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Jab Tak Kuch Kuch Hota Hai… Hai Jaan!

“You are eight years now. Ab tum bari ho gyi ho.” When Tina wrote this to Anjali (her daughter) as one of the letters those were to be delivered after her own death, she knew Anjali (Rahul’s best friend from college) would still be a spinster after eight years. Once our little Anjali read the letter, the treasure hunt started. Rahul hadn’t remarried all this while after all. Tina knew this too. All the coaxing from dadi’s side would be futile. Tina knew it all. Oh Tina!

Kuch kuch hota hai Anjali, tum nahi samjhhogi.” Oh yes. How could she understand kya hota hai. Yet this girl stayed on for all this while when Rahul and Tina completed their college, got married, enjoyed for some time, had a kid and that kid grew up to be eight years of age. And even now she adamantly said, “Ye dulhan intzaar karwaigi.” And this entire wait took place in the backdrop of an Indian family. OMG! Really? I had the idea that girls are married off horribly quick after college, more so Anjali wasn’t into any 9-to-9 IT job. Well, Anjali’s true love bore fruit. She got her love after so many years.

After so many years, they still iterate that idea. Wait, have patience aur puri kaynat tumko usse milane me lag jayegi. Meera somehow killed herself from Samar’s life. But she got her love back after ten years just like Anjali was blessed. Ten long years. Poor Akira. Now this girl will wait for another birth! Chalo maan liya.

Some thoughts that popped.

Firstly, Hero ho, to Shahrukh jaisa. He earned the love of two women in both the movies. Secondly, Tina and Meera had to have Anupam Kher as their fathers. There is a dearth of fathers who can let their girls do their will. Thirdly, Rahul, Anjali, Tina, Samar, Meera and Akira, none of them had any influence of any siblings in their lives. Only God knows if they had any. Fourthly, December 1998, the waiting period to get your lost love was eight years. Till December 2012, the waiting period is ten years. The offer expires then. So the fresh waiting period is going to be, you know, a lifetime. Yippee! Your turn comes in your next birth. Congratulations! Fifthly, KKHH was made in 8 crores,  JTHJ took 50 crores to be made. Mehangayi dayan khaye jaat hai. Uff! Sixthly, you break a marriage to make one. It doesn’t come easy. e.g. Anjali and Meera were friends with their to-be grooms even after… whatever!

An important derivation:



Anjali (junior)=Yaadasht (returned with Akira’s help) 

And all these derivations in shuffled order in the two movies. But for the changed order, there might have been copyrighting issues.

Abi, having watched this movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan, all i can say is, with due respect to Yash Johar and Yash Chopra, you know the recipe to blockbusters. It is simple. Get Shahrukh as your lead, throw in two female leads, kill one (if not possible, say for some time, make her invisible) and make SRK romance one. You are a winner!




“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,

 Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

-Rabindranath Tagore

Heaven of freedom is not a utopia. It is a very much possible phase that is approached to a merging proximity and then BOOM!! It is repelled with double the speed.

Reason: “Rat race”.

A few inquisitive souls wander through the deep stretches of unknown paradigms and discover mesmerizing objects of awe. The others not just take advantage of the new discovery by buying or snatching or stealing them, but also exploit the more so exquisite path undertaken. They rush towards the sweetness of the fruit in such madness, that they, in their pursuit, ruin the young and tender growing wonders under their feet.

Result: Loss of prospective wonders.

The evergreen inquisitiveness does not die here. It now delves into the oceans to savor the beauty of marine empire. Mother of pearl is found in a bed of corals. One declaration of having found this new marvel. The next thing we see is a “rat race”. All those who were a moment earlier, cherishing sweet fruits among the entwined tangles of the giant banyan, suddenly dive into the waters to gulp down a mouthful of phytoplankton at once. The next thing is the atrocity on the soft royal sea bed that leaves little for future mother-of-pearls to maintain their legacy.

