Thursday, December 24, 2009

I want a girl-friend

I always wished (I still wish….so what if the ban is lifted?) that I had a girl-friend. People may be wondering as to what’s with the hyphen? Well the hyphen is what makes all the difference. In computer programming lingo an explicit use of the hyphen is done so as to make the reader not get the wrong impression (wasn’t that the heading of an article I wrote some days back???.....bloody hell it’s just one article back…am I that irregular???).  The hyphenated girlfriend means that a girl who’s your friend. (I guess everyone knows what the non-hyphenated girlfriend means).


There are many reasons for me to have this (strange for some) desire. Firstly it’s probably the things or rather qualities females have and bring along with them. The warmth, the care, the beauty, the support, the fun is just some of the many many things. We males seriously having got intertwined in our fast paced lives have forgotten to live. It’s ultimately the females that teach us how to live. I always remember my father always saying these words whenever my mother offers him a cup of tea after a hard day’s work, “There's nothing sweeter than a cup of tea offered to you by your wife or mother after a hard days work” (This line is actually my grand-fathers….my father probably uses it to just maska marofy my mother).


I remember having this chat with one of my closest friends. It was once that we were sipping over water-melon juice (that’s because I was paying, if it was from his side it would have been a cup of tea worth Rs.3/-). Amongst my frustration I said that I seriously wished that I had a girlfriend. Hearing this he asked me a simple question, “Do you want a girlfriend or a friend who’s a girl”. Well now to be honest, that question made me think (well all questions do….but still….). I answered that I want a friend who’s a girl. Well actually there are many reasons due to which I hold this view. Firstly, (now I don’t know how to put this) I am a very relationship inclined person. I would love to be in a relationship because probably along with that comes a sense of commitment. I tell you that when two people are committed to each other one doesn’t have to worry about anything on this planet. He knows he has someone to care for him, someone to lookout for him, someone to go somewhere with, someone just to share a joke with, moreover someone just to say things to without wanting an answer. That’s probably what happens when you want someone so desperately that you kind of become a hunter while all the single females on this planet become eligible prey’s (so next time you see decent guys eyeing girls…you know what they're going through). Now given this description about me and my feelings….what would you say if I told you that I’m brought up in a family in which getting married has certain criteria’s to be met?



  1. The girl has to be a Christian (preferably Catholic)

  2. She should be preferably Goan.

I remember the day (it was just the very next day after I had answered my Std.XII exams. That too the first thing in the morning…just imagine….my day had indeed started off with a bang). The moment my father cited the first condition my brain started doing the math and I swear the result was not appealing. Out of the 100% of India’s population that I could aim for, my chances had diminished to a mere 1.8% (Nelton, teri to lag gayi). On the 2nd condition I settled for just 0.2% (thanks to the Goan diaspora and to my dad for not thinking about that clause). So I have left that job of finding a girlfriend to my parents and I’m instead searching for a girl-friend.


Secondly, I hate to see my friends taking their so-called girl-friends pillion while I have no one to do so (sob sob).


Well so now coming back to my chat, I said a girl-friend would be just right. During our chat we actually landed bringing up so many points as to why having a girl-friend is so important and more than that amazing. Other than the qualities I mentioned earlier, just by simply having a girl-friend you automatically begin understanding the opposite sex’s perspective. You see girls just don’t (and probably can’t) think as we boys do. Our make is absolutely different. (we are like Ferrari, they’re just some local brand…hehehe). We think, we analyze, we make decisions using our brain. With girls it’s the heart that does all this work. (That’s the reason that my sister always indirectly tortures me by switching over to programs like Balka Vadhu, Ladies Special and Uttaran while I am watching Numbers, 24 and Hustle). We boys just never see that which in certain cases is very important. (Probably like my father who always yelled at me given my preparation for the exam but my mother always encouraged me and told me to give my best).


Having girls in your friend circle always helps in the long run. The reason being you’ll never feel out of place in their company. You’ll automatically act in a very decent and respectable manner. (We guys hurl abuses at one another in good times as well as bad. Most of the times abuses are used instead of hi, hello and punctuation marks). Even more so, on seeing a good looking female in public you won’t get hyper and start behaving like a puppy that’s panting and desperate for something to drink.


Lastly, it’s a great feeling to take a pretty girl pillion right in front of your friends (you can actually smell something burning)


So keeping all these things in mind, I have come to the conclusion that I really want a girl-friend. Someone just like the Aditi-Jai friendship from ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. The only questions are when will I have one and who will she be. Hoping for that day to come soon.  (If there’s any girl reading this blog….hello, please get in touch with me asap).

Friday, December 04, 2009

Luck: What is it?

Luck. I don’t know whether there is anything like that or it’s something that people have just made up. In life when we work for something and we don’t get it, do we blame our bad luck for it or do we say that we are not destined.
Probably either of the two can be said in case this is a one-off incident. But what when a certain phase has been going on and on and you just don’t know what to do. No matter how much you try nothing seems to work. Before a thing can even start, it is doomed to be a failure.
With regards to luck, I don’t know if its true that certain people are luckier than or unluckier than others. I remember my friends not allowing me to catch even a single match of the IPL-2 since they said that if I watched the match the team that they wanted to win would never win. Even in my own personal experiences I have noticed that at times being open and telling people of your plans goes the wrong way even though the work is nearing success. There comes up some problem after another running the whole work into jeopardy. In certain cases just maintaining silence is the best option. But what is one supposed to do when the person is a close member of your family? You can’t hide things from him/her right? You can’t even break off all relations with that person on the basis of not being lucky.


I wish there was some kind of remedy to solve or even better understand this whole complex thing of luck. It’s seriously very tough to do so. How are some people luckier than others? How for others telling everyone everything makes no difference? What is someone supposed to do when nothing goes his way? Who should someone blame if this happens? How is one supposed to know who’s lucky and who’s not? Should someone believe in luck at all? Or consider it as some kind of invention by people just to console themselves or explain why life is so unfair?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Dubai Default: A sign that the worst is still not over.

Recession had hit us hard. So much so that even to this day we haven’t been able to say that we have fully come out of it. As if we didn’t have enough, the news of Dubai asking for extra time to pay its debt has shaken all of us. Well everything does come at a price.

