Friday, June 29, 2012

Blondes brunettes and redheads

 Elizabeth Banks 
Known for Zack and Miri Make a Porno, The 40 Year Old Virgin
 Blake Lively
Known for Gossip Girl
 January Jones 
Known for Mad Men 
 Jenna Fischer
Known for The Office
Scarlett Johansson 
Known for Lost in Translation, The Avengers
Evangeline Lilly 
Known for Lost, The Hurt Locker
 Megan Fox
Known for Transformers, Hope and Faith

Rebecca Hall
Known for The Prestige, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town 

Tina Fey 
Known for 30 Rock, Mean Girls
Mayanti Langer 
Known as Anchor, ESPN Star
 Amy Adams
Known for The Muppets, The Fighter 
Christina Hendricks
Known for Drive, Mad Men
Emma Stone
Known for The Help, Easy A, Zombieland
 Kate Mara
Known for 127 Hours, Shooter
Kristen Stewart 
Known for Twilight series

Friday, June 15, 2012

One year hence

I remember when you caught my eye,
At the bus station, just waiting by,
What attracted me the most,
Was your backpack and your clothes.

I started an awkward conversation,
Took tickets to your destination.
The little things that then fell into place
You liked my charm and I fell for your grace

You were good and I was nice
We had similar likes and despise.

We despised and criticized
You shouted when I kept quiet
You didn’t trust, I didn’t care much
Just an acquaintance as such

We were just inseparable
Those moments felt insatiable.
Days and nights and nights
And we totalled a fortnight.

A good train of events
Rich, gleaming and fulfilling.
We had fun and we are here
Autumn’s passed spring’s here

A toast for future crushes and ex-flames
Here’s to the deep nights that never tired,
We part ways as our visas expire.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Shanghai is a metaphor

Shanghai is a city, a metropolis, a financial capital, a global economic hub. Shanghai is in China but the word Shanghai is a signifier for India.

Shanghai is an attempt by the political class to divert our attention from the immediate problems to a promised future, a transformation. We are sold the dream of a swanky Shanghai like city where prosperity envelops all. And it is all planned for the future. A future, which when it comes will not hold them accountable. A future near enough, but far enough so that people forget as well. Rome was not built in a day they say. But it was also not build by the using the famed Indian jugaad.

Shanghai is a dangling visual smokescreen. Take a look (at the image below) at what happened between 1993 and 2010 in Shanghai. It is this transformation to a gleaming economic hub that rivals the first world that so seduces the transforming third world. Shanghai is a metaphor.
It is the Promised Land that the politicians like to promise in a safely distant future .This future is rounded up into nice sounding numbers – 2016, 2020, 2025. And when time inches towards these years they push it back to another nice sounding year – Twenty Thirty, Twenty Forty what say? Because somehow,we never think of future being imperfect and dystopian. We always hope the future to be better. We have done so from the past. We continue to do so now. Where is the progress, is this the progress we hoped for and were promised in back in 1995. Wasn’t 2012 supposed be the year when every village in India was electrified?  And now, in 2012, we are still debating nuclear power when we are so many megawatts short of electrifying even our cities that it is embarrassing. Who do we hold accountable?

Any social commentator would agree that India of today, of 2012, throws more bewildering contradictions than say it did in 2000. We are young and aspirational, but then we are also sceptical. We have tastelessly designed flyovers and an underbelly right beneath and around it. The malls are swanky and the earth just outside it is murky, the road leading to it potholed. We have grandiose and leaky socialist schemes in a capitalistic economy. Cross subsidy that skews the supply-demand and market dynamics. And then there’s an audacious proposal of regulating a democratic medium like the internet. The models and actors in ads get paler and whiter even as thankfully, it is a sultry Freida Pinto and swarthy Irfan Khan who have a foothold in Hollywood.

As a nation we have regressed in the last 10 years – the traffic, the civic amenities, our open values, what we can see on television, what can be said on it and what is beamed on it. We can all bring out the largest democracy cloak, but hey we are not a mature one. We can’t laugh at ourselves; we are offended by things which we should bother too much with. The people with sense of humour are on Twitter and those numbers don’t total to many a number.