Watching the debris, the inquisitive souls now climb a mountain and on their way, this time, they start creating obstacles to deter the lazy “discoverers” from reaching their heights. At the pinnacle, they find the world below them scantly shadowed by wafts of clouds. All they can see are the highest tree-tops, adjoining mountain ranges, the life-giving sun and the flying birds. They turn around to look at their little heaven. A close by lake suffices their need for water. The trees bear the sweetest fruits. The drowsy sun waves them good bye to return next day. The sight is golden with the most royal red cotton puffs hovering about. It lasts a few breaths to give life to a diamond exhibition on black velvety sky. As spectators, the inquisitives build telescopes to delve further. When the breeze brings them lullabies, they go to a slumber.

The mob starts to track the inquisitives. But obstacles refrain them. Some give up, some are still determined. Only the most curious one gets to the top to the inquisitives. He is welcomed. The next action is to protect their little heaven. So, they build a fortifying wall around. Now, their mind is without fear with a trust on their fort walls. Their heads are held high in humble acknowledgment of the rising sun. The little heaven is their country. They are inquisitives. They unfold the deepest and the farthest mysteries in that little heaven of theirs. A beautiful life.

Now, the question is, what if the mob comes and attacks them, intrudes their fort and destroys the beauty as they did earlier? It is rhetorical. Our inquisitives need to be ready to fight back. “War, surely, is a necessary evil.” It is human psychology that a major population constitutes of procrastinators when it comes to working but it is most active when it comes to plotting and acting in snatching someone else’s accomplishments. Or in a lower status of cheaters, it is walking on the same path to reach the same level of success. However, they forget that America once discovered, cannot be discovered again now. An inquisitive has to find something new. If not, form something new.

Engineering. What proportion of our eighteen year olds sit for JEE or AIEEE every year? Not all are inquisitives. Aren’t the fantastic dress designers or hair stylists or singers or painters finding and forming new wonders? They are inquisitives. And no Ph.D. can equal an inquisitive potter if he is not even thinking of development. If we really want to realize Tagore’s dreams of waking our nation in a heaven of freedom, we will have to let our eighteen year olds have the freedom to choose the arena of their choice.

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,

Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”



An anthropomorphic robot, Ralph!

In a laboratory in Sabanci University, SURALP was getting ready to be raised as Turkey’s first dynamically walking humanoid robot. The year was 2009. By the next year, he was a hero. Enthusiasts could not refrain from praising the marvel. Reporters were recording its dynamics with fervor equivalent to that when recording Shakira. At some other longitude, the intersection of meager latitude gave a point where Kobian was mimicking emotions.

A lot of times, an inquisitive finds a problem and thinks of a solution. However, there may not be enough means to realize that thought. Someone else at some other point on this earth may get the same idea and earn praise. It happens. Uma thought so. She was just a website designer in New Jersey. She visualized the wackiest websites, chalked them out but never had takers. Stereotyped stuff was promoted all around her. People went after classic styles rather than experimenting with rookies. Uma’s land-lady, Mrs. Brown was a mother of two. Mrs. Brown loved Uma and let her stay with them sans charges. Uma only had to clean the house. She got close to the toddlers and volunteered to reach them school and bring them back. In their varied scribbly drawings, she found her own wings.

A year had passed. Mrs. Brown was suffering with a deadly disease. Uma was taking care of the entire house. She could now spend a big chunk of time with her dreamy creations. She was googling for something when she came across an article about robots. And the idea didn’t take long to settle in her. Mrs. Brown had six months or less to live. Uma started her work. She researched. Read seven dozen books on anthropomorphic robots. With all the resources of Mrs. Brown at her disposal, she grabbed a quiet corner room in the house. Undoubtedly, she couldn’t have CERN secrets at her disposal. But she moved ahead from the same basic theories everyone else is taught in engineering. She consulted her friends from other disciplines under the garb of trying to get “just an idea”.

