My 2 cents

Studio 60

Posted in Random Thoughts, something I like, TV by urmilesh on May 17, 2010

Ever since I have been enthralled by The West Wing (West Winging as Amitabh Bachchan calls it), I have been a great fan of Aaron Sorkin’s writing.

So it was with much anticipation that I started watching “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”. 2 episodes into the series, and I have not been able to figure out why it did not get an extension beyond one year. Within the 2 episodes it has shown itself to be funny, smart, witty, not thinking audience to be dodos, giving enough of a glimpse into behind the scenes atmosphere of a TV show (applies to US only I guess) to elicit interest without being overbearing, and being played out by good actors.

I do hope that while watching the remainder of its one and only season I do not end up agreeing with the decision to cancel it.

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Counting Day

Posted in India, politics, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on May 17, 2009

My first brush with counting day was sometime in the late 1980s (I think it was the time when Rajiv Gandhi lost power but I am not sure). Those were not the times of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and counting had to be done manually, so it went on for a few days. There were discussions on the TV this whole time (TV meant only DD then by the way) and my father and his friends used to be glued to television this whole time. Everyone used to bring the news paper from his home and the news paper boy was asked to deliver all the papers for those few days so that they had the benefit of the analysis from as many fronts as possible. There were animated discussions, points, counter-points, bets, long winded discussions not leading to any conclusion; and all this came to an end only with a formal declaration of the election results. Being in government jobs, most of them opted for casual leaves at this time; and those who did go to the office, simply continued with the group in the office.

I used to sit in with the group of uncles every chance I got, though I never understood much of what was going on. The constant flow of tea was one major attraction for me (yep I am a tea fanatic since then) but the main attraction was the impression I was able to create amongst my friends because of the time I spent with this group. I would get some sound bytes, and then impart this knowledge to friend in school as well as in the colony, with the air of someone who knew what he was talking about. It really does not take that much to impress 9-10 year old boys anyways; gals of any age are a different story all together ;-). Simple things like knowing the names of more that 3-4 news papers, or 3-4 political parties, or knowing who will be the next Prime Minister (not that complicated a question at that time) was a big hit in the gang.

Switch to today, the counting started at around 8 AM, and by 12 we knew what was gonna happen.
Not fun; not fun at all ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I am back

Posted in General, Me, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on September 6, 2008

Hello All,

long time no see…I know I know; and to top it all, there was no reason at all for it in particular ๐Ÿ™‚

anyways…what counts is that I am back and I intend to be majorly regular with my writing…lots of drafts are languishing in “My Documents”…except for the outdated movie reviews I intend to let them come out.

So be ready ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wish you were here…

Posted in Life, Me, Random Thoughts, Songs by urmilesh on November 19, 2007

So, so you think you can tell…Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found?
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Post Script: I don’t think anybody would be confused about who the source is.

Once upon a time…

Posted in Bangalore, cribbings, Life, Lucknow, Me, My Day Includes, Random Thoughts, Something New by urmilesh on October 23, 2007

I used to be a regular in my local gymnasium and used to treat big weights like small playthings. That was the time when I’d just come out of school and I’d convinced myself that I’m preparing for IIT-JEE (aside – going to the most popular coaching classes in the city and ogling at gals there does not amount to preparation ๐Ÿ˜‰ neither does having night-outs at friend’s places in the name of problem solving…this I knew then I guess but realized later). At that time I also used to take time out every morning to go to one of the most famous gymnasiums in Lucknow, Bodyline in Bhootnath (again one of the most crowded and worst equipped hang-out places in Lucknow).

So, I used to get up every morning at around 5 (if any of my current project mates are reading this, YES I am capable of waking up at that time) and head off to the gym. And then for the next 2-3 hours it used to be me and the weights, and the constant scolding of our instructor (Mr Sharanjeet Singh, a man who deserves more than one post to himself). I sometimes used to think, that if I even put half of the gym-dedication (new word, I know :)) into my studies, I may well have been an IITian today; but I never realized why I was not able to do that. It is a bit clear to me now, I used to enjoy what I did in the gym and I was really in to it. And contrary to what my friends would think, very small part of that 2-3 hours was spent in admiring myself in the mirror.