Dubai. Images of Dubai are simply breath taking. The scenic view, the architecture, the cleanliness, the big brands, the gold, the world islands, the palm….are simply awesome creations. For an onlooker like me, it simply speaks of overflowing wealth, but one that’s probably well harnessed. I remember watching an article on Discovery channel about the world islands. How it was conceptualised, the planning, the execution, the problems, the work standards were really awe inspiring. Dubai truly speaks or atleast spoke of a success story.

This recent ‘Dubai Default’ as it’s called reminds me of a story my teacher told me years ago when I was in school. We were learning about petroleum and how its extracted to the different stages like destructive distillation, etc. While we were learning about extraction, my teacher told me how one must be careful about one’s greed. You probably are thinking what’s the relation between greed and petroleum extraction. Well when I first heard it even I was taken aback. But later I got the point. When you extract oil you should know how much the oil the well contains. When you know that you should know how much you can extract. It may be unfortunate to know that you cannot extract more that a limit. If you do so, you are given a fitting reply.

It so happened once, a long long time ago, that a few Arabs had lost their way in the desert. As they were walking trying their best to get somewhere they happened to see some black dense fluid oozing out from the ground. On inspection they realized that they had stumbled by an oil well. Those Arabs, filled with excitement settled there and started to supply oil to the nearby areas. Sooner or later, many merchants came to that place. The place started brimming with activity. From a small tribe it grew into a village, a town, a city and into a metro. Many people from far and near came there to do business. As the demand increased so did the pressure on the merchants who invariably put the pressure on the oil well. They kept on extracting. As the resource began to deplete they dug deeper.

One day, the whole city with all its people disappeared. There was no trace of them. No skyscrapers, no structures, nothing. Everything gone. Everything was lost, that too in thin air. Where did all go? Well, as the people extracted more and more, the oil began to deplete creating a vaccum which spread beneath the city. One fine day, the vaccum gave way, and everything came crashing down into the depths of the desert.

The tale of Dubai and of all the nations who have been hit by these financial problems is somewhat similar to this story. Being successful is very good. But success should come through right means and with a pace that’s progressive and not a rampage. Rising to the top by trampling people beneath you is not success.

Unfortunately the world doesn't see that. It doesn't see that the path is important too. We probably have got so much blinded by this charm of being wealthy that we didn’t even see the recession coming. Even if we did we thought it won’t have a major effect. Today unfortunately, so many people are jobless. Some of those are the sole bread winners of their families. It’s heartening to see so many people, some of whom have left their families behind in search for better jobs, are looking endlessly into the future with weary eyes and crest fallen hearts for this recession to end. Unfortunately for them, the Dubai news doesn't sound good. The wait for a better future just gotten longer.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tips and Tricks to browse the net at lightning speed.

Life is truly very unfair. If on one side you have people blessed with things in quantity much more than they deserve on the other side you have people with barely anything. Apart from the basic necessities of life like money, food and housing this holds true even for internet speed. While the people on the fast lane do and indulge in things online with zip-zap-zoom speed, people like us who are stuck on the slow lane cant do anything except for yelling and abusing (something like honking when you're stuck in chock-a-block traffic). So is there something that we can do to increase our net speed and give us some solace in return? We may not be able to reach to the level of the one’s on a high-speed connection but we can definitely better what we have that too without spending a dime.

Below are some tips and tricks to browse the internet faster.

Optimize your computer:
What's the similarity between a Formula 1 car manufacturer and a carpenter (or for that matter any craftsman)? 90% of the time he works on bettering his tools. The race or the work is just a display or exhibition of his creation. If you do not have the best car or the most sharpened tools you are never going to make it. Let me clarify that this doesn't require spending of money. As I said in the beginning everything you read about here is free. There are tools in your computer that actually do wonders not only where net speed is concerned but even where overall performance is concerned. Tools like Disk Check, Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter when used on regular basis can keep your machine primp and promp. For detailed instructions on how to use them, click here.

Use a fast and bare minimal browser:
Once you have worked on the basics of the car, you have to decide on the fuel. This is important as the kind of fuel you use will decide the amount the power you get. A good engine with good fuel is a deadly combination. That’s the reason F1 cars don’t run on ordinary and easily available gasoline. It’s a tightly controlled mixture with specially added additives to derive maximum performance.

Relating this to web browsers, I would say unfortunately, till now, Internet Explorer is like the ordinarily available gasoline. By using it, you will never be able to get ahead. However, if you have no choice and you have to compulsorily settle for it then I would recommend you tweak it a bit. To do so, click here.

If you don’t have to use IE, then please do me and yourself a favour by switching over to some other browser preferably Mozilla Firefox. Apart from it being fast, the beauty lies in it being open source. That means round the clock there are lakhs of people thinking and working on it to make it better, faster and more secure. In addition, you also have thousands of freely available add-on’s that enable to you to do more in less time. For a list of add-on’s that I use, you can click here (this also covers keyboard shortcuts and download manager).

You can also go ahead and customize it with freely available themes to give it the look and feel you desire. If you're still not satisfied with what you have then you can get your hands oily by doing a little bit of tweaking described here.

Make use of tabs, not windows:
Learn to make use of tabs instead of opening every site in a new window. Every latest web browser supports tabs. If you wish to open a page in a new tab then simply right-click on the link and choose “Open in New Tab” from the option list or simply press the scroll-wheel on the link.

Opening pages in new tabs instead of windows not only helps you switch between pages seamlessly but also saves on precious RAM memory that is used by every browser window that is opened. But this doesn’t mean that you open up a million tabs. Keep it down to a maximum of 5 to keep things neat and tidy.

Browse the smart way:
By simply running your car around the track over and over will never get you the podium. You have to be smart enough and sometimes take the shortcut (legally of course). Why waste time following the beaten path. Be different and think differently.

3NLabs.com is such a website that can get things done in a must faster and easier way. It’s basically a visual directory with all links to websites one visits often. That may be websites for email, social networking, downloads, news, matrimonial, money making and more. Also there's no registration required. So next time before you type in the URL of a website you want to go to, think twice. It would be much easier and faster if you just clicked it.

