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Thursday, 31 May 2007

victoria beckem

that anorexic looking spice girl who clings to the very handsome english foot ball star. yes, she has been popping up in a lot of conversations recently in my mid-meal brks that i share with my girl colleagues in office. non of them approve of her. like oprah or rachael ray or tyra banks...who are all for the curvy/normal women to other mindful things that they suggest women are capable of. as most of us know - dubai is the land of the fatty acid ;-)...yes u cant help but gain some extra flab (people say ur wt gain dirctly proportional to ur bank balance...i wish that was true...anyway) no matter how genetically thin u r, u gain it here. and most of the topic that women discuss here move around their waistlines and clothe sizes. somebody was recently telling me that it is the water. she swore by it and said that its is the high sodium content in the water that makes one bloat here. or is it the chicken...or the chicken life style...or the potatoes or the couch potato lifestyle? guessing never stop and girls don keep shut for all you know...and not. i thought under the abaya (the long black dress worn by arab muslim women) life was so much figure conciousless...but i was proved wrong at the ladies room. band gobhi ke andar se phool gobhi nikla...like my freind prashant sharma puts it. yes...halter tops and trendy jeans all under the black lock! so now i know why waitloss institutions have a sprawling future in the uae. everyone wants to be a victoria beckhem. i personally feel skinny women are scary. not just in looks but also in their mood swings...that might erupt scary mental sightings out of carbohydrate deficient diet. yes sugarless food can make u ugly by behaviour too. its all proven by the sciences...i don want to spill something which can be googled and learnt by those who want to. mbc 4 has a new series called the extreme celebrity 00 (double zero size). there is another popular term in the arab world that calls a few dump people the same "he is not even a zero...he is double zero, meaning that dumb" well that fits this situation also i feel. if u have the mind u will never go overboard on this silly aspect so much. it is amazing how much people in the glam world can do to get in and stay there in the lime light. i pity their bodies. that not just undergo regular self criticism but also get caught by the tabloid media and the doctor's knife. they slice it all in perfect forms so that the hour glass doesnt go one size this or that side. mothers in hollywood have kind of inspired women all over the wold to get thinner and thinner...until they disappear in the wretched goings of their lives. in one of our gossip sessions...a frnd just told how much victoria undergoes to keep her secret out in the open. she updates that apparently she sits tight on floor and folds her legs, holds them close to her body and weeps when she is hungry!!! how gross does that sound. tormenting urself to look like whatever u define like it is to be 'good looking' . horrorrible i wud like to announce the trend!

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

name sore

I dont know if that phrase / usage exists. anyway, donno y I still have this girl in my mind, who was the bubbliest of all whom I knew...until I realised that she was as much miserable as much as she appeared to be gleefully halo-ed. now I dont want to name her. she was one of my hostel mates. who bore her uncle's wild oats for 22days and got rid of the growing bump on her belly with some doctor's help. I am sure anyone would find this story moving as well as gross. moving because this lil girl was barely 17 and gross because this man was her own uncle (mom's sister's husband) in his middle ages. I knew her uncle. well rounded guy in his 40s. I wud mumble to myself 'bloody naughty 40 F****** fat A**' whenever I caught a glimpse of him while running through the stairs to catch the 402 DTC that took me to CP. he had dreamy (drunk) eyes with a very voyeuristic twinkle....yes he used to scan girls as they wud pass by him, while he waited diligently for his niece urf keep!. he was fair, had pink lips. not as pink as sushant's my pg class (sushant had the pinkest-orangy lips...may b bcos he drank a lot of fanta!...he wud blush everytime i made fun of his girl like pout). ok now let me get back to the other man... he must have been on pan n beeda to keep his lips coloured or to get that kick which raw tobacco gave...he was that kind. and kind enuff to mind wash our lady into all that she did not deserve. the story is more winding than i would want to describe here. but the moral remains un-moral. and that relationships of the wildest order do exist everywr...not just on dr phill's shows. i dont know what happened to her or the goings. as i left for new hostel and conveniently forgot abt her for a while...and did not get any updates from common friends. or may be i did not bother to find out also. cant justify my deeds as i was engaged in a race to make my career and everything stood secondary or nil then. i hope she has grown up and grown out of the sour / sore experiences and is happy with a good job and a nice partner. I wish her love.