The irony is inescapable when we are promised maglev trains when people are crushing themselves in Bandra-Churchgate local trains. It makes us smirk at the politicians who do not know the ground realities that the middle class go through, we are sceptical when we are promised a Shanghai in India.

If you can’t save a Kolkata, if you continue to see Bangalore crumble, if you go on as usual as Mumbai bursts to seams, what are you promising to convert to Shanghai ? Cities cannot be transformed easily and briskly.5 years is not enough, 10 years should see considerable progress but 20 is enough if you have the will, even in a democracy. Maybe we should emulate Hong Kong or Istanbul for a change. We should let our states compete and build up their cities. Competition wakes us up. If we have 3 Singapores, city based economies, it is progress. Singapore has no natural resources; it is a power because of the commerce and talent it draws.

We do not need just one Shanghai. We want our Pune, Mangalore, Jaipur and the likes to grow up and shed that non-metro feel. Take advantage of the fact that they are not as messed up as the metros are and realise that therein lies an opportunity. Become the new-age metros. That would do two things. We will have better up-and -coming cities and it will stop the migration to metros and stretch their infrastructure.

Shanghai is in another country, another time zone and another 2 decades ahead of us. Shanghai is a pipedream not worth chasing. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Being 20-something

As much as any 20-someone will crib about life, it is the most open ended and action packed decade of anyone’s life. It is a contradictory, sweet and sour decade. You will fail and succeed, not in equal measure. It will teach you things which you will not forget easily.

Some of the truths that make their existence known are that your college degree doesn't mean squat and without it, you most probably will squat. The quarter life crisis hits you when you least expect it. Maybe at 24, but that doesn't mean that you will live till 96 to witness the next time Haley's Comet comes around. 

Home is a studio apartment with the most important asset being your Internet connection. You slowly realise that unsuccessful talented people are everywhere. Then you notice that the successful people are in their 30s, so that gives you hope- I can still make it.

That feeling you got at 17 that i know everything, is no more. And if you still are with your childhood sweetheart, then have you not dated enough people. Right through your 20s you will be slapped, jolted and reminded by the fact that you actually don’t know nothing. And personally speaking, it’s good for you to be told so. This is where you are gaining knowledge, which will eventually give wisdom.

You hop skip and jump careers, unsure where your true calling lies. You shift, sometimes give up because you know now that your best is not good enough. Hopefully you will end up with something that you can tolerate to do for a living and don’t lose your creativity.
But hey, you are in the best shape of your life, sometime in your 20s. And unless you go under the knife or a long dormant beauty gene which doesn’t exist, kicks in; this is the way you will look. You are free to take care of it or spoil it with your lifestyle. It’s your choice- you are an adult.

I repeat, you are an adult. And unlike a while back, your actions have consequences. There is no free lunch no more. You budget irrespective of your bank balance. Your uniqueness is slowly blending into bourgeois homogeneity. 20s is when you really understand brain-drain and know that politics affects everything. When you feel you could have been born in the 1960s and be part of movements and because you can’t, you seek solace in the wise lyrics of Bobs- Marley and Dylan.

Heck, now even decade gone by gets you into trips of nostalgia. You remember some of your oldest friends. See how your lives have diverged. Some are into domestic bliss and others are clueless even on the 10th anniversary of their 18th birthday bash.20s is when you want someone to talk to, and also someone you can afford to avoid. The friends made in the 20s are the friends you will have for life. Girlfriends and boyfriends not quite so.

The 20s are when regular coitus interferes with anything creative you always wanted to do (gratuitous Sheldon Cooper reference). Whereas the lack of it makes you a depraved soul with other outlets to vent (No you can't form a Fight Club, who do you think you are? Tyler Durden?). 

Also, this being in 20s is too generalised as well. 20s people are not homogenous. There are sub divisions in that – 21-23, 24-26 and 27-29. And they don’t like each other particularly well either. It is because of the surveys that all of them are shunted together in a group. Each one is different. Sure they all look alike but scratch the surface and they are anything but. They are distinctly different once you go past exchanging pleasantries and actually talk.

Sure they say 20-something is hard, it’s tough.For the crazy enough, even psychedelic.But so what? Stability is nice, but entropy is nice too.Being 20 something is quite something.

There’s no name of the original poster.
But it has been on the Internet for a while and i wish to thank and acknowledge the creator of the post.