never going to change” expressions come out smiling.

Sometimes a cutting chai in an open dhaba amidst chaotic noise gives you more pleasure than the diamond studs gifted to you half an hour back within the confines of a hushed silence.

Current song- Love Me Do, You Know I Love You – Beatles
Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Packaged Deal

I can clearly see the two distinct you and I adore; adore but can not separate them. For me you are only one.… you as an arrogant, private individual and you as simple uncomplicated submissive passionate man.. the blessed one can get both of you together... so, separation should have been the most important criteria but it isn’t.

Au contraire, so plainly you distinguish two of me.. the innocent bubbly chulbuli me and private beautiful passionate me... a woman, a perfect companion. 10 on 10. Probably 12 on 10. And at times you miss only one of me. Yeah, I can understand it very well .. hows & whys.. everything.. but do you know something ? You can not get only one of me.. to have one, you have to have the other one.

It’s a packaged deal.

Current song- Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai ya Mohabbat Ka Suroor Susheela Raman
Technorati Tags:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sunaina

Today it is my sixth consecutive day of absence from work. It has become my habit to disappear suddenly without informing my considerate employers. All because of my alcoholic husband’s malicious habits. He is a daily wage worker, works at his whims and hammers me at his wishes.
I often wonder why my employers never thought about my being so accident prone. When enquired about my gouged eye or many blue black marks on my body I lie to them about the small accidents I meet with.

Oh, I forgot to introduce myself.

Hi, I am Sunaina. Thirty six years old, frail, weakly built and thoroughly thrashed, mother of two young girls. I work as a maid in nearby society flats to run the family. That is all for my initial introduction.

Right now I am feeling miserable and helpless. My husband has been missing since last four days. Normally at the end of the day he goes to that desi liquor shop in the nook of PR road and comes back heavily drunk at around midnight. Being an old customer to that shop and an acquaintance of the shopkeeper, he gets the hooch on credit and sometimes a place to sleep over in the shop itself.

My husband is a simple uneducated man. Responsible or not, till date I am not able to figure out. He has taken a life insurance policy of Rs 1 lakh for my gloomy days and always dreamt of a small house of our own. He had taken care of me when after the second childbirth my condition had got deteriorated and there was very little hope of my survival. He also helps me by dropping children to school.

After a family dispute with his parents and younger brother over a one roomed chawl and us being thrown out of the only roof we had, it was an extremely tough time for both of us… At that time I was carrying his second child; his job & income were irregular and so I was forced to look for sundry jobs. Since then I have been working and he has been drinking.
-------
And just now, the people who had gone to search for him have come back.. come back with the news of his death. His body was found near the railway tracks 2 Kms away. I am blank. I don’t know how to react. Slowly people have started pouring into my small tenement. I am still not been able to hear anything from my painful right ear which bore the brunt of his anger a week back. It is swollen and an odorous liquid is oozing out.
-------
Now the usual stuff… praising the dead, mourning and contrived crying have taken over. The very close people (or the "family") have started to assess the profit & loss. Apparently they found out that profit rules over loss.
-------
Two days have gone by; I am shifted to the same place from where I, along with my husband, was thrown out. Tomorrow we all leave for our native place to perform last rituals and also to decide the fate of me, my daughters and all my belongings/savings.
-------
I am sitting in a corner in our native place where all the decisions are being taken by elders. Some decisions have to be taken now, just now. They can’t wait for the grief to subside.

Although in our caste, remarriage is allowed, they have decided that I will never remarry. To my utter surprise, my younger brother-in-law has willingly taken over the responsibilities and so all my belonging and savings are now his. Also, since I don’t have any son, the entire property (however small) including the chawl in the city will go to him.
-------
We have come back to city again. It is almost two months now. The mourning is over. The money that came from my husband’s policy is with my brother-in-law. He needs it to buy an auto-rickshaw which in turn would help the increased daily expenses. After all, we three are dependent on him now in addition to his own family and the parents-in-laws.

I have taken their permission to join work to supplement the family income. All this time my employers have been kind and patient and have tried to help me in all respect.
-------
I have rejoined work and I hand over all my earnings to my in-laws. Life is extremely difficult now, not that it was easier earlier. Now it includes doing more chores for a bigger family before I leave empty stomach for work and by the time I hit that mat in the corner, it is past midnight.
-------
Off late, my daughters are falling sick very frequently. I can not take them to doctor as I neither have the time nor the money. The elder one has been pulled out of school as she has to help and look after younger kids at home. The other day she was not given food because she did not do so. I feel miserable. Is protesting a crime ?
-------
No, this is not the life I had wanted. Good education for my daughters, full meals, our own roof on our head not a borrowed shelter, a good peaceful life and a caring father for my daughters... that was all I had longed for.

I want to live life.. for me and for my daughters. I am not going to givein. I will accept the offer of madam where I work, to open a bank account and will start saving. I’ll again enroll my daughter in school. I know my current partly emolument is not enough but I am determined to make my wish true.

I’ll do whatever I can.. to live life… my life.
The dawn has started. Time to get up.
And some decisions have to be taken now, just now.

Note:- Recently widowed Sunaina works as a maid in our house. Slightly different version of this story was published in this month's issue of Justfemme.

Current song- Katra Katra Milti Hai, Katra Katra Jeene Do – Asha Bhosale
Technorati Tags:

JustFemme

JustFemme, a women's e-magazine, perhaps the only one of its kind, was launched last month. The second issue has come out now.

The only one of its kind ?? Are MEN allowed ?? Yes, why not, but only in the comments section. ;)

Do check it out! And while you are there, look for my write-ups too :)

First one is about a woman Sunaina. As always, based on real facts, I think the story is 98% true. It would have become more detailed and insightful had there not been any restriction for no. of words. Come back after reading and I'll tell more about her or do you want the story here on this blog ?
My second article is .. hmmm.. go and read it. :)

Feedbacks are welcome.

Current song- Aaj Main Upar, Aasman Neeche – Kavitha Krishnamurthy
Technorati Tags:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Copyright Violation - Part II

Update on my yesterday’s post.