Use a reliable anti-spyware and antivirus.
Having a race-winning car does not end there. You have to from time to time protect it from the bad guys. A slight malfunction or an outage issue can bring down performance drastically. So you have to be on the watch out.

Many viruses and spyware’s on the internet are designed for this very purpose. They pretend at first to be friends. By the time you realize they are your enemies you have been harmed substantially. To avoid this, make use of a good antivirus and anti-spyware. Also make sure that they are always up to date. For a list of good antivirus and anti-spyware visit the downloads section here.

Happy browsing.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Web designing: What a pain it can be.

There's something magical about web designing. Seriously. According to me, web designing is a perfect amalgamation of intelligence and creativity. It demands so much from the individual that only a very few people are able to reach that level. But inspite of all the odds, there are thousands and thousands of people who not only draw pleasure from it but also earn their living out of it.

I don’t quite remember how I was exposed or rather introduced to this whole world of web designing I should say. I was fairly young when I got my hands on the internet. I remember the day when I opened my first email account. The cyber cafĂ© where we went charged Rs.60/hr. That’s a whole lot compared to the Rs.20/hr we pay that too for broadband rather than dial-up in those days. But I guess at that time the net meant altogether something else. It was like access to some fantasy world. Information was now available on the fingertips, you could hear songs, send emails and share pictures. It was simply just awesome. The excitement of opening an email account was coupled with that day being my birthday. So it was timed as you can say. But it was really nice.

When finally we got net access at home surfing the net became a regular activity. It was something like watching TV. Checking emails everyday became a habit. Waiting well into the night for attachments to download was also a regular affair. But that was a part of the game. I guess here it was that web designing seemed to have caught my eye. The thought of designing a website and having thousands and thousands of people coming daily to your site was something that could take me on cloud number 9. I think the thought may have become so evident that everyone around me soon deciphered that I wanted to be a web designer. It so happened at an exhibition my principal gifted me a book titled “How to design your own website”. It was a book on web designing for starters, that’s what I would say now. For me at that time it was the doorway to heaven.

I still remember the first website I designed. I would best like to describe it as something I prefer not remembering. Such bold use of colours that even the font was not visible. What was worse was that the website background was the poster of Charlize Theron. That definitely might have made readability better (hahahaha). I’m sure my par-exceptional designing skills might have not attracted but definitely driven away many many people who even had the courtesy of visiting my website.

As time went by, I slowly and gradually picked up the finer nuances of this art. The proper use of colours, font and font size now seemed to be the left hands play. At the end of the day, and after many many attempts I can say that I have a website that atleast is presentable to people. The journey has been long, painful, disappointing and depressing but it has been worth the wait and effort (atleast where designing is concerned). If you would like to see my website click here.

I wish designing only included designing the schema of the website and forgetting it. Unfortunately, it just starts there. I don’t even think there’s an end point. It’s something like you have an empty box, now you have to start filling it. But that’s not all. It’s also not that there are only a few things to be done. There’s infact a lot. Firstly you got to have great content. Sounds easy??? Well heres the catch. The content should be relevant, up to date and original. Most people don’t even make it past this. For those who have there’s something called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What’s this, well lemme explain. Majority of the people on this planet search for stuff on they net they’re looking for. If you’re site happens to offer that stuff then they will be directed to your site by the search engine. So SEO is nothing but telling the search engine what your site offers so that many people may find your site in the search results they get.

There’s also something known as Link Building. It’s telling other webmasters to include your sites link on their website so some of they’re users are directed to your site.

When you have managed to get all these things right (its easier said than done) you land up getting great traffic and page ranks which makes your site very popular and in turn generates a lot of income for you.

At the end, all I can say is that web designing is the same as a card game. You don’t quite know what you’ve got till you’ve see all the cards. What may seem amazing at the onset may not be so enticing at the end.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Today's Buzz: Follow me on Twitter

There are really many surprising things in life. They can be from the sombre to the wackiest and wildest things. But there is something that has surprised me, still continues to do so and I guess will continue to do till I ever get to terms with the situation. And that is Twitter.

Twitter is a social-networking website, a micro-blogging service. It’s a website where all you have and got to do is post updates. That’s all. All you have is 140 chars. That’s it. To be honest, on a given day, I don’t think even a thousand chars would be sufficient to explain my state. After all there are a lot of things I do and would like to share. Something like, I got late to work, my colleague cracked the same joke he did last week, my boss seems to be getting inspired from Hitler, a guy likes a girl but she likes someone totally different, my friend has just top scored amongst all of us (I’m not talking of any game) there are honestly so many things to share. So many things and all I have is just 140 chars. Something I would say is a Herculean task. But that is no deterrent for the thousands of people who tweet and tweet every sec, every minute, every day of their life. It’s got so many people addicted that even the President of the US and many other international and national celebrities have not been spared.

Twitter has actually proved one thing in a big way. That is that whatever you do and however you may feel it’s actually possible to evoke a reaction from someone somewhere. It’s so shocking to note that a simple tweet like “I have just woken” generated so many replies. The replies ranged from the common and good-old “Good Morning” to “What’s the matter, why so late”. Is it that the human craves so much for attention that no matter what, he would go on and on just to make sure that people keep hooked on to him and page him from time to time?
Twitter has got so many people buzzing (or rather I should say tweeting) that now it’s become impossible for people to just let go of it. It is also said that one of the primary reasons behind the split of Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt was twitter. Brad Pitt seemed to be spending a lot more time on twitter than on wifey Jenny. Though twitter may have got quite a few number (that’s actually very large) of people in trouble (after all, all addictions do) it has also changed or rather transformed many peoples lives for the better. Twitter enables commoners like us to follow all the people we love, care, cherish and look upto. It gives us updates of all the happenings live. Twitter is used by so many people to reach out to thousands of followers. Whether it may be Barack Obama tweeting about health reforms or Shashi Tharoor explaining his state visit to countries like Uganda and Somalia which very few people have heard of; it does keep people in touch. Twitter is also used by so many corporate to keep in touch with their employees; non-profit organisations and NGO’s to organize fund-raisers.