manjunath kamath

that was the weirdest name i thought i heard of someone whom i knew. this one was called by his surname...one of my oldest colleagues...now kind of lost track with him. was a grt artist. now must hav got his own sprawling business smwr in the delhi suburbs. kamath became a house hold name when i was in mumbai for a couple of years. u get manglorean delicacies there...and i kind of developed a taste for the sambar that had jagerry in it. but when i actually visited udupi and mangalore later, i realised what a con kamath was...i mean the restraunt where mumbaikars gathered to savour mangalorean delicacies. at karkala i tasted some out of the world authentic mangalorean stuff. they have something called a bun...call it like a mallu calls a bun (benn)...it wasnt baked but deep fried. was sweet but not as sweet as a sweet dish and was served with piping hot watery sambar...a grt treat to start to day. kamath and manjunath wr names found all across the region...from karakala to udupi to padbidri to mangalore...i must have seen atleast a dozen of them...on bus boards to tea stalls that dotted all across the highway. now manjunath or kamath wr not as strange as i thought they were to be called. by the wat manjunath is hindu deity lord shiva as well. actually tday what we call weird might become a household thing trrow...u never know. i feel bad for the guy who was called psycho and was hanged when he said people can talk over a distance or that man could fly. how gullible do we get when it is to just air our thoughts that we think are weird when they might actually hold something beneath...that we din know at that point.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Rake and Ramblin' Man

Rake and Ramblin' Man -lyrics
Artist:Don Williams



I ran into an old friend of mine the other day.
We hadn’t seen each other for quite a while.
What he had to say to me hit me pretty hard,
‘cause I think a lot of folks get started this way. He said:

I thought it would be so easy, another one night stand.
She seemed so warm and willin’, right in the palm of my hand.
Now it’s three months ago last Wednesday since I woke up in her bed.
Lord I think I love her, but it scares me half to death.

‘Cause you know I’m a rake and a ramblin’ man
Free as an eagle flies
Well, look at me now and tell me true:
Do I look like a daddy to you? Oh, do I look like a daddy to you?

Now she’s feelin’ sick in the mornin’s; She can’t get into her jeans.
I spent my last ten dollars, bought her a second hand ring.
I start to work next Monday ‘cause I just can’t let her down.
I’ve had me some good times, but it’s all changin’ now.

You know I’m a rake and a ramblin’ man,
Free as an eagle flies.
Well look at me now and tell me true:
Do I look like a daddy to you?
Oh, do I look like a daddy to you?

You know I’m a rake and a ramblin’ man,
Free as an eagle flies.
Well look at me now and tell me true:
Do I look like a daddy to you?
Oh, do I look like a daddy to you?

bombino rice

you know am a rake and a rambling man...free as an eagle fly...look at me now and tell me the truth...do i look like a daddy to you...do i look like a daddy to you. don willams sang all day long. and angulimal would walk with his unkempt hair...cigarette between his fingers and telephone calls one after the other. thats what i called him. angulimal. that was a demon like character in my hindi text book - kishore bharti, in class 4, i believe. he killed people and wore a necklace made out of human fingers (anguli in sanskrit). but my angulimal was just namesake. he was a cool chap, my best friend once upon a time. i could practice short put by flinging the breakfast pack while he helped me cross the nala to reach my bus stop in saket. i must have been barely 7 or 8. but i remember him so well. he was such a good friend. when we reached the bridge...he would look at me and hint...its time to throw...what!? my breakfast...which i hated to eat, anyway. i would give the world's widest grin and throw it as far as i could...and wait till the aluminium foil sank and went deep down into the black waters of the nala. i was a poor eater all the time. mom wud fish out weeks old sandwitches and chappatti rolls from under my mattress...and wud thank god that the place was not infested of ants and the like due to chilly wheather. most of the time she wudn know whether to scold me or to laugh. but i wouldnt eat anyway. was v stubborn. another day our neighbour was cleaning her walls and found her parapet which was rt under my room's window...things like unopened fruit cake packets, fruitys and the kind...mom was v upset by now as she had to get me rid of this habit. slowly it was the talk of every party. i got sick of it. but i wudn eat. i was growing thinner by the day i weighed 9 kilos lesser than i shud have. soon i acquired a new name. angulimal called me somali kutty (meaning...the one from somalia, the land of the impoverished). i cried the whole evening, as i was hurt. then he took me around and refreshed my mood with an orange candy ice cream...the only thing i loved to ingest...as my tongue wud go orangish red and i wud stick it out on all windows that came by while we strolled in the market.
my sister joined me very soon in the act of disposal. not that she did not like eating, but she was fascinated by the task i wud engage in every morning...infact every meal. once mom left us some special rice called the bombino rice, brown rice. i found it yuck...like most otherthings that had to pass my mouth. but i knew my sister wud play brutus. she was too young. so told her we will play a game and we make big long kababs out of the rice...and one by one we dropped it in the western closet and flushed it. she shrieked...'ayye it looks like potty!' i told her...it also tastes like potty so thats why i am sending where it belongs. angulimal grew up and got lost somewr along the line of time and place...we all flew across to different places and are v far from those mindless days. but my sis n me still laugh over the bombino rice....