Whenever you are doing any exercise, if you’re doing it properly, each set and each repetition will take all of your strength and all of your concentration, nothing less. If you have any strength left right after a set, then you are not doing it right. And I used to do it with all my heart ๐Ÿ™‚

Then, as time moved on, I did not get selected in IIT (big surprise), and took admission in one of the private colleges in the city. I got busy in student life and tried to make myself believe that I am a gym regular but I never was. All through the last 7 years I have been going to the gym on and off but I have never spent one day in the gym which could have matched up to those preparation days.

That changed this week. Or rather, I decided to change that this week. The last 3 days have been physically one of the most taxing on me for maybe the last 7 years, but I once again got a glimpse of the enjoyment that I knew back in 1999. I sure hope I am able to keep that up.

Why am I writing this here? Because I may need to come back here and read this to make myself go on.
Why I need to go on? Because I have been stuck in an unhealthy lifestyle and an unhealthy body for too long and I want out.

I want out now.

What we fear…

Posted in book, General, Life, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on October 13, 2007

is not that the ones we love will not love us back the way we want them to. At the bottom of our heart, the real and deepest fear that we have is that we may not love them the same way anymore someday; that would be a big insult to the love we have for our loved ones now.

Thought put into my head by: Shantaram (the book).

Hope…

Posted in General, Life, Movies, Movies I recommend, Quotes, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on February 5, 2007

“Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength and your greatest weakness.”

The Architect – The Matrix Reloaded.

The lessons

Posted in General, Life, Me, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on November 18, 2006

Ok, another post inspired from The Wonder Yearsย ๐Ÿ™‚

In the episode Our Miss White, Kevin finds himself attracted to his teacher Miss White. He is sure it is love from both sides, in his words “It is something which exists but is too far-fetched to survive in the real world”, andย  the only reason both of them hold back is because of the society. He is heart-broken when he finds that she has a boyfriend, but is not able to be sad for a long time because at the same moment he realises that he has made his dad very very proud, and that takes his mind off everything else for a while.

There were traces of the movie Mera Naam Joker in this episode, I don’t think this is a case of the director being inspired. They were similar because that is the way the story of most of the young kids go (except for the making Dad proud part). You fall in love with your teacher, you think that she also feels the same way, your feelings grow stronger and stronger until one day the truth dawns on you. And then, it’s the pits.

I have never had a crush on any of my teachers, or any women who was considerably older than me so I am not sure what is it that could actually convince a kid that there isย  some truth to what he feels, the incredibility of the situation not withstanding. But I was just trying to imagine how hard it is actually for the kid to take it when he knows the truth. Kevin actually did a lot of things that he would never have done otherwise, it was only because of Miss White that he was a part of the school play and only because of her that he took an interest in the affairs of his country (which is a good thing I believe…no nation is poorer if it loses indifferent citizens. It was ironic that what saved him from total heart-break was the fact that he had made his dad proud since all the things that made his dad feel proud were done because of Miss White only.

That is hugely reflected in real life I suppose. The main lessons and the best moments are more often than not drawn from events that you have not planned. You plan to attend college, decide on courses and a host of other things. But the main things that you remember after the course ends are the chunks of hostel life that leave an indelible mark on you. I have had experiences that have made me feel very bad, that have left a very bad taste in my mouth. But looking objectively, they have always put me in a better situation than before…much wiser and much more ready to face life. And I have been lucky toย never be in aย black-hole situation yet.

ย Yet is the operative word ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

Dad’s office

Posted in Life, Lucknow, Me, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on November 9, 2006

I was watching an episode of The Wonder Years with my roommate today. It was the episode where Kevin’s dad takes him to his office to show him what does he do. By the end of the episode Kevin is able to better understand why sometimes his dad comes home all gruffy and why he is so hard on them sometimes, also why he always tried to soothe himself by watching the stars using his telescope for hours.