Going by the popularity of twitter one thing can be surely said, that it is here to stay. If you feel that 140 chars are way too little then probably you may have not yet heard of the twitter lingo. You’ll be shocked on knowing how short your long long sentences can actually be. It is also heard that twitter users are now soon going to come out with all the bestsellers in twitter language. That I guess speaks a lot. Twitter is all about sharing, updating, posting, replying, following and being followed. The more the followers the more your reach. The more your reach, the more valuable you are (if you’re a link-builder then this may seem like a golden rule to you). But for us commoners it’s all about tweeting “Good Morning” and getting many greetings in return.

In case you may like to follow me on twitter then find me on http://twitter.com/neltondsouza

Friday, October 30, 2009

Graduating from Orkut to Facebook

Yes, I have finally done it. I am now officially on Facebook. I am now a part of the millions who use Facebook everyday of their life to share stuff with their near ones. Surely there must be something right about all this. (I hope i am not sounding like SRK in the Airtel ad).

Wow, Facebook, what can I say. Good, cool, clean interface. Very nice. What’s more? I have found something that I just hoped would be on Orkut i.e. Community photos. Ahh. ..I wish this was available on Orkut. There are so many Brazilian footballers’ photos that I wish to add to my “I Love Brazilian Football’ community. But anyways, no issues.

Unlike Orkut where you have a scrapbook, in Facebook you have something known as a wall. (Now wait to minute, I have not joined Facebook only to get a wall. My house has more than 1). Well it’s not that kind of a wall. A wall in Facebook is something where al your friends can share with you stuff and post things on…hence wall. Neither the Great Wall of China nor the Berlin wall, simply a plain wall. Now though this wall may have its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. If this wall is yours then its also everyone’s. What I mean is not only all your activities and those related to you are displayed here, all your friends and their activities, all your communities and their updates and discussions too are displayed. Its something like in Orkut terms a fusion of your scrapbook and updates section. Now this thing makes sharing stuff really easy. You get all your friends updates and posts at a single place. You know what your friends are upto, all the applications they are using, all the games they are playing, all the things they are challenging you at, almost everything. That is something really awesome.

However the biggest drawback comes into the picture if you have many friends who are really active in Facebook. In that case, if you manage to find some stuff you are looking for in particular, then least I can say is that you are looking for a needle in a haystack. With time and posts everything just keeps going downwards. Time here is not measured in hours, its not minutes either, better say seconds. At the end, most of the time you'll give up just after a few clicks on ‘Older Posts’. Well but there is partly a solution. It may not be fool-proof but it does happen to help in certain cases. That is checking out your own profile. That is the only place I think that is yours alone on Facebook. Here you will find only your stuff and everything posted by you and none else. Its also over here where you can edit your profile, change your profile picture, etc. basically all the tasks you could do in the Profile section of Orkut. At least something’s similar.

Well apart from the many cool features on Facebook like the page doesn’t refresh when you become a fan of a community (same as member in Orkut) and sharing options (like pictures, videos, links, etc) and also the many famous people being online, I truly find Facebook truly lacking in user-friendliness. I must say that if you are an avid Orkut user, it’s really going to take a lot of patience and time for you to get accustomed to it. Orkut has everything organized. All your videos are in the videos link; your scraps are in the scrapbook, etc etc etc. But you know as the saying goes that “One man’s food is another man’s poison” this not-so-user friendliness of Facebook is probably one of the main reasons that it has a very less number of fake profiles.

Choosing from Orkut and Facebook is not easy. While Orkut boasts of user-friendliness and a very large Indian base; Facebook boasts of privacy, cool features, global reach and amazing applications to never get you bored. If you are out there to make a choice, then heaven help you. If not, then be like me…use both.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Peace and Harmony - can these be fostered in today’s circumstances.

As I sit down at my desk to pen down my thoughts on this topic, I can’t help but begin to realize that more than a topic this is a question in itself. A question that probably each of us should ask ourselves. In my view it’s a question that hits us hard in our face. Can this so-called peace and harmony that we all wish and aspire to achieve possible? Or is it like a lucid dream? One in which all things are right, all things are just perfect, but not reality. Given today’s circumstances where killings, bombardments, deaths are nothing but mere news (after all we read about it everyday), an article on peace is surely a headliner.

So as I try to come up with points to write this essay, I suddenly remember once reading an article titled “Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam’s important message to every Indian”. Amongst all things, there was an experience in it that just caught my eye. I must say that it has left a deep impact on me.
“I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an orchid and a granary. It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among other news.”

Tough this experience may seem one of the motivational kind, to me it spoke of peace and harmony. It spoke of the difference in perception. No matter whatever the situation may be there is always a reason to smile. Something like behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining.


I remember when I was a child. Before I could go to play, my mother would always tell me, ”Nelton, no matter what, you will not get into a fight. You will never lift your hand, come what may”. At that time those lines seemed weird (Did my mother unintentionally want her son to bashed up black and blue???….i hoped not). So everyday I just kept those words in my mind and carried on with life. Slowly by slowly as time passed by, I began to realize the harsh realities of life. I had begun to understand as to what exactly my mother meant and why. Gandhi’s “Eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” and Christ’s “If a man slap’s you on the left cheek, show him your right” now began to make sense.


One of the easiest things to do is to hit back at others that too in equal measure (if not more). If the other has thrown a stone I shall not throw anything smaller than a brick, that’s the mentality. That too without any hesitation, without any thought. This thing goes on. And before we realize, we are dealing in nuclear weapons. It’s needless to say more.


It really takes a lot to not be intimidated by anyone. It really does. Hitting back probably may seem cool. Take a look at Israel for that matter. You attack it (probably even think of) with a pen knife, you can least expect swords coming your way. But it’s not the right way. At the end of the day, all you know is the countless number of wars you are involved in and the death of your loved ones and fellow countrymen. India’s dealing with the Kashmir issue probably makes sense in this regard. It’s much better having to hear of a few deaths in a year, than of hundreds in a minute.