Saturday, 19 May 2007

if u can get away ... u r lucky

no that is not what i learnt in school. nor was that what my friends taught me. it was very recently that i came across a larger meaning to this simple phrase. it is not a meaningful way to get around things. but an old colleague who knew every bit of the new institution i work for...swears by the line everytime he elaborates an old case study to prove his point.

and yes it occurred to me as well that what he said was rt.

another colleague who comes late to office, leaves early, makes exist now and then on the cards of meeting a new client and comes back before the clock strikes 6pm...a flying visit...with tiered eyes...drooping shoulder...very symbolic of how hectic the day was and that the project is taking so much more than one can. he gets a raise...double that we get. y!? the toil and moil that gets seen. and us...the frustrated a** h**** gets seen no were...inspite of our creative juices flowing all over flooding every corner of this place, which runs on what falls out of our heads. y!? cos we don make faces. i mean the sad, tiered ones...and we seem comfortably perched on specially designed office chairs to keep out neck and eyes in place to glue well to the screens and think. obviousley with the pretext of chasing a goal which does not exist. or exists at a far reasonably easy measure that what is portrayed.

so when we seem sitting pretty, the other one is running around...who gets seen!?

ofcourse the squeeky wheel gets the oil.,

its the itch again

well i am no longer waiting for deepu's calls...as i know exactly when he must and must not call and we have found a routine over the lastone year of marriage. but the itch is as always to do something creative...which will transport me to a world were i think i belong. do i belong there!? no let me not let interruptions interrupt.

so the itch is rt now to write something. its more than a week and especially when i have done not much mailing and chatting my finger tips sprawl around to spill it all out. yes...what!? no i dont know. i am still finding. i told u. its just an itch.

tday in the et's web edition i just came acrosss the restless new generation which is fed by google like time chalance. to get a hang on everything possible. the fashionable tday is not just good looking or smart...but someone who can pronounce 'parkour' properly. i know u are just itched enuff to google for that word ;-)

life is full of itches but the best part is that there are no swelling or reddness...all gain...no pain. my random thoughts travel all around to itchy and not so itchy corners...posessed by one word, a drama, that unfolds when i am with my partner...the keyboard, who is as dear as deepu. infact i have deepu because of the key board. we wr chat friends first. thats how itch all began.

Friday, 4 May 2007

when life turns around

sometimes u have these 'enemies' who will go to any extend to harm you. most of them r wicked by nature. u cant help being nice to them...but u will be in a forced situation where you have to be nice. no matter what. then what happens. one fine day they drop the bomb(s) and u r out. the wicked intentions come true with the case that was well-built in the past from the differennt follies...situtaions that cud trap u. yes i am talking of office politics. it is a never ending story. each of us have come across something or the other in our careers...or are under-going one such situation rt now. no one is new to this age old topic. but as a 'blogittarian' it helps me release some steam...n it helps me feel better as i chip in a few words to no where.u know what, with me things hav turned around. a few people tried getting me out of sinc but their intentions din get heard. obviosly becos it was wicked. then what happened? life turnd around. and i am so happy that the political theories come to a cool close. i am relishing every second of my life. touch wood. i mean it from the bottom of my heart. i love u god!

did i talk to god ?

last few days i was in a trans...i generally engage in a monologue when i am seraching for some answrs and most oftenly i find answers myself...thanks to some reasoning...one leads in to the other and voila...u get the answer. but most of the time i wasn sure of the answer and then the process continues...on and on...but recently i have seen that it is someone else who is doing the second person's talking...most oftenly he doesn let me finish my thought. and i get the answer. is he god? like george almighty asks? is he really GOD?i have started lighting a candle every morning. and have recently started thanking god for every day that went by. is god stopping by me to check out my issues? i wonder.my sister says that when u r worried and if u open the bible...u will find the exact lines that uwanted to read. i always used to brush her aside saying 'it was a ht of coincidence'.off late my monologues have dissappeared. perhaps my questions are vanishing. now all the answers seem ready to come one after the other. i seriously dont know what to ask. now this person keeps answering all the time. where was he all this while?...see i din complete this question and he said the answer all ready. he says i was lost in the noise that i had inside and thus never bothered to listen to him. n that now its turn as the noise is over...so he will speak ... it seems. actually it is not any voice i hear...just that my thoughts only...i don feel like completing it. i got the answer

What Happened to Banyan Tree Kurtas?