Folks, when I was told about this theft, I had gone to Nishant Paul’s (oh, he has become so famous now) site and had checked. The poems were shown as his own creations. Now, after so much of nice words being told about him and all his friends being informed (they are as much shocked as we are); Mr Smarty is trying to act innocent naïve.
It seems he has deleted those posts now. I haven’t checked but I believe Ashes has done so.

Before deleting he sat on my blog yesterday for two hours, checked some 20-30 posts, checked Sam’s post also and then wrote a mail to one of my blogger friends. Have a look.

Dear XXXX,
Even though u could c there in those poems that I hvnt mentioned my name there. This is purely creative work of Cuckoo, and I hv nothing to do by this. I'm my self a lawyer and I do know the violation of Copyright Act. The two hindi Poems I hv posted is absolutely Coockoo's and and I did posted as it is. Believe me somebody edited these and changed little bit. Plz. if u have time then read my other posts and my name is there. Much to say I do not know hindi typing then how could I amend these. Now and here I'm going to delete these from my blog. I do tender my unconditional apology as I do not wish walk with all this shit.

With regards,
Nishant

Now, some of his friends have also commented on my previous post. One of them a certain Khan says “But I don’t know whether he writes his own poem or copy any other's poem. He claims to have creating his own poems.”. Read his full comment in comment section.

Please note the above sentences in bold.. Nishant says Someone else has edited those words after he posted the poems. Ha Ha Ha...

Mr Paul, what do you think of all of us here, eh ?? Absolute idiots ??

And please if you don’t know Hindi typing then what about so many other Hindi poems on your blog ? Have they been lifted too ??

Current Song:- Shehron ki Galiyon Mein Jab Andhera Hota Hai – Asha
Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Copyright ? Plagiarism ? What is that ?

Note:- As suggested by some of you, the links to his blog are removed from this post.

Guess what ? My deary lovely poems are being hijacked ! Last week, one of my readers gave me a big jolt. No, he is not the culprit. :-)

Giving me some links he informed about one Nishant Paul who has been publishing my poems on his blog and accepting, accumulating appreciations as well !!



Whoaaaa !! What an idea sir ji !!

He has lifted my poems, sometimes along with the pictures, changed the gender/ tense and published it.

Please see yourself the original and the copied version here. The picture used in his poem has been lifted from my other poem. Though I don’t own a copyright on that photo but then who doesn’t like readymade stuff ?

Again, the original poem and the hijacked version here.

Even the photo of this post has been copied here.

Mr Paul, whoever you are, I am stunned to see your audacity. Have you ever heard of copyright violation ?? Please check my right sidebar. Don’t you feel ashamed of accepting those nice words of appreciation when people praise you for the lines which are NOT written by you ??

I don’t have any idea how many of my creations have been kidnapped, mangled and molested before being presented to this world as someone else’s bride. I implore you to visit his blog and drop him a line.

I doubt if the other poems on his blog are his own or copied from some other blogs.

All my poems are very close to my heart and my heart aches to see them in this state. Only consolation .. they are good enough to be worth copying. :-)

Current Song:- Lift Kara De – Adnan Sami

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sometimes..

The imperfect me... the perfect you
Nervous me.. Patient you
Calm me... impatient you
Humble me .. Arrogant you
Serene me .. Asshole you
Listener me.. Chatterbox you
Mother me .. Child you
Little girl me.. Grandpa you
Protector me .. insecure you
Mellow me .. Gentle you
Beautiful me.. Lovable you
Ziddi main .. Ziddi tum..
Sharaab main .. Nasha bhi main ;)

Sometimes it requires more than a couple to make a couple.

Current song- Chupke Se Raat Ki Chaadar Tale – Sadhna Sargam

Technorati Tags:

Friday, November 30, 2007

Never Become Your Own Joke

Note- This is an email forward I received today but couldn’t resist posting it here.

Last Diwali vacation, my couple of friends had gone to Delhi. They rented a taxi for local sight-seeing. The driver was an old sardar, and boys being boys, they began cracking sardarji jokes, just to insinuate the old man.
But to their surprise, the cabbie remained unperturbed. At the end of the sight-seeing, they paid up the hire-charges. The old man returned the change. Moreover, he gave each one of them one rupee extra and said, ''Son, since morning you have been telling sardarji jokes. I listened to them all and let me tell you, some of them were in a very bad taste. Still, I don't mind because I know that you are young blood and are yet to see the world. But I have just one request. Here I am giving you one rupee each. Give it to the first sardar beggar that you come across in this city.”
After several days, my friends still had that one rupee coin with them. They couldn't find a single Sikh begging on the streets of Delhi.

Friends, we all love sardar jokes. But the fact of matter is that Sikhs are one of the most prosperous and diversified communities in the world.

The secret behind their universal success, according to me, is their willingness to do any job with utmost dedication. A Sikh will drive a truck or set up a roadside garage or a dhaba, but will never beg on the streets.

So true !! They are the most hard working people I have ever seen. From a small farmer to country’s Prime Minister, we have seen them everywhere.

That reminds me of a person whom we kids used to call sardarji uncle. He was my father’s friend. Before anybody else could start, he always used to crack sardarji jokes.

Once he was asked by someone “Don’t you feel hurt when people throw jokes of dumb sardarji at you ?”

We see dumb people everywhere; only difference is that you guys don’t have guts to admit it.” was his quick reply.

Mann, we all should have at least one sardarji around us. He was a thorough gentleman, very witty and intelligent as well. I miss you sardarji uncle.
As per my experience .. the ratio of probability of occurrence of an intelligent Sikh to the probability of occurrence of a intelligent
non-Sikh guy is quite interesting. Got it ? Never mind. :)

And right now, I am listening to the beautiful album Nine by Pankaj Awasthi. I like all the nine songs of this album, a nice fusion of electric guitar and tabla.