I truly believe that no matter what the situation, peace is most definitely achievable. Yes, we can. It may seem impossible, but impossible is itself I M possible. After all, the sun still shines brightly even after a long and heavy downpour (What’s more, if you’re patient enough you may also get to see a rainbow).
No matter what today’s times and circumstances may be, there is still more than one contender for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Even though you may have had a former US president who dragged the world in two unnecessary wars, you now have a US president who talks about reducing nuclear weapons and disarmament (He even gets the Nobel peace Prize for it).
Situated on the banks of the icy Lidder River, a 900-year old Shiva temple is the only shrine run by Muslim priests in Jammu & Kashmir.
Naved Siddiqui, a muslim has been organizing the Navratri fest at St Xavier’s College for 20 years now.
A Brahmin funds Muslims for Haj.
The Neenuram Ashram in Tharparkar in Kerala serves as a beacon to all souls irrespective of caste and creed.
These examples are by themselves are an indication that there are people who work towards it. All hope has not yet been lost.
At the end I would just like to say that like in the past, peace has, can and will be achieved no matter what. As I believe, God comes in various forms, but His message is the same, that peace be upon all. It may seem impossible for a lay man, but as the great Mahatma Gandhi, a man who himself may have not won the Nobel Peace prize but inspired many others by his doctrine, said,” “I claim to be no more than an average man with less than average abilities. I have not the shadow of a doubt that any man or woman can achieve what I have, if he or she would make the same effort and cultivate the same hope and faith.” I too feel the same.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I am Proud of my ‘so-called country’ India…

I am proud of the country where the ideals of our freedom fighters are remembered only during election times.

I am proud of the country where the streets & the surroundings are nothing but a vast public latrine.

I am proud of the country where basic amenities meant for the poor & needy are instead used by the rich & powerful.

I am proud of the country where disputes regarding the country’s resources are a daily affair.

I am proud of the country where justice takes years to attain.

I am proud of the country where the same guilty people always come to power in every election.

I am proud of the country where the people are not held accountable for their actions.

I am proud of the country where one community thinks of outnumbering the other by means of violence & destruction.

I am proud of the country where very citizen takes his freedom for granted.

I am proud of the country where its people have got caught entangled in the various laws & by-laws.

I am proud of the country where a 15 minute government job takes a minimum of 15 months.

I am proud of the country where red-tapism is the government agencies trademark.

I am proud of the country where its very own people look out for & destroy its own property.

I am proud of the country where the people are given a false impression of ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara’.

I am proud of the country where its people have no problem in dirtying it, but the same people in a foreign land stay away from.

I am proud of the country where being a literate means just being able to sign.

I am proud of the country where the minimum criteria for being a peon is Std X pass, but to be the Prime Minister even a Std V pass would do.

I am proud of the country where the facilities given to a minister for better implementation of his duties are used by his family to attend personal events.

I am proud of the country which though being the world’s largest producer of milk & wheat yet its every citizen is not guaranteed 1 roti & 1 glass of milk daily.

I am proud of the country where the law of the land is only for laymen & not for high profile people like ministers or people of power.

I am proud of the country where the number of pending cases in the Supreme Court is around 35 Lakh & no idea how many in the State & District courts.

I am proud of the country where before holding a person guilty his caste, creed & origins are taken into consideration.

I am proud of the country where freedom of speech, freedom of religion & other fundamental rights are only bound to the pages of the constitution.

I am proud of the country where its people are proud to flaunt their caste.

I am proud of the country where in a world of competition people look for reservations & resort to destruction of public property in order to get it sanctioned.

I am proud of the country where even after so many years questions are raised about an individual’s loyalty to his motherland.

I am proud of the country where an individual see’s to his betterment before the betterment of his nation & countrymen.

I am proud of the country where being an honest man is perhaps the worst crime.

I am proud of the country where holding a position of office is seen as a chance to amass wealth rather than a chance to serve with honesty & dedication.

I am proud of the country where laws are put aside just to attain political advantage.

I am proud of the country where its citizens feel unsafe even in the safety of their homes.

I am proud of the country where the death of its citizens is treated as an ordinary thing.

I am proud of the country where the innocent are penalized while the guilty are left scot free.

I am proud of the country where its people are looked upon only & only as a large vote bank & nothing else.

I am proud of the country where the meaning of ‘public servant’ varies from its actual meaning.

I am proud of the country where there are 43 political parties filled with relatives & people who are mostly incapable of governing the nation or have a long criminal record.

I am proud of the country where ministers having no previous knowledge of a particular office are given ministries to handle.

I am proud of the country where a justice seeking person’s character is maligned while that of the accused is glorified.

I am proud of the country each and every thing is given a religious hue.

I am proud of the country where the parliament is nothing other than a comedy circus.

I am proud of the country where its leaders itself don’t have any manners or etiquettes.

I am proud of the country where the people of 1 state are much more interested in the well being of its people in another sovereign country.

I am proud of the country where people living in a state for decades are termed as ‘outsiders’ & forcibly sent back.

I am proud of the country which has countless problems but no solutions.

I am proud of the union of 28 states & 7 Union Territories. I am proud of my ‘so-called country’ called India.

I am sad, depressed, disheartened & frustrated on seeing the incidents happening in India over the past few days. At such a time what do you expect someone to do? Let’s make an honest confession. Can we say that we are proud citizens of this country? Can we say that we are an emerging superpower? Or are we fooling ourselves by that never achievable dream?

We have everything that it takes to be the best. The best of talent, the work force, everything. The only thing required is the will, more importantly the political will. Till that comes nothing is achievable.
It is time for a new freedom struggle. Freedom from fear, freedom from injustice, freedom from caste, creed & other differences. The time has come. Let’s make a difference.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The myth about Raksha Bandhan

Raksha Bandhan, one of the most famous and widely celebrated festivals symbolizing the bond of love between a brother and a sister is finally upon us. This festival has been celebrated through the centuries, celebrated between kings and queens (of different empires, if they were of the same they would be most probably husband and wife), people belonging to different faiths and across borders. After saying all this one would wonder what the myth about it is. Well the myth is that for people it may be just a festival, but for us (i.e. boys in their youth) it’s a festival filled with tension and nightmares.