The episode seemed to be related to me somewhere. I also used to accompany my father to his office sometimes as a kid and was at a total loss to understand what he did before those trips. Not that after that I knew it pretty well, but still I got to know some things.
Kevin was very impressed by the fact that his father is in a position to give orders to others, even though he did not get a word of what he was saying. I used to feel the same sense of pride when I realised that my father is a boss for so many ppl (it helped matters that I never got to meet his boss ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and also that he is responsible for taking decisions that may affect a large number of people.
Kevin also appreciated the fact that inspite of everything, his father gave him the attention that he wanted when he was in office, and that made him feel very very good. As it did for me ๐Ÿ™‚ coz I guess my father used to make sure that he does not take me with him on one of his busy days, he used to take me when work was light and he had enough time to spare, so that I could be made to feel like a prince.
One thing they did not show in the episode was how people try to bribe the son to try and get a favour from the father. This used to happen a lot with me (us actually, my siblings were also a part of it) and I was never able to make out who was a genuine loving uncle and who just wanted a favour. The fact that my father was in a government office did not help matters :p . But my father never used to take it out on me if I had put him in an embarassing spot, no harsh words…none at all!!! He just kept on trying to make me understand, make us understand why the things that he asks us not to do are wrong. And now I know, and it’s thanks to him mainly (as I am sure is the case with most of you).
Also, Kevin’s dad used to take out his bad work days on his family. Not my father, I never got to know if he had a bad day. He was still the same guy with us. This is something I have not been able to do yet, I carry my work mood home (though there is no wife and kids waiting) and if it is bad then that affects me. I don’t know how he did it!!! Kevin was wondering why his father was like this when he had a bad day, coz he knew for sure that his father had it in him to be a fun guy (because of their vacations). And also why he had to be so hard on his family, the voiceover suggested that Kevin still hasnt figured that out.

Well neither have I.

Wet tyres…

Posted in Life, Lucknow, Me, Random Thoughts by urmilesh on October 28, 2006

When I was a kid we normally used to go for a trip to my native village 2-3 times every year. The mode of transport invariably used to our family car, me in the front seat cuddled in my father’s lap, and others adjusted somewhere in the back (that’s the great thing with amby, everyone fits in).
Since the jorney was along one (not too much because of the distance, but because of the bad roads and traffic), we used to start very early in the morning, something like 3 or 4 am, so as to cover as much distance as possible before the traffic piled up. That meant that none of us kids were actually awake when we started and we woke up only when we’d covered a good distance.
That was not too much true for me, I used to wake up pretty early to a sound that I like very much. It is not some great or extra-ordinary sound but I don’t know why it made me feel good. On an empty wet road, when a heavy vehicle passed the tyres make a strange zzzooom sound that I cannot describe in words. You would most definitely have heard it sometime. It can be made out only when there is little or no traffic, you can’t make it out if there’s the hustle-bustle of everyday traffic all around you.
As I was saying, I used to wake up early and listen to those trucks pass by for as long as I could manage (this was one of the main reason why I fought to sit in the front seat, there was too much of fight going on in the backseat ๐Ÿ™‚ ). Then, as time passed, our lifes started getting busier and our visits to my village started being more spread out, so much so that I have not been there since 2004. But even before that we’d stopped travelling the way we used to travel for a number of reasons and that’d made me almost forget about my fixation for the sound of truck tyres on the wet road.
Then after so many years I am living on a house that’s bang on the main road, with heavy traffic throughout the day. Because of some calculations, I have to stay in the hall for a few weeks. Here again every morning i am woken up by the sound of wet tyres ๐Ÿ™‚
My roomies think I am nuts, waking up so early everyday (and not getting ready for office..just passing time). I cannot explain to them verbally why I don’t realize how much time has passed when I am looking at vehicles passing by.
Maybe I’ll send them a link to this post ๐Ÿ˜‰

P.S. I know many of you may think I am nuts, but that’s a risk I am willing to take.