Current Song:- Khuda Ka Wasta Tu Dekar, Mere Ram Ka Tu Naam Lekar – Pankaj Awasthi
Technorati Tags:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Diwali

ना फुलझड़ी, ना पटाखे
ना रंगोली, ना दिया
ना मिठाई, ना लाल धागा पूजा का
ना ही पास उसके पिया |

रात अकेली काली, पर
यादों से सजी उसकी थाली
दिल में तस्वीर,
चेहरे पे प्यार की लाली |

जब ऐसे जले
उसके प्यार का दिया...
हर रात हो उसकी दीवाली
एक रात की बात ही क्या ?


Attempted Translation

Neither fireworks nor candles
neither sweets, nor sacred thread of puja
and neither her beloved near her.

It’s a lonely dark night but
memories of beloved & his love
brighten the glow on her face.

What to speak of a night ?
When flame of their love
lights up like this,
every night is a celebration.

Note-Reply to comments on my posts later.. I know apologies are coming way too often these days. But it is better than vanishing. Isn’t it ? And I am listening to a very beautiful song.

Current song- Phir Wahi Raat Hai, Raat Hai Khwaab ki – Kishore
Technorati Tags:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Haiku - 1

Don’t talk, let me blossom
in this dreamy moment of life, for,
tomorrow I cease to exist.

This is my first attempt at Haiku and I think I have done pretty well.

Haiku is a poetic form and a type of traditional poetry from the Japanese culture... an unrhymed poem composed of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. It typically presents an intense emotion or vivid image of nature in simple words. Haikus are usually not complicated. They often describe everyday themes and usually attempt to give people a new view of common situations.

There are a few simple rules for writing in this form of poetry.

1. Three lines of verse consisting of five, seven, and five syllables.
2. Each haiku must contain a seasonal word, may not strictly be a typical one. For example Cherry blossoms commonly denote spring, mosquitoes are used for summer, and snow means winter.

I hope to write some more verses in this form of expression.

Current song- Tum Hamein YuN Bhula Na Paaoge – Md. Rafi
Technorati Tags:

Friday, November 16, 2007

I would ask for more !!

How would you cope if you had no way to use the Internet for a week? This was the question posed by David.

A week away from internet or my computer. A full week ?? It got me thinking.

Well, if I know in advance, I would plan a holiday to one of my favourite places. As simple as that. ;)
On the other hand, I would thank my stars were it to happen so.
In today’s busy world where even to speak to our colleague sitting in next cubicle/cabin, we take help of an e-mail or a phone; it would be a blessing in disguise.
Living in India, has its pros and cons. Electricity and water supply hitting us in an erratic way is a part of our routine life and so is ‘no internet’ for a few hours.

But for a week ?? It made me dream of what all I can do or wish to do.

I think I’d pamper myself to the core. I would do things, which I have not been able to do since ages.

First, I would FEEL the warmth of my dear & near ones. Living in India is always bliss when one talks about the family and the strong support system it has. One doesn’t have to take appointments to meet one’s parents/grandparents/siblings/friends etc.
So, I would try to give them a surprise and would hog onto oodles of a factor called ‘love’ from everyone. :)

I would write letters. Yes, you got me right.. real letters (also called snail mails)... the one thing I have missed a lot since the advent of internet age. Seriously, there is nothing like writing on pieces of paper by a real pen !! There is always a personal touch to that. The touch, feel and smell of the paper, the scribbles, the ink.. emails just can’t go to that level, no matter how sentimental they are. I have some cherished ones written by my grandparents, uncle/aunts and a few from my friends. Best part is, internet or no internet, you always have access to these treasures.

Reading is one thing I enjoy when I am on my own and away from computers. Will do (read as read) away with some of the books that are gathering dust and screaming for my attention.

Would watch hordes of movies. Have a long list to catch up.

I would also visit some people for whom I always have a soft corner and I know they would be extremely happy to see me as well.

I’d be with kids and become that little girl again… catching butterflies, jumping in the puddles, making paper boats, clapping, yelling and lots of other such things.

Not being a net junkie will help me with “No blogs, no surfing” etc. Although I will miss my blogger friends, my real close friends won’t be missed. They know how to reach me.

I think one week would be less for all these activities so I’ll ask for some more at regular intervals !!

Current Song:- Shama Jalaye Rakhna Jab Tak Ki Main Na AauN – Bhupinder & Mitali
Technorati Tags:

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Saawariya

If you get the person you love, it is all over. Then love becomes just a habit. Otherwise, it is about being in a constant state of love, of wanting. One should never fall out of love; it’s the madness of love that is fascinating.

Yayyyyy !!!

Yeah, that’s how I had shouted on reading the above lines. I had decided to watch this movie and was in awe of a great company I would have had. I was also happy that no Lara Dutta or Katrina Kaif but a newcomer was welcoming us.
But alas !! :(

It seems the movie is a flop. I was patiently waiting for this one; for the past three weeks have been listening to some of its melodious songs. My favourite was and still is “Jabse tere naina mere naino se”. Ummm.. I heard that the song is picturised with hero in just a towel. No, that’s not the reason why I like the song or wanted to watch this movie.

I have not seen any trailers, not read anything about it and have not allowed anyone to talk about it in front of me. Wanted the whole thing to be a surprise and guess what ?? It indeed surprised me by nose diving in the theatres. Oh buoy, some news just peeped in. I heard the whole movie is in blue/green shades.
:(

I was waiting to be with Saawariya. Never mind, some other time.

Note:- I was away from this blogging world. Many thanks for all your wishes & greetings. Also, have neither replied to your comments on my various posts nor have visited your blogs. Will do it soon. As always bear with my “busy-ness”. ;)

Current song- Jabse Tere Naina Mere Naino Se Laage Re – Shaan

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Time That was

Yesterday I was feeling very low & suffocated. Don’t know why, but I was terribly missing something. I felt as if something had been drained out of me... I felt some hollowness, emptiness, some void within me. And to avoid that sense of asphyxiation I wanted to be alone with my wandering thoughts.

Generally when it happens I don’t want to be home, I just go out in search of that something which could make me alright in the end. Whether I succeed in getting that ‘something’ or not is a different thing.
I think at some point of time many of us feel like this. It is the need to be with oneself... listen to the inner voice... experience the inner need.