Mrs. Brown had responded well to the cancer treatment having survived a year and a month now. But suddenly, her health had started deteriorating rapidly. The last chemo-therapy brought her back as a living corpse. Uma knew she didn’t have much time. She had created a humanoid like SURALP. She had studied REEM and Asimo with the most scrutinizing eyes. She had put all her time into the endeavor. Her job was gone. Her visa was going to expire. She knew she would be deported to India. This was all she could do for her family here. The small little family she had formed in New Jersey. She will have to leave them. She never wanted to. At the same time, she did not want the kids to miss her when she is gone. So she did not give her voice to the structure. She gave it a male voice and structure.

Uma’s visa was to expire on June 5th, 2012. Mrs. Brown breathed her last on June 2nd, 2012. Uma introduced the kids to Ralph on the 3rd as their caretaker. This man was serious. He seldom gave expressions. But when he did, they could be noticed without a doubt. Uma was a bit worried. But she had tested its proprioceptive sensors, exteroceptive sensors and actuators repeatedly. Ralph’s navigation control was freaking good. He did unmistakable face and speech recognition. Uma was sure this robot could not actually have emotions but her algorithms would apparently show some. Well, Ralph did well pretty good in following two days.

On the 5th, she pulled her luggage and waved them all a goodbye. Ralph had a stiff grip and the stern look but he knew what is to be done till the end of the month. Uma just prayed everything to go well. She had thought she would manage to get her visa again and return in a month. It has been five months since. She has been in constant touch with the three of them through the phone and internet. Today, it is the 11th of October. The world maybe celebrating TOPIO’s ping-pong or Nao’s soccer. But she is back to the family she left. What better sight than this to welcome her home.

Ralph and the kids

Ralph with the kids

“In response to the Weekly Writing Challenge. at

Love and Youth

All decked up for the PT Display, our Ruby House was ready for the march-past. We were waiting for the end of the welcome speech for the Chief Guest. Girls behind me were discussing hindi feature films to kill time. And then one head threw the same rotten question towards me. “Who is your favourite hero?” Thinking of the latest movies i had seen songs of, i went in a hallucination with Amitabh Bachan dancing with breaking moves in Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan in front of me in the sports arena. Returning back to the realm, all i could say was Amitabh. He wasn’t called Big B in those days and i was in Std III. The response to this was, “Woh toh buddha hai”. I was made fun of. Then and there all my liking for Amitabh kissed goodbye for never to return. (So i thought.)

DD Metro as it was called then, had this dhaaravahik named “Sea Hawks” which featured R.Madhvan as a coast guard officer, maybe Milind Soman was there too. Alongside as a Mumbai Police Inspector was Anoop Soni (He still kills in Crime Patrol and Baalika Vadhu). And the villain was Manoj Pahwa as Bhaamra. The extraordinary talent of copying any sound “decibel to pitch” was inherent in Madhvan’s character. I fell in love. The affinity for tall, dark and handsome men started right there when i was not even 10 years old. I remember its title track like a lullaby. Its music had more energy and was yet so very mystical like Shanti’s. All good things end. The serial too ended.

I didn’t end up like a devdasi. I moved on and followed another man. This time it was Kanwaljit Singh from Farmaan. The title song went like this, “ Har dil ko sunate hain farmaan, farmaan mohabbat ka. Pyasa hai boht pyasa, insaan mohabbat ka.” This nawaabi role enchanted me for another year or so. But there was always more to die for. Madhvan came back. I was in Std VIII and the movie RHTDM came to shake awake an appreciable percentage of North Indian Eves. It was then that i got to know that he is a South Indian actor. What a loss! Years passed and a year ago his declaration “Kunwara hu kunwara” made me say nothing else except “How come? Try me!”

In the mean time, cable tv walas had trapped families like never before. Result was clear. You could watch ESPN all the time. Cricket was in the head of every single teenager and adoloscent and you could not help but watch it. There i found myself supporting my own initials. RD. Rahul Dravid. The Wall. With time this went like crazy madness and i was found with half a morsel in my mouth so engrossed in watching him that i forgot to chew the rest of it. Even facebook as said my millions followed him in his retirement and let the Wall retire and Timeline filled in.

