Wednesday, November 30, 2005


"Naam gum jaayega, Chehra ye badal jaayega
Meri aawaz hi pehchaan hai, gar yaad rahe"

These are opening lines of a memorable song from a 1977 Hindi film Kinaara. Composed by the much celebrated Rahul Dev Burman, the song is sung by none other than the 'nightingale' - Lata Mangeshkar. Gulzar mentions in his autobiography, that he wrote the lyrics of this song keeping in mind Lata and her voice and not the situation of the movie. Her admirers tout her as a "living legend" while her critics have called her "The Artist of the millenium."
I absolutely concur with her admirers & critics for having bestowed upon her these titles. I agree that she sure deserved them once upon a time, NOT NOW.
One can see that her voice now has become pretty much wobbly, weedy and scrawny(if I may say) owing to her age. Any discerning music listener would have observed the deterioration in the quality of Lata's voice in the past decade. A few examples - Songs from the film Dil toh Pagal Hai, Jiya Jale from Dil Se, Ek tu hi Bharosa from Pukaar, O! Palan Haare from Lagaan, Tere Liye from Veer-Zaara,etc.
Truely the first line of the song above portrays her present day image as a playback singer, but certainly not the SECOND ONE, given the fact that 'naam gum ho chuka hai'.... aur 'chehra badal chuka hai', but 'woh aawaz bhi badal chuki hai.'.....AUR IS BAAT KO KOI NAHI BADAL SAKTA....
So Lataji I have admired your singing talent and you truely have been an inspiration for me....But if you really want the people of this world to remember you as the 'eternal Lata' I reckon you STOP SINGING....'varna kahin ye aawaz yaad hi na rahe!'
(ps : She is rumoured to have sung a couple of songs in a forth coming movie - Rang De Basanti)

Friday, November 25, 2005


Here we talk of a man who was a symbol of 'truth' and 'righteousness' and who paid with his life for the same...I salute Manjunathan for his brave act...Am also shocked at the lack of interest shown towards this by various media groups including a leading daily I work with...I had never imagined my organisation to be one amongst the crowd that shunned such a brave man's story...and the same fact leaves me with a feeling of deep sorrow and remorse...But when I ponder over all of it, I feel 'its not too late' and that something can still be done to bring the incident and its proceedings to the papers...Its duely unfair and the-pretending-to-sleep-media must get up and rise to the occassion....As for Manju, You are a true Hero, Rest in Peace!!
A few lines.....
God saw he was honest, unlike the rest
But a cure was not to be,
So he put his arms around him,
and whispered, "come with me."

With tearful eyes we watched,
Him suffer and fade away,
Although we loved him deeply,
We could not make him stay.

A golden heart stopped beating,
kind & loving eyes put to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove,
"He takes only the Best!"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


My first experience of purchasing a sanitary pad was rather embarassing and one which took out the 'shy' feeling that existed within me....happened when I was still in school....My attempts of convincing mom to go get it were in vain and she sent me to buy them saying, "its easy, u dont have to feel shy, just 'whisper' & he(the shopkeeper) will give it, nicely wrapped in a large envelope packed in a black bag(the non see-through one), nobody in the world will know about it"....So after this assurance, here I was stumbling down the stairs, walking along a really long street, to reach the nearest Kirana(General store) ....the kirana(luckily for me) was not really crowded, just had a couple of customers purchasing some day-to-day provisions....
The guy at the counter looked at me & asked, "kya chahiye aapko?"....Visibly hesitant, I whispered in the lowest vocal scale possible, "ek whisper - ultra revolution, chota pack"....and I said all of that within a single tick of the clock and felt rather releaved about my shock, this guy turned to another at the other end of the store and literally howled in Gujarati, "Ae deepak! ek whisper aap"...this Deepak guy being pre-occupied with some other work, ordered a kid whom he addressed as 'chotu' at a decibel which was much louder than the guy at the counter....
By now I was sure that the other male customers in the store had heard all of it...and was preparing myself to run home at the fastest pace as soon as the damn thing was delivered to me...much to my embarrassment 'chotu' climbed on this high pedestal, reached upto the top-most shelf(which everyone could view), swiftly pulled out the lowermost packet thereby dropping down all those packets perched on top of it...Much to the disorder caused, chotu(still clinging to the shelf) tossed the packet at the counter guy who caught it triumphantly as if he were Jonty Rhodes on the field...the packing took another awful minute and so did the dispatching...the moment it was all done, I headed home like a scurrying mouse without a single glance at the onlookers...
A truely discomfiting experience but one that taught me to be bold about purchasing a pad in future.