So, I came out, didn’t really know where to go, went to the station & took a train for Ville Parle. Wanted to go to Juhu beach to be with the restless and nervous waves... hitting the shores angrily, letting out all the frustrations… again & again & again. I can spend hours watching them and so much feel at home, in my own comfort zone in doing so.
After getting down at Ville Parle, another bout of loneliness hit me. The area was so familiar to me that I decided to walk down… remembering my wonderful days when I used to commute daily to this place. Walking on the Station road, crossed McDonalds, the SV road and reached the petrol pump and an instant smile came on my face. :)
I knew I had made a right decision to go there.

From there I could see NMIMS and the number of Xerox shops which, for sometime, had become part of my daily life.. And I smiled again !! . :)

As I walked by, I remembered the time I spent there.
For months I had been coming here. The buildings, the road, Mithibai college on the opposite side and the Xerox shops.
For months, more often than not, a single vada paav and a chai at the roadside vendor outside NM was my staple food. Standing on the road, I felt nostalgic about the whole thing.

Then suddenly something happened which made me even happier. A sense of contentment and belonging filled me. जैसे तेज़ भागती हुई ज़िंदगी में पल भर के लिए ठहराव आ गया हो |

I don’t know what I was missing till then, but after reaching that place and remembering my days there, made me happy. :)

There was no need now to go to the beach. Anyhow, took a cab to Juhu beach, spent sometime there but it was all meaningless. Not much to write about. In all these years, it was only my third visit to the place. Everytime I go there thinking that the beach would be cleaner this time but no, it can not be. Though the shops are reduced and they are in a much organized manner within a boundary but the attitude of general public remains the same.

While walking along the shore, away from the crowded place, at every 10 steps I saw people peeing into the see. What a shame. I felt like puking. One day I am going to hit them for sure. GRRRRRR

Had paav-bhaji and kulfi falooda. Oh I remembered Karol Bagh’s Kulfi falooda from Mehre di Hatti ke bajuwali dukaan. :) Slurrrrrrp...

Khair, I didn’t want my beautiful memories and mood to be subdued by all this. Came back home. Smiling. :)))))

Current Song:- I Wanna Hold Your Hand – Beatles

Technorati Tags:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Book-Cover Tag

Lots of pending works to catch up, have been quite busy. Professionally somehow managing it though a trip to Europe is again on the cards. And on personal front ? Oh well, Diwali shopping tops the pending list. :)
Also, with Indo-Pak series approaching fast, I fully suspect my company’s intentions for planning my tour around that time.

And here in blogosphere.. so many things to write about but just not getting time to really sit and collect my thoughts. Have been invited to write permanent cols in 2 different forums as well.
Somehow managing to put these small posts to keep this blog alive. And one of the ways is to do pending tags (11 to be precise). So I thought to start with them and I must say I loved doing this one. Once again the tagger is none other than Fleiger. Ok without wasting time, the rules first.

Rule (there is only one):

Go to the advanced book search on Amazon, type your first name into the Title field, and post the most interesting/amusing cover that shows up.

Well, here I am going to talk about two books.

First I checked for my name Cuckoo and what I got was the famous but very common book cover “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey. Naah, this is not the “most interesting/amusing” cover I wanted to have. Then I saw another book which looked more interesting/amusing to me. The book is “The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage” by Clifford Stoll.

The Cuckoo's Egg is about tracking down computer criminals. A 75-cent discrepancy in billing for computer time led Stoll, an astrophysicist working as a systems manager at a California laboratory, on a quest that reads with the tension and excitement of a fictional thriller. Painstakingly he tracked down a hacker who was attempting to access American computer networks, in particular those involved with national security, and actually reached into an estimated 30 of the 450 systems he attacked. Initially Stroll waged a lone battle, his employers begrudging him the time spent on his search and several government agencies refused to cooperate. But his diligence paid off and the hacker, who was involved with a spy ring, tracked down the book is a hit & best appreciated by the computer literates.

Then out of curiosity, I searched for “Koyal”, Hindi version of Cuckoo. And wow ! What I got was a very interesting book again.

The book is “Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet” by Kashmira Sheth.

The story is about a dark skinned 16 years old girl Jeeta and her life in a small apartment in Mumbai. She is well-developed as a strong, independent teenager looking to find her own way of reconciling her dreams and the expectations of her family. She grows up with the conflict between old beliefs and customs and the modern world.
Jeeta, after having watched the family go through countless interviews with prospective grooms, doesn't want to have her husband selected for her. There is a certain boy who holds her interest, but her friendship with him remains a secret from her family. With the support of her best friend from school, Jeeta discovers that there are many more open doors for her than she suspected.

I guess both the books must be good reads. I have noted them down, will definitely read them. *Sigh* Sigma will know why I did that.

Now, the most interesting part of tags. (Mischievous smile)
It is time to tag people. The list is as follows.

1. Ajeya – I am sure your name will have many books. Come back from your vacation & do this. No hurries.
2. Ashutosh – After that serious post of yours, here’s something light to write about. Make this your next post. Let us see what your name brings us.
3. Adi/Deepti – Oh I can’t separate you two. Anyone or both of you can do this tag. Pretty easy and both of you are going to get plenty of book covers. I am hoping that you get both the names on one single cover. :)
4. Beast – I know of your very high interest in book reading. ;) Don’t worry your name search on Amazon has nothing to do with your reading habit.
5. Hpy – This is going to be fun for you. Search for your real name on Amazon & publish the book cover. That’s it. ;)
6. Pijush – I know you are going to enjoy this tag. If in doubt, ask me how to go about it.
7. Sigma – Oh your real name will sure bring the best book covers. Go ahead.

And anyone who wants to have the pleasure of seeing their names on book covers, I throw the tag open though I know names like Alpine, Aditi, Alok, Abhi, Craver, KT, Priyank will fetch good results.
Never mind, one more tag on books is on the way.. Go figure... :)

Note:- You can read Tag Etiquettes here.