I remember the days in school. Obviously back then everything was fine and perfectly normal. More than that there was never a rat race for anything (by rat race I mean pataoing the most beautiful girl before someone else does). If like me you’ve also studied in a boy’s school then probably the race started quite late but with double the fierceness (I’m sure at this you’re going to say, “That explains everything”. All I have to say is that we only check out girls…were not some Havas Ke Pujari). But whatever, I guess it’s that age or rather times (the kids in my locality are in the 5th STD and they have at least 2 girlfriends each…wow what a start and what progress!!!). Raksha Bandhan in school meant much much more than simply brother-sister love and protection guarantee. At that age I guess the sister had to take care of her younger brother (in my case…having both sisters elder to me). So simply what the festival meant was totally out of the window. What mattered on that given day was who had the most number of rakhi's tied on his hand. The more the rakhi’s the more the respect. (It was like a status symbol). You can just imagine how people looked up to the one who topped. That guy had a level of his own (the way people feared him was like as if all his sisters would bang you up if u ever challenged his authority).

Also the more fanciful the rakhi the more it stood out. The more it stood out, the more people knew about it; the more people knew about it, the more people wanted to see it. You didn’t have to say or do anything; people would by themselves come up to u and say, “Can I see your rakhi???”…Imagine the pride and smile on the wearer’s face (I guess all that glitters was gold…. at least in those times). It was so easy to become popular. Back then, boys would ask their friends, “Have you seen my rakhi???” I seriously wonder if they may be asking this question now…hmmm (btw a hmmm means a hmmm…sometimes it also means I’m thinking…hehehe).
The race of for the most rakhi’s was so fierce that we boys used to use all our contacts to secure the top position. We used to promptly remind our sisters, friend’s sisters, sister’s friends, all the females around. After all in those days
1. Where did rakhi mean protection???….if anything went wrong I guess we would be the first to run away.
2. After a year’s time who remembered who tied whom a rakhi, so there was basically no kind of khatra.
3. In a way the girls liked it too. All my sister’s friends used to tie me a rakhi and pamper me by saying so cute, so sweet. The pulling of cheeks and nose was painful, but I guess it was tolerable. Though the best part was that no kind of gifts or money was expected in return…wonder why that can’t happen nowadays).

Well they say (who are they, I don’t know) that as you grow times change. But it would change so much was not known. Finally the day donned upon me that Rakhi meant much much more that what it seemed (after all Murkh Balak, there's more than what meets the eye). It now had a new meaning. From now it meant and only meant, lifelong punishment, lifelong torture, shattering of all dreams and desires that too within seconds. The perception had finally changed forever. Now how could you ever check out a girl who has tied you a rakhi? She’s your sister after all. Fearing this fact I (and I’m sure most of the boys might have) made a dash for the exit whenever a girl entered. If you came to know that a girl is searching or looking out for you, you would hide yourself in unimaginable places just to escape her. Not meeting her on that day was instead a blessing. You could compensate for it some other time, but not on Raksha Bandhan. The rakhi with its special powers (probably like the All Spark from ‘Transformers’) could change things forever (that’s probably one of the reasons you see such a low attendance of boys in colleges and work places on this day…after all prevention in better than cure…in this case unfortunately there's no cure).

But I guess there's something about this festival that just warms the heart. It’s something that I look forward to every year. Though I am a Christian, this festival is always observed in my family. Though people may find this a bit shocking, it’s true. After all Raksha Bandhan is an Indian festival and has got nothing to do with one’s religion. Every year, my sisters make it a point to tie me a rakhi. If I’m not physically present, they will send me a rakhi by post about a month in advance so I can get it on time. Thanks to them I now have a rakhi collection ranging from cute teddy bear rakhi’s, Dennis the Menace, glitter to sandalwood rakhi’s. This collection is one of my priciest possessions.

So, go ahead and spread the warmth of this day and this relationship (make sure you gift your sister something good, or be prepared for her to take up this matter during every argument all through the year). Enjoy it in your own special way (i.e. either in hiding or showing it off). Happy Raksha Bandhan.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The deal about friendship…

Taking a leaf out of the countless sms’, philosophies and definitions friendship has always been described as a ship which never sinks, an unbreakable bond, a relationship higher than any other, etc, etc, etc. but what I do not understand is what people call friendship and what actually defines it? (aren’t the two things the same???...I don’t know. If yes, then lemme know)
Setting all these countless theories apart, I guess the basis or essence of friendship lies
1. In the people involved in friendship.
2. The kind of mutual understanding they share.

According to me, friendship is more of a give and take relationship. But what’s more important is that the give and take should be of equal measure. I understand that maintaining such a fine balance is pretty difficult, so a slight imbalance is permitted (hehehe).
Friendship is all about sharing things, giving things, taking things and seeing to the other persons comfort. It’s not about only I give-give and you just take-take. It’s moreover also not about taking the other person for granted.
Given the scenario where 2 so-called friends have to make a trip to the same place for the same work having a travel time of 16hrs one way (it's actually a boy-girl scenario in which the boy is the friend of the girl, whether the inverse holds true is unknown). The duration of the stay would be 4 days. The boy somehow finds out the date the girl has booked her tickets for and books his accordingly just because of 2 reasons...
1. It’s boring to travel alone
2. They could meet each other since they haven’t for some time now.

The best part is that the girl has no clue about the boy’s travel details. He hasn’t told her so as to give her a surprise (after all the girl loves surprises). Though the girl has booked tickets according to her own convenience, the boy is surely going to miss a lot.

Finally the boy lands up taking the same journey as the girl (whether the girl was surprised is unknown…so I don’t know if the plan worked). 16hrs just flew by. It was a nice journey. Due to good fortune or rather misfortune, the work was complete on the same day. The girl had plans to spend time with her friends, while the boy had none.

In the process of the work getting done a small conversation broke out. It ended with the boy just leaving that room and the girl behind. That was the end of it.


Sometimes I wonder whether it’s actually possible for a boy and a girl to be just friends. Is it so difficult? For my peanut-sized brain this is a too big question. Probably the famous dialogue of the super hit film ‘Maine Pyaar Kiya’ still holds water…”Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi bhi dost nahi ban sakte.” What irritates me is that why; why do girls always think that if a guy is being friendly with her means that he is after her? Don’t we guys have better and more constructive things to do? (I agree that there are some guys, but there are many girls who do the same). If a guy seems to be friendly with her, he is termed as to being after her. The moment he stops being friendly, she accuses him of being unfriendly. Strange….very strange.