If David Beckam could have only one adjective it could only be “sexy”. I realized the realms of this adjective by the end of my twelve years of rigorous and disciplined schooling. Thankfully i realized. They don’t teach this in school. However, in Std. IX i was pushed by my English teacher to think of a celebrity i could have a flight with. Then, all i could think of was the Rugby player cum social worker cum actor cum…. Rahul Bose. I was so much fascinated by this man that i mistook one of my Calcutta cousins as him at the Calcutta railway station. The essay on “the flight with a celebrity” however, could not be romantic or i would have been hanged. But i felt “Jhankaar Beats” for him then and even now when i feel something for someone i term those hulchuls as “Jhankaar beats”.

Once school got over, i came out of an all girls organization into a not so balanced world with more of men, that too not at all like the heroes i had always revered. So when i went to college, all i knew was that the real life is not at all filmy. I found some tall, dark and handsome men and the world has lots of them. But, as destiny would have it, the more crucial aspect never worked. Mentality and mindset could not at all show even a speck of synchronization with mine. I gave up on men. Seriously.

When a few years ago, Amitabh played the love interest of a young girl, i mentally found those Std IIIrd tinytots slapped in my head. That “buddha” is still oggled by more than a million damsels in our country and Pakistan and Bangladesh too, i’m sure. That liking was a secret for years but i never felt ashamed of having liked him. But in all these years one thing that is persistent is, i’ve always fallen for men who were older than me.

Having crossed two decades on this planet, i realise that the most sacred and untarnished love i’ve ever had for a man happened to be for one younger than me. Harry Potter. I grew up with him. All those books and the movies. I wouldn’t dare to name Daniel Radcliffe because he doesn’t interest me. But even if he is six months younger, am i committing a sin missing him so much. Not knowing what is happening in Hogwarts now leaves me so alienated. If Rudyard Kipling had to author an adult book, couldn’t she just showcase Harry’s married life! At least, i would have still had a share of him.

At the end of the day, all i realize from Madhvan to Harry is that i’m not into tall, dark and handsome men any longer. Shahrukh, you were correct. “Hi handsome! Hi handsome!” Dev Patel, you are next dude.

Beyond the Plasma

The ABC of Physics had much to convey. The four states of matter: solid, liquid, gas and plasma. Plasma, which constitutes positive and negative ions and so do the thoughts. The divinity, the supreme Almighty resides somewhere in that expanse beyond the plasma, yet within the realms of physics. “Kisi cheez ko dil se chaho to puri kaynat usko apse milane me lag jati hai.” Indeed!! The positive imagery formed and the madness to own it can serve you like Aladdin’s Genie. You just have to get the magician out of the lamp with the strong rub of your will. Once out, its your slave. And the wish-count is not restricted to a three.

A phenomenon next to impossible, an event unforeseen, unanticipated. And then lo and behold. It happens. You thank your Gods for granting your wish. So, were they right beside you judging your heart, or are they beyond the plasma? But you certainly acquired something unfathomable. Right? Kaaynaat. It’s make is not certain. And the true wishes grow roots with time. They do not have a manufacturing or expiry date. Then, how does the seemingly impossible moment unmask itself? It comes out of nowhere right in front of us and its angelic smile may just encharm us to dance a whole evening.

One moment of unexplainable clashes within your skull and the next, you have what you so deeply hoped for. It maybe a result, a person, a task, anything. You know something just might not happen and then it presents its existence in a gift-wrap with beautiful laces tied. I know i did not make it happen. But it happened. I had measured every possibility and was in despair. But it happened and i might just thank God for it. But my surroundings contain matter. Matter made of molecules and ions. So how far would my gratefulness be allowed to travel? Its velocity would decrease. But then, i was listened to when i was speaking in the core of my heart. When not even my brain could listen so as to apply its logic to disappoint me. Then if they listened, they surely are beyond the plasma.