Current song- Empty Hands – Karsh Kale
Technorati Tags:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Award Time

Ok, time for some award now. I have been awarded the 'Schmooze Award". This one came as a surprise from NM, a new reader on my blog. NM mostly writes sweet little things about her day to day life which includes her son. :)

This is what she says about Cuckoo’s blog “A recent discovery but I find her posts amusing and interesting at the same time.”.
Thank you NM, I never expected getting this award from a newcomer to my blog. Thanks for believing in me & believing that my posts are worth this award. *Cuckoo bows down*

About the award :- "This award is “for blogger who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

Oh well, if this is the criteria then I think the award has come to the right blog. ;) (This is called brag mouthing) *wink* *wink*
What do you say ? (Mischievous smile)

As is the tradition with this award "Give it as you get it", I have to pass it on to some other bloggers. And this is where I always feel the pain of selecting only a few. There are so many who could get this award. However, I’ve tried to select the blogs on the basis of their diversity & restrict myself to only 6, strictly keeping the criteria in mind. Here is my list of awardees.
Note- All these bloggers (except David) found me first & then I started going to their blogs. In David's case I found him & then chain of all the Indian bloggers started to flock to his blog.

1. Unmukt – A Hindi blog owner who is always recognizing new Hindi blogs & promoting Hindi through his own blogs. A blog worth visiting if you can read Hindi.
2. David – You and the award criteria are synonyms. Nothing more to say. Have a good day !
3. RK – Again, a perfect fit as per the criteria. If you don’t remember I had written my first guest post on his blog for Independence Day.
4. Prashanth – He is one of the bloggers always on the search of new good ones and he himself is owner of a fabulous travel blog.
5. Manasi – I was quite surprised when first time she came to my blog. And gosh! Since last 3 months I have been following hers. Even though I am quite a good cook myself (brag mouthing again), hers is the only food blog I visit & enjoy. After all, I want to win someone’s stomach... err heart. ;) Hey Manasi, I tried your gujju dish Sukhdi.. came out quite well.
6. Lalitha – Last but not the least. She always comments on my blog when I don’t expect her and I don’t remember since when it is happening. A selfless blogger, full of life. Her blog reflects the same. Do I need to say more ?

So, enjoy folks ! Have a nice weekend and as per the tradition, pass it on to some deserving ones.
Current song- Soniye, Soniye, Tu He Tu He Meri Manzil – KK, Sunidhi Chauhan
Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A, B and C

Who was he to me ? Nobody. I had never seen him, never heard him or never really had chatted with him in true sense.
He doesn’t know how I look like or how I sound or for that matter any personal detail of me. He knew my birthday was round the corner, kept asking for it. It came & went but I never told him. I knew he could get all the info from somebody else but he did not.

First time when he came to my blog, he wrote a lengthy comment on one of my posts. To be honest, I could not fully understand the link between his comment and the post; wondered what he was trying to convey, never paid any heed to him.
Then our first meeting happened on a common friend A’s blog which apparently turned out to be the battle ground of our digital war.

The blog owner A was away from blogosphere & was not responding to comments made by us and this guy B had started getting impatient. I won’t describe the incident but I found B’s comments about A very rubbish. After some days A came back from hiatus and apologized to me [C] on B’s behalf. At that time, I had even lectured A for having friends like B. And then A told me [C] the other side of B. Apparently, I came to know that those two guys (A & B) are very close friends and hence, understood the reason behind that type of arguments. Oh well, it is permitted between two friends. ;)

Nevertheless, I didn’t have a good first impression of B. To me, he was a person who could pickup a fight with anyone without any reasons.
Anyhow, B started frequenting my blog, I gave a couple of courtesy visits to his & then we two became regular at each other’s blog. In next three months I gradually realized that B was not as bad as I had thought initially... in fact, he was better than many of us. My views about him had changed significantly.

In the recent times when I was going through a low, I can proudly say that B was the only person who stood by me in real sense, stood like a rock fighting with others for me and always cheering me up. He stood for the moral values his parents had instilled in him.

Why did he do so ? I had never asked him for anything. He could have also, like many others, kept mum and just been a watcher from a distance. But no. He took all the brunt & abuses upon himself. And I, very well know what he would have done had he really got a chance to act further.

B, I very well remember what you narrated about your father once; but B, I also know now that it is difficult for you not to jump off the train following those miscreants. :)

Today, no words can describe how much regards and respect I have for B or what I think of him.

Just one word, I can not say anymore.

Thanks.

For people who are still struggling to get the A, B, C of this post.

A = A dear common friend
B = The protagonist of this post
C = Cuckoo

Current song- Another Brick in The Wall – Pink Floyd
Technorati Tags:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

No ! Don’t Leave Me Alone

No ! You cannot go like this. You can not leave me alone ! How could you do this to me ? Is it so easy for you ? Was our bond so weak ?
Is it over ? Over within months ? No, not for me. I so much loved you, cared for you.… from bottom of my heart. You knew it, right ? Then ? Then what happened ? Tell me, what wrong have I done ? Tell me why you left me all of a sudden, why you kept mum ? You know, your absolute silence nearly killed me.

You, my dark & handsome mate.. my very own. You were different from others and that's why I chose you.. not paying heed to how others tried to attract me. I was so much fascinated by your darker than average skin colour. The glow, the radiance on your face always brightened me up. I even loved your occasional anger… your nakhraa’s.

We were in perfect harmony with each other... Oh, how can I forget those moments of intimacy when we together used to create magic ? There was no stopping once we got going. We so loved being with each other.
After that magical experience with you, it is very hard to even think of something else. If you wanted to go, could you not go amicably ?

I am yet to recover from the utter shock you gave me that day.

Obituary – This is a notification of untimely demise of my dear lovable optical mouse a few days back. May his soul rest in peace. I guess the mourning was quite long and this was the emotion I was going through.

Note - Thank you all for waiting, withstanding and writing me mails and messages. Won’t be able to reply to all of you individually. Thanks for all your concerns. I am alive & kicking.

And I am listening to one of my favourite songs. Oh I just love this oldie. So intense.