Firstly I would like to make this very clear. We boys do not expect anything out of you. The only thing we probably want is that you be friendly with us. We too have our own plans and ambitions in life (so what if we don’t get as many marks as you'll do?). We do understand that you’ll have your own plans, you'll want to spend time with your friends...agreed, but I guess things can be said in a much nicer way.
Secondly, if a guy goes out of his own way and makes plans that match yours so that the both of you can make the journey without the other having to travel alone and getting bored in the process, though the boy has all to lose and the girl having literally none, learn to at least be appreciative of the fact. Don’t come up with a statement that, “I never told you to book tickets for the same day as me, that’s your mistake”. It’s irritating, it’s horrible to hear and moreover it’s painful.

Now going back to the incident. On the third day, the boy along with his friends happened to cross the girl. No hi’s, hello’s or even eye-contact was made by the boy (I guess someday you learn you're lessons, even if you’re a slow learner like this boy). On the journey back home, the boy and the girl are seated in totally different compartments (probably it was destined). The girl sends a sms asking the boy as to where is he seated? The boy promptly replies. The girl rings him up and asks him to join him on her seat. The boy bored of sitting all alone with nothing to do, somehow does away with it. Instead for sometime he catches up on his other friend who’s in the next compartment and travelling with family. The girl (probably figuring out that the boy is not coming there) again calls and asks for the boy’s whereabouts. The boy replies that he’s on his seat and making arrangements for dinner so he won’t be able to make it there. The girl then lands up on the boy’s seat and kick starts a small chat. The girl mentions to the boy that she’s getting bored there sitting all alone (wasn’t this the same person who always likes travelling alone, isn’t boring her cup of tea???). The girl then asks the question whether the boy was angry with her??? (are we boys some kind of hooters that are supposed to blow whenever we are angry so as to let you know….cant you'll just sense it the way we probably do). The boy answers in the negative. More questions were asked by the girl, which the boy answered in QnA format (it’s where an answer is given that’s just apt for the question. No extra info is given). After the chat, the girl went back to her place. The next morning they were at their own destinations.

As I said in the beginning friendship is all about giving and receiving in equal measure. Everytime it shouldn’t be the boy who puts in all the effort. If 2 people are sitting face to face (with the boy just to make himself heard is stretching himself) and there’s place near the boy, it makes sense that the girl occupies that seat rather than giving a lame excuse that “this is my seat” (I wonder what reservations are for). Surprisingly when the window seat is available the excuse vanishes into thin air. The boy shouldn’t always have to go up to the girl’s seat. The girl also should do it sometimes even if both of them are travelling in different classes i.e. the boy in sleeper and the girl in 3AC. Shockingly even here the boy has to go upto the girl. The reason here can be justified that the girl is in AC so the experience should be paisa vasool. But when the girl leads the boy outside the compartment in the non AC area it doesn’t make sense (probably the girl doesn’t want the boy to enjoy even a minute of AC…who knows???). Whenever a meet is arranged, the boy is supposed to be on time and not keep the girl waiting even for a minute. Otherwise she would leave. But it’s completely okay to keep the boy waiting (wonderful!!!). That’s why, probably its best for us boys to go alone somewhere even for a movie. I understand the movie may not be that fun watching alone. But at least there are no worries about what people may be thinking and no fears of lines that only hurt us and do nothing else.

At the end, if you have some girl who thinks in the same manner as the girl above then just tell her 1 line…
“Tumhari kismat itni bhi acchi nahi hain ki mujh jaisa ladka tere peeche pade”. I guess that will set the record straight.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I want a Girl-friend…

I always wished (I still wish….so what if the ban is lifted?) that I had a girl-friend. People may be wondering as to what’s with the hyphen? Well the hyphen is what makes all the difference. In computer programming lingo an explicit use of the hyphen is done so as to make the reader not get the wrong impression (wasn’t that the heading of an article I wrote some days back???.....bloody hell it’s just one article back…am I that irregular???). The hyphenated girlfriend means that a girl who’s your friend. (I guess everyone knows what the non-hyphenated girlfriend means).

There are many reasons for me to have this (strange for some) desire. Firstly it’s probably the things or rather qualities females have and bring along with them. The warmth, the care, the beauty, the support, the fun is just some of the many many things. We males seriously having got intertwined in our fast paced lives have forgotten to live. It’s ultimately the females that teach us how to live. I always remember my father always saying these words whenever my mother offers him a cup of tea after a hard day’s work, “There's nothing sweeter than a cup of tea offered to you by your wife or mother after a hard days work” (This line is actually my grand-fathers….my father probably uses it to just maska marofy my mother).

I remember having this chat with one of my closest friends. It was once that we were sipping over water-melon juice (that’s because I was paying, if it was from his side it would have been a cup of tea worth Rs.3/-). Amongst my frustration I said that I seriously wished that I had a girlfriend. Hearing this he asked me a simple question, “Do you want a girlfriend or a friend who’s a girl”. Well now to be honest, that question made me think (well all questions do….but still….). I answered that I want a friend who’s a girl. Well actually there are many reasons due to which I hold this view. Firstly, (now I don’t know how to put this) I am a very relationship inclined person. I would love to be in a relationship because probably along with that comes a sense of commitment. I tell you that when two people are committed to each other one doesn’t have to worry about anything on this planet. He knows he has someone to care for him, someone to lookout for him, someone to go somewhere with, someone just to share a joke with, moreover someone just to say things to without wanting an answer. That’s probably what happens when you want someone so desperately that you kind of become a hunter while all the single females on this planet become eligible prey’s (so next time you see decent guys eyeing girls…you know what they're going through). Now given this description about me and my feelings….what would you say if I told you that I’m brought up in a family in which getting married has certain criteria’s to be met?
1. The girl has to be a Christian (preferably Catholic)
2. She should be preferably Goan.