Did not think twice. The way I launched my line without studying the basics of the apparel industry still gives me shivers. Staking my meagre savings of an year as a journalist… to collect loom samples powered by love for art and some faint memory of few classes at a fashion technology institute... that I left to attend to other priorities... I set start to have my own line of kurtas… with a small stitching unit of three part-time tailors who used random stitching machines at a tailoring avenue in Navi Mumbai. Banyan Tree Kurtas was born on a summer day in 2004… in looms collected over two years of backpack trips across the country.


A patachitra from Banyan Tree Kurta line… after many washes … clicked after 10 years in 2014
It all began from a random chat at work. The discussion was around some show on fashion TV. "They call it fashion but how is it even wearable".  Somebody answered, "But then ramp wear is not always prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear). They are just expressions of art and evolution as it happens in the fashion industry in that part of the world." To this another voice asked, "So why is all this happening only in Paris?" Somebody else responded, "Because the French have maximum stake in FTV."

The Mumbai desk had more fashion and cinema news. It was far from news desks in New Delhi. There the fashion news was a part of the page 3 team of fashionable journalists. Though high-street fashion was affordable and available everywhere in Mumbai, it was made out of sub-standard material which you could dispose after a wear or two. And shops that sold better quality wears were definitely not for the common Mumbaikars.


My first canon digicam saw the finished Banyan Tree Kurtas before anyone else.


My roommate and I modelled... and shot each other... in the finished products before it went online. Clearly we were neither models nor ace photographers.
Close up of a design on the stole… have no clue what happened to the last batch of these. Perhaps my grandmother's almirah's last compartment houses them still.

From my travels to various states in the country I was fascinated by the traditional art forms. I could not change the world around me but was seeking non-factory-made authentic art and its representation in my adaptations.

Patachitra, amrapali paintings, legends and gods in different moods… all took centre stage on the chest of my Kurtas. Hand-painted and embroidered… sometimes late into the night and lo! I had enough to announce to the world. A friend suggested a friend who may be keen to launch a website and experiment a bit with e-com. Voila! 

www.banyantreekurtas.com was online. 

This is how the website looked. Just like you search for lost items in the most unprovable corners in desperation… i found this link when I googled for a website that does not exist. And felt very lucky to have found it. Bit tacky to my eyes today, those days it used to make my eyes sparkle in a dream-come-true manner. Too many firsts need not always result in a blockbuster. Lessons on cutting, stitching, marketing, presenting, walking alone late night with bundles of clothes on either hands, keeping off without arguing large-scale business ideas of other business friends... everything had to be learnt to support the passion.

The kurtas sold like hot cakes. And some ordered for copies. Ideally at this point I must feel very good, but then that is when I realised I don't want to make copies and the genre am addressing to do not get the point. They did not get the reason why my looms came from across the states. It was not important of them to know why oriya silk kurta had patachitra. In fact it did not even matter if there was a silk called as tusser.

Some samples were left at offices of established boutique brands found in large shopping malls with detailed manuscript of each kurta's journey and mind. Big mistake. There was no copyright or revenue model in place. Found one of my patterns (cuts including design and hand painted art) copied… hanging in bulk in various sizes in its store... without permission from its creator (me). Stealing is an offence but nobody is scared of that really! This taught me that what catches the eye is what sold in India, not necessarily what goes behind it as such. I got the answer why art had no interest among it multi-billion populi who spent millions in multiplexes or its billionaires acquiring pride by building 13 storey houses in the middle of the city.

Lot of people wanted to promote the kurtas for free! My support system sucked. Lot of them wanted it as gifts and I was not seeing any returns. I couldn't put a proper price to various trips for eligible material or my man hours in research and development… as well as art creation. I could not crib because anyone I spoke to would ask 'what my problem was despite a great job, youth and no responsibilities'. I had no answers than wonder what made them truly happy and feel bad sometimes or be completely frustrated.


Happy costumers and friends sent pictures wearing the kurtas on festivals like Diwali. This one is dated 11/8/2005 sent by a dear friend.
Soon my ATM slips showed balance nearing an all time drop. Nothing or nobody could stop me from going broke. It was another first. The lesson learnt under the banyan tree venture has been priceless… it has helped me bridge better relationships… find like-minded-innovative-creative-friends… a network that believed in independent life lives on their own terms etc. 

For all valid reasons BTK did not take off as a successful business in 2004… but am happy people loved the kurtas. It was also the first time I allowed myself the popular belief - that it is better to do a mistake than do nothing!