Current song- Lag Ja Gale Ki Fir Ye Haseen Raat Ho Na Ho – Lata Mangeshkar
Technorati Tags:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day and long time back I had promised Ozlady that I’ll make a post on this very day on the subject. So, while why I was absent from blogging world can wait, this post can not.

Today the bloggers around the web would unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the ENVIRONMENT. Over fourteen thousand blogs, with over twelve million readers, publishing and promoting a better future for our environment - a better future for everyone.

As I am typing this post, I don’t have any idea as what topic I should choose to write about, for, I believe in doing things than to broach about. But as promised, I also wanted to spread the word. There are so many things that we can do in our daily life to save our environment. Should I write about the usage of plastic bags or should I write about the spoiling of the mountains by leaving all the non biodegradable things there. Should I opine about switching off all unused electrical appliances; encouraging paperless work, usage of solar energy, cleaning of rivers or deforestation? I think each one of them needs a post.. definitely not now but some other day.

First, a plain direct question. Are we doing our part to help out the environment ?
Well, as an internet user, blogger, or even as a common man, there are a lot of things we can do to help the environment without going out of our way, spending more time & money or changing our lifestyles.

Since one of the stated goals of Blog Action Day is to ‘get people thinking, discussing, questioning and talking about the environment’, I thought it might be a good idea to make a list of a few things and leave it open for readers to add on instead of me writing a big post. Of course, on a later date I’ll take each one of the topics I mentioned above and try to write about them.

So the million dollar question is:

How can we, as bloggers be involved in saving the environment ?’

Well, first thought that came to my mind was “Is a blogger different from a common man ?’ Not really.. Surely there are a few things specific to bloggers but I would rather say that a blogger can do a lot more than a common man.
Without getting into all the nitty-gritties, here’s my small list of small things which can become big if applied. You all can add to it.

1. Get energy efficient monitor and other gadgets that can help the environment, save energy, save money. Get rid of your 20 year old appliance that emits carbon dioxide and consumes more on your energy bill.
2. Turn off your computer, other peripherals/appliances and lights when not in use. I always do it and also I was away from blogging world for quite sometime, hence saved a lot of energy for all. :-)
3. Try as much as possible to let the natural light come in. It comes free !! If possible, keep your computer near a window.
4. Last but not the least. If you are short on the topics to blog on, don’t browse the net. Go out of the house (after turning off the comp, lights etc.). You’ll find plenty of topics, feel rejuvenated & hence blog more efficiently. ;)

I am not only sure but know there’s a lot more we can do. You all can add to this list. I’ll update the post after compiling the whole list.

Now don't tell me that you're lazy to do even the things mentioned above. I can only say “Get started RIGHT NOW”.

Current Song:- Breaking the Habit – Linkin Park
Technorati Tags:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Little Girl

I know a pretty little girl
precious like a pearl
Who has a little curl
and sets hearts a-whirl.

She jumps barefoot in the puddle
and likes very much to cuddle.
Who stops at the sight of a daisy
and always acts like a crazy.

Makes paper planes & tries to fly
full of inquisitives why why why.
There she sat strong and calm,
silently staring at the body & its palm.

Faking the smile, hiding the pain
Off to routine there she goes again.

Current song- Arre Yaar Meri Tum Bhi Ho Ghazab – Kishore & Asha
Technorati Tags:

Expectations Unfulfilled

Off late there have been some strong arguments on my blog on some of my recent posts. Some of you have gladly adorned me with adjectives gifts like being dumb, partial and what not.
Some of you have even accused me of not visiting your blogs in last 1 week or of not making my visits more than a weekly affair. There is much more to it, will write some other time. Come on, grow up & give me a break !! I have already told you the no. of blogs I visit. I try my best to be there on your blogs when there is a new post.
Even if I am not commenting, I read your posts through reader. How can you expect me to mark my daily attendance on your blogs even when there is no new post ? I am a human not a machine and please remember, it is NOT an obligation that I HAVE to comply with. I am working, studying, juggling with so many other things and once again I reiterate - blogging is NOT my first priority.

I am pained when people take some of my posts personally. I fail to understand why only a few, very few of you have problems in comprehending my posts or comments ? Why do you misinterpret me ?
To me, all of us are human beings first and then anything else. I’ll be the last person to distinguish people on the basis of religion, caste, race, colour etc. then why do you bestow your frustrations and angers, whatever be the reason, on me ? If you can’t understand what a witty smiley is for, then probably the problem is at your end, not mine.
A request again.. if you don’t understand my posts or don’t like my crap writings, please refrain yourself from coming here & commenting. And I don’t think I can be more blunt than this.

On one hand my blog is the only Indian blog to have continuously featured in first 50 of World Aussiejourno's Weekly Blog Awards since its inception and on the other hand I am being misinterpreted by my own people readers. It hurts, it really hurts.

I am ashamed of myself for having such readers on my blog.

P.S.- I’ll try to finish off replying to ALL the comments by the end of this weekend.
Thank you and have fun.

Current song- Gata Rahe Mera Dil – Instrumental
Technorati Tags:

Monday, October 01, 2007

How Do You Ensure to Reply Them Back ?

You create a blog. You start writing posts.
People come, read and sometimes leave comments.
You reply to those comments. Slowly your posts increase in number and so do your readers and their comments. Some readers go through your archived posts and comment on them as well.

You add one or two more blogs under your belt; also start writing for some community blogs.
Now the question is, how do you keep track of all the comments or how do you ensure that you reply to all those comments coming from different sources to your different posts ?

Well for me, on an average I get approximately (ok, minimum) 12-15 comments per day including comments on my archived posts. At times, it is very difficult to reply to all of them (Oh, I wish I could say just a ‘thank you’). Do I loose track of unreplied comments ? No.

My five point procedure is as follows:-

. I have comments linked to my mail-id, so I get an intimation about a new comment’s arrival on my ‘xyz’ post.
. I have also used filters to segregate them blog-wise and from other normal mails coming to my inbox.
. I normally pick up one post (starting from the latest one) and if possible, reply to all the comments in sequence.
. If time permits, proceed to another post/blog.
. I don’t delete those comment-mails till I reply them.