I remember the day (it was just the very next day after I had answered my Std.XII exams. That too the first thing in the morning…just imagine….my day had indeed started off with a bang). The moment my father cited the first condition my brain started doing the math and I swear the result was not appealing. Out of the 100% of India’s population that I could aim for, my chances had diminished to a mere 1.8% (Nelton, teri to lag gayi). On the 2nd condition my chances had dropped drastically to a mere 0.2% (thanks to the Goan diaspora and to my dad for not thinking about that clause otherwise the number would be infinitely small). So that's why I have left that job of finding a girlfriend to my parents and I’m instead searching for a girl-friend.

Secondly, I hate to see my friends taking their so-called girl-friends pillion while I have no one to do so (sob sob).

Well so now coming back to my chat, I said a girl-friend would be just right. During our chat we actually landed bringing up so many points as to why having a girl-friend is so important and more than that amazing. Other than the qualities I mentioned earlier, just by simply having a girl-friend you automatically begin understanding the opposite sex’s perspective. You see girls just don’t (and probably can’t) think as we boys do. Our make is absolutely different. (we are like Ferrari, they’re just some local brand…hehehe). We think, we analyze, we make decisions using our brain. With girls it’s the heart that does all this work. (That’s the reason that my sister always indirectly tortures me by switching over to programs like Balka Vadhu, Ladies Special and Uttaran while I am watching Numbers, 24 and Hustle). We boys just never see that which in certain cases is very important. (Probably like my father who always yelled at me given my preparation for the exam but my mother always encouraged me and told me to give my best).

Having girls in your friend circle always helps in the long run. The reason being you’ll never feel out of place in their company. You’ll automatically act in a very decent and respectable manner. (We guys hurl abuses at one another in good times as well as bad. Most of the times abuses are used instead of hi, hello and punctuation marks). Even more so, on seeing a good looking female in public you won’t get hyper and start behaving like a puppy that’s panting and desperate for something to drink.

Lastly, it’s a great feeling to take a pretty girl pillion right in front of your friends (you can actually smell something burning)

So keeping all these things in mind, I have come to the conclusion that I really want a girl-friend. Someone just like the Aditi-Jai friendship from ‘Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na’. The only questions are when will I have one and who will she be. Hoping for that day to come soon. (If there’s any girl reading this blog….hello, please get in touch with me asap).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Water Woes

The importance of water is only known when you don’t have it. Though I’ve always known that, I’m just undergoing a revision.

I remember the days when I used to avoid taking bath daily. According to me taking bath daily is like one of the most boring things on the planet. To be honest it’s sometimes not essential. To my father and my sister taking bath is all about being fresh and hygienic, but to me taking bath daily is like wasting water and soap. I justify the need of taking bath after a long, tiring and sweaty day. But what if u haven’t even moved out of your house, haven’t got into any kind of physical activity and have not even shed a miniscule of fat? In fact I would advice taking bath either every alternate day or when the need truly arises. Due to my stand I’ve always been ridiculed by one and all. But I do land up giving a strong defense. Whenever anyone confronted me on this issue I would just state him two facts.
1. Take bath after 2 days and just sense the feeling. It’s truly amazing…
2. (the most thoughtful) Kach pada (it’s a slum area near to where I live) people are not getting water, think about them.

Well with all those days behind me and me taking bath every single day (it's just that now I get into much more physical activity than ever) these present days of water shortage have made me realize that somewhere probably down the line I must have seriously saved lot of water. I felt happy and contented that in some way I have helped a lot of Kach Pada people indirectly. However all my joys were dealt with a big blow the moment I saw Kach Pada people enjoying uninterrupted and free flowing water. Well now one may imagine as to how Is this possible? Well thanks to the cracks in the pipe line. I wonder why such things never happen near my locality.

So now thanks to no water, I’m stuck dirty, unshaven, and have a hell lot of matter in my tummy that’s just waiting for download. God save me. (It’s seriously shocking to note that it’s raining like cats and dogs outside) what luck??? Now will someone please open the water tank…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The 'N' Factor

As smart as the oracle
But still stings like a bee
That’s a perfect intro
To my friend NSP.

Ive known her past 3 years
But still I don’t know her much
She’s sometimes part of my greatest fears
Sometimes a lovely person such.

Her intelligence baffles one and all
From 1 plus 1 she can get 3
Its amazing how she does it all
That too being as busy as a bee.

She has friends not too many
Probably just one or two
But I guess those friends are special
And she’s stuck to them like glue.

No other dare speak to her
Being friendly is not her cup of tea
Ask her a simple question
She replies “How does that concern thee”.

No number of hi’s would do
No number of sms’ would
I’m still deciphering the riddle
Of doing what I should.

Change is not her cup of tea
Its pointless telling her that
The world may change many times
Bit for NSP its just stat.

There are a few things about her though
That totally blows me away
It’s her amazing style of dressing
And her gentle sway.

But there’s one thing I’ve come to know
Behind this stern person there’s someone else
Someone that’s loving, someone that’s caring
Someone that puts the other before herself.

I wish I could tell her all this in person
But its better this way I guess
Because whenever I meet her in person
All my topics land up in a mess.

But I wish she would stay like this forever
She’s somehow got along just fine
In life she may succeed in every way
And taste the sweetest wine.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting the wrong impression across

Probably the worst thing that can ever happen in boy-girl friendship is that one gets the impression that the other is after the other. I don’t know what kind of a difference that would make to the boy, but probably to the girl it kind of means helluva problem.

I seriously in all my years haven’t been able to decipher this puzzle. The guy probably makes an effort to see that his friend is made felt special. But probably these acts are interpreted as the guy is after me. So the girl something that she seems right to do. Nip the problem in the bud. After all prevention is better than cure.

In such a case whether the guy is to be blamed or the girl is still unclear. Both seem to have valid reasons for actions taken. But at the end I don’t know who is the one to suffer and to what extent. But from experiences(not necessarily mine) its heart breaking.

The only thing that I wish to send across is that in this word everyone wants to be made felt special. Every individual wants to be made felt important, necessary and needed. There are very few people who go out of their way to make the other feel this way, even though they may not have anyone to make them feel this way. But due to some reasons, sometimes this so called effort is misinterpreted and the whole feeling just disappears away. Probably the timing may be wrong, things may be moving too fast or may be even people don’t want the wrong signals being sent out. Whatever it may be, its just tears at the end. But that doesn’t mean such people should lose hope. Such efforts in due time shall definitely be appreciated.


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