To those who asked how I find the time to do all this… I mean continue to do beautiful mistakes I had an answer those days - if career is what helps you earn then your calling is where you spend it. And to those who din't ask in appreciation or ask why the hell am I doing so many things I satisfied them by smiley icons because my face won't make so many wonderful gestures even if I tried ;)

unwanted socialism

hey i am not an extrovert!? or am i?hav never been able to figure out this. but i am qt happy the way i am. sometimes though, it is tough, an image can always be a problem.my star sign claims that i am an outgoing person. that iam...i love going out. meeting people. getting attention. but i hav reservations. well that somehow squeezes me into the larger genre of introverts...who have som any other complications in life.i clearly feel that ia m not an introvert either.what am i!?i though as much and more even bfore i turned 18...i wanted to write a book. not on myself...but on the findings i cherish as absolutely my own...from my life...u know simple observations.but it was amma who said. wait till u r 40!...40!? thats still so far. but i found some stupid reason to hold back my creative juices. i am lucky i did. i didn want criticm and disection of everything taht i penned down. it wud hav shattered my peace of mind...pace in career...every wr. especially because i see socialising as a need of mere existence...not that i don have true friends...but sometimes u have to talk just to get heard...

ac rooms and toilet rollsbeing

being in dubai is all and not about airconditioned chambers and toilet tissuesit is not easy for many of us to lead a sweaty smelly street life all life long. and then we choose to step into dubai. for airconditioned chambers and toilet tissues. no its not a joke. finally it all adds up to these two. perdominantly these two. the living space and the lifestyle in a nutshell doesnt go far beyond these two objects here.but we warned, though i might sound sarcastic...the two are one of a kind and are quite addictive by nature.when u fly back home, to india...you cannor live without the two - ac rooms and tissues rolls - v non-planet friendly. that is what we finally take bk with us from this land of ac and tissue rolls

eye contact

"that is why i dont make eye contact with any men here," sweared a collegue who was in utter disgust after another revealed some office gossip. apparently she belived, like a lot of indians, that 'indian servitude has colonial roots' and that the way people behaved even tday has something to reflect from the past. well it sounded true to me. or else why would asians be happy to associate with the white skinned cold westerners. if u r genuine buddies it was understandable...but talking just to make a connection is silly, right?so the eye contact means a lot more than just connecting or ackowledging the other person's presence. here we were talking about why asian women over do it - with men of the whiter race. "they feel happy with the very thought that they are liked". well that was too much me to take. i defended with whatever i got. but i stood no chance to win the debate as truely there we examples around who cud let down my mere or outdated citings.

mid week madness

yes sometimes its like that. especially on tuesdays. just another day to go and thrusday comes...which is the week end. weekend starts on thrusday evening itself. that is the whole point. the inspiration. friday is the day to sleep. saturday has no deadlines. while u get ready for the next week to roll by, u know u need not rush through the chores.u can relax and chose ur pace to get things done. and sunday - the week begins. but for the rest fo the world. sunday is sunday. so sunday still holds that magic. though u hav deadlines and offcial mails to answer on sunday. monday is truely monday. it is a week day. and everyone is working. no time to idle. its monday. monday blues set in and go without ur notice...and then. its tuesday. just another day to go and then its thursday. see how easily we skip the wednesday. does it exist at all!? so u can imagine what it is like to be on a tuesday. the tuesday situation is so typical of lovers who plan to get married after a couple of months. there is some spice and restlessness...which i cant explain more. u out to be here on my seat. living my life in duabi...and u will nod a yes to my ambling thoughts.
lets try n enjoy the grind till it lasts... enjoy the brk till it lasts. wadelz!

estranged

that was a painful word for me to deal all this while. cos of witnessing close relations and blood-lines fade off with poor management or pr skills.

tday i feel liberated all of a sudden though i hav almost estranged someone i thought was really close.

the day did not start off on a grt note. i made an angry call early this morning. definitely ruined the guy's day-perhaps his whole week-as it is a monday. but i had solid reasons. this close friend who is more than a brother to someone, suddenly has turned cold, to one and all. no one knows why!

life and times what else should one say. but i was not willing to give up. i asked what the matter was. he was a happy man who wanted to know when we wr arriving for his wedding. did he really want us around?

off late he never did made any attempt to keep in touch. we had to believe that he has changed - for whatever has changed him this way.

i donno y i called this man. blasted him for years of obscure silence. i was so disappointed - i don recollect what i said and i did not. i had armed myself the mighty reason of a bygone friendship. his thoughtful excuses wr abrupt - there was no more connection - i realised painfully that we wr nw strangers.

let dwn totally... with no more words... time or energy to bear with him - i resigned to fate. this time unhurt and with a liberated feeling. to demand anything out of old ties is not fair - i understood hesitantly. learnt it the hard way.