I would like to know how do you handle this ? Do you cater to comments on daily basis or get them accumulated and reply over the weekend ? Do you leave some comments unreplied ?

I know of a blogger friend who uses comment moderation for this purpose. What’s your take ?

I am trying to know the best method to use.
Thanks.

Current Song:- Piya Tose Naina Lage Re, Jane Kya Ho Ab Aage Re – Lata Mangeshkar
Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Twenty20 World Cup

So India won. Won because they simply refused to lose.
There's something about M S Dhoni …I think Dhoni is the first fully grown-up skipper we've had in decades. Cool headed and aggressive. Oh, when I said that while watching the match yesterday, I was told those two adjectives don’t go together. I defy.

Oh well, I am not here to analyze the match. Many people have done that.

To me this match will remain memorable for more than one reason. Some of them besides the general ones are:-

0. Someone I know skipped his exam to watch the finals.
1. Brothers Pathan (Yusuf & Irfan) playing for the country in a World Cup final. Before them only 2 sets of brothers have played together in international matches. Brothers Chappell (Ian & Greg) and brothers Waugh (Steve & Mark).
2. A scene of celebration where an older brother carried his younger brother on his back.
3. Last over of the match. It sure had much more capabilities of causing heart-attacks than the last over of India-Australia match. With Misbah-ul-Haq, at strike, Pakistan had full chances of taking away the cup; yet he, who had made it possible till then, played a “cute” lappu shot to Shreesanth at fine leg. Highest levels of tension do kill our capability of thinking coolly.
4. Dhoni’s reasoning why he gave the final over to J Sharma. His words are sure going to make the difference in Indian Cricket sphere.. to his experienced seniors, to his young team-mates. "Bhajji wasn't sure, he wasn't getting his yorkers 100% right. I thought I'd give the over to a bowler who wanted to make a mark at the international level. It really didn't matter to me if we didn't win, because we'd given it our best."
5. Dhoni giving away his shirt to a young fan and helping him wear it.

Now the reason for writing this post... The difference in giving thanks by the two captains.

Where Indian captain Dhoni was all praise and full of confidence for his young and talented side..
Some of his dialogues..

"I'd like to thank my young team, which has been amazing. No one expected us to win, and now we deserve a big celebration."
“I don’t have bowlers to match the experiences of Bret Lee or Shane Watson, still they did not let us down”.
Ravi, last evening when I read in Cricinfo that Aussies are your favourites for this semi-final, I thought let us prove you wrong”.

On the other hand Pakistani captain Shoaib Malik’s first two sentences were ..

“First of all I want to say something over here. I want to thank you back home Pakistan and where the Muslim lives all over the world.”

I fully understand that Islamic sentiments are thoroughly stuffed in their mindsets but heyy.. be careful dude !! Not all the Muslims ! Don’t ever say that. The Indian team had two Muslims playing for the country and they were just as happy as any other Indian Muslim all over the world at India’s victory. Don’t ever think all the Muslims in the world are supporting you. I hope you know that there are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan, and probably more Muslims praying for India than for Pakistan.

Have you ever thought how that statement of yours might have hurt the feelings of Danish Kaneria, your Hindu team-mate ? And what about that Hindu chap in team Pakistan’s uniform on the ground (I am not aware of his credentials) who continuously prayed by folding hands for your team’s victory ? Yes, the same man who did somersault after you defeated New Zealand in semis.

Mr. Malik, please note that in my country we often admire people for what they have achieved and not for which religion they belong to. Even a fellow Muslim, named Shah Rukh Khan hugged his countrymen and not you guys.

So, don’t bring your religion above the game. The Indian team has players from all the four major religions of the country, yet they played as Indians, not as Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.

For now, Bye-Bye, Tata, fir milenge.

Current Song:- Chak De, Chak de India - Sukhvinder Singh
Technorati Tags:

Monday, September 24, 2007

Interviewing Peter

It is interview time again but with a little difference. The interviewer is Cuckoo and Interviewee is Peter, a recently retired Swedish living in Paris whose blog is an amazing place to see the real beauty of Paris. Even if you can not go there, you can see Paris through his lens and expressive detailed description of the place. I always end up comparing his descriptions with what I saw in Paris.
Since it would have been a bit off topic for him to publish this interview on his blog, we decided to publish it here on my blog. A few things before I start interviewing him.

This is the ninth interview being published in the series of interviews. Harpreet and Pravin are taking time to publish theirs. That will make it eleven.

Rest all are anxiously, curiously, nervously and happily waiting for their questions to be delivered. Keep waiting patiently, these days I am not able to take out much time to dig into your blogs. Some of the interviews are half-done. Thank you so much for putting up with me. :-)

Now the interview..

Cuckoo - Bonjour Peter, comment allez-vous ? Oh, Je vais très bien, merci beaucoup. Aujourd'hui je suis heureux de vous voir ici. Thank you for joining us here, please have a seat. Can I fix you a drink whilst I introduce you to my pet Tiger ? Why Tiger ? Oh well, he always accompanies me and is always hungry. No, he doesn't understand you but it would be nice if you be just a little careful.
Also, you have to remain seated calmly without questioning my questions or no. of questions. C'est d'accord avec vous ?
OK, so Peter, there are going to be five main questions with some sub-questions. Being a gentleman that you are, you are expected to be as detailed as possible. Shall we start now, bonny lad ? Deep breaths now –

Peter- Hello Cuckoo, hello Tiger. Thank you Cuckoo for taking my interview, what a lovely chance I got to sit near you. Hmm.. You have a beautiful bo...

Tiger growls..

Oh sorry sorry, but Cuckoo you said this wild cat doesn’t understand anything ? Then ?

Cuckoo- Gosh ! You are so much excited !! Well, he doesn’t understand spoken language but he can very well judge your body language. Let me start the interview before it gets into something else. OK, Q1 for you. You have started blogging very recently, only six months have passed. What was your main purpose of coming into the field of blogging ? Were you scared of boredom in your retired life ? Has blogging brought any positive changes in you ? How do you manage so many posts on daily basis? Are you always out on the road?


Peter- Actually I got a contact with an old friend after many years of any news. She (yes it’s a “she”), a blogger incited me to give it a try, especially as she thought I would have the time. This happened just around my retirement, early this year. I was actually not at all worried about boredom, had so many ideas of how to spend my days, including doing “nothing”, but I thought why not give it a try. What was the next question? ... OK.…

Blogging has made me more curious, has taught me to look at things with different eyes. I’m also learning a lot from other blogs and take great pleasure in the comments part. My still alive curiosity makes me interested in not only seeing a nice picture; I wish also to understand something behind the picture, so sometimes I have some more or less intelligent questions. Often, not always, there are answers given. …and your next question was about how I manage to find the time for an almost daily blogging?

Actually, I try to make a break during weekends now, as many others. It’s true that certain days are more or less 90% blogging days (sometimes you also have to eat something). These are the days, when I go out “hunting”, to take pictures, to find something interesting, for myself and hopefully for some others.
Other days, I just use what I may have in reserve. You know, to have Paris as a major subject makes things rather easy when it comes to finding something to say or show! On the other hand, so much has already been said about Paris by so many ….When I’m “on the road”, I use my feet – and sometimes a bike, the metro, the bus or the tram. For me it’s a pure pleasure to stroll around in Paris. When I was still working, had family obligations etc. there was not so much time to explore. Now and then I stop at a bar terrace for a glass of red wine or a coffee. Those are nice moments!…

I’m talking too much! Your next question?

Cuckoo- Thank you, that was quite an elaborate answer. I hope it has nothing to do with my Tiger. Are you scared of him? No, that’s good. Yeah, try to smile a little more. I am pretty sure you have made many blogger friends because of your this activity and have met some of them. I saw their pictures in one of the posts. How are they different from your real friends or are they the same ? Do you think meeting in person is necessary to give it more meaning ? For example do you think meeting me in real would bring some more changes to your views about me ?

Peter- I have actually met only a few, some French colleagues. We had a very nice day together and will hopefully meet again! Somehow, I believe you can already guess the personality from what you read and see from people’s blogs, but you can of course also get some good – or bad – surprises, which is part of the charm and is a risk worth taking!

I would be happy to meet a lot of bloggers and I always repeat that whoever visits Paris must not forget to contact me – champagne will be offered! I have also established direct email contact with a few bloggers and have done some chatting. …About meeting you? Now we met, didn’t we, too briefly of course and with this cat around! As an understatement I can tell you that I’m not disappointed! BTW, What are you doing after this interview? (Sorry, don’t record this!)

Cuckoo- Shhhh… the interview is still on !! And don’t forget that Tiger is my bodyguard as well. He has just had a bucketful of Rum and now waiting for some nice food if you know what I mean. My dear Tiger, you be here near me and keep an eye on this gentleman. Anyway, that was a wonderful answer. Coming onto the third question, tell us something about your pre-retirement life in Sweden.
Peter- It’s so far away…You know, I moved to France some 33 years ago. Actually, I spent most of my adult life in France. I was in southern France for a year already in 1968-69 and met my future wife. The poor girl was brave enough to move from Provence to a much colder Sweden. When I found a job opportunity some five years later, we were both happy to move southwards! Of course I like my native country, but I believe I now prefer the continental life style.

Cuckoo- You are doing very well Peter. Oh, is it because of the Tiger ? No no, he won't do any harm to you if you keep answering my questions. Peter, I understand that you have children and grand children (Oh that beautiful Paloma and all...), but we never hear anything about a partner in your life? Are you hiding somebody from us ? About your grand daughter Paloma.. how often do you meet her ? Doesn't she ask questions when you keep clicking photos all the time ? Does your family know about your habit ? How do they take it ?

Peter- You said the tiger is ALWAYS hungry?...OK, I will try to answer.
Well, I can understand that you may ask this question about the absence of a partner. Actually, there is no partner as I lost my wife some six years ago. Unfortunately I’m not ”hiding” anybody – at least for the moment! In the meantime, I’m happy to have my two now adult children and their partners living quite close. You referred to Paloma – a “bird” like you. Yes she is clearly a charming little lady and I have somehow made her a “star” on my blog. She is now close to five and has got a little brother, Mattias, who just had his first birthday. So far, she is not too aware about her “stardom”, but now and then she has seen herself on my blog – together with her parents. She may not yet quite have understood everything about blogging, but she has at least understood that some other people know about her and her activities. I wonder when she will start her own blog and maybe tell some odd stories about this “old man”?

Cuckoo- Oh Peter, I am sorry to hear about your wife. And I appreciate how wonderfully you have adapted to life after her loss. Let me pep you up a little bit. First tell me about your first love-kiss. How & when it happened ? How old were you ? What exactly you felt at that time ? Don't be shy. Come on ! Tell us all about it. Also can you please tell us one of the most memorable time spent with your beautiful wife ?
Peter- My first love-kiss, I remember it very well! I was so much in love with a neighbour and class-mate when I was seven! Once I managed to kiss her, but there were some witnesses and soon “everybody” knew that “Peter has kissed X”. I think she was embarrassed, so that was the first and only kiss with that young lady. :-( But I will never forget that kiss; it was strongly felt – at least by me!

With my wife, maybe I can here also refer to a “first kiss”, which took place at a very romantic place, on the famous “Pont d’Avignon”. I met her in France during a traineeship. For sure, I will never forget that one! It led somehow to more than 30 years of more kisses etc.

Cuckoo- Wow ! That was THE answer ! Pont d’Avignon is quite a romantic place; I too wish to go there at least once. Thank you Peter for patiently answering the questions. I am pleased to say, as expected, you have passed with flying colours, now for goodness sake, stop shivering.. Interview is over ! I am going to take the Tiger away.

Peter- Thanks for this! The questions were not too nasty and the cat behaved well! Quite nice cat by the way!

Current song- Je t'attends - Axel Red