Friday, October 30, 2009

Mera Shahar

नींद से कहीं दूर
मिलती थी वोह
अकेले, चुप-चाप.

इस बार का बादल पिला नहीं
लाल होगा
कहा था
रात के अँधेरे में.

मेरा शहर झलकता हर बार
उसकी अधखुली आँखों से
नींद में चौंधियाये
और भी अच्छे लगते
हलके भूरे.

सुनहली धूप चमचमाती
नदी की चादर
अक्सर ओढ़ती,
बुदबुदाती मंत्र.
और फिर गुम हो जाती
अनंत के सफ़र में.

मेरा शहर लौटता
दबे पाव, पिछले आंगन में.

शहर से बहुत दूर
होती शहर की बातचीत
उसमें बीतता बचपन और बुढापा
कभी माँ दीखती टहलती पहचाने रास्तों में
कभी सीमा अब अपने बच्चों को स्कूल भेजती.

इतने दूर से आवाज़
नहीं पहुचती थी
घर के काई लगे आँगन में.
माँ कैसे बुनेगी गीत सोहर के?
कैसे कहेगी किस्से?
गाएगी वोह सरे गीत जो भेजती हूँ
मैं इस सुदूर शहर से...
The first key to writing is to write & not to think. Sometimes the simple rythm of typing gets us from page 1 to page 2, & when you begin to feel your own words, start typing them. That's how your novel begins...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Something Interesting

'Fat clubs' thriving in America

American nightclubs catering specifically for fat people are proving a hit with plus-sized partygoers looking for acceptance.

Club Bounce in Long Beach, California.  The club is specifically aimed at attracting overweight individuals: 'Fat clubs' open in America
Club Bounce in Long Beach, California. The club is specifically aimed at attracting overweight individuals Photo: AP
Venues like Club Bounce and The Butterfly Lounge in California are aimed at people who may be made to feel unwelcome at certain fashionable nightspots because of their size.
Such clubs are a relatively new development, with a handful scattered across California, mainly in coastal cities such as San Diego and San Francisco.

She said: "I don't think fat is a bad word any more. I think a lot of people embrace it now.Lisa Marie Garbo, who opened Club Bounce five years ago, said she did it for herself and others who were tired of being "the only fat girl at the local nightclub".
"I'm not a gain-weight advocate or anything like that. My message to people is live your life no matter what size you are."
Club Bounce, with a capacity of 400, attracts relatively equal numbers of men and women. However, while about three-quarters of the women tend to be heavy, only a quarter of the men are.
The existence of such venues has raised healthquestions in a country where, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-third of adults are already obese.
But Lynn McAfe, of the Council On Size and Weight Discrimination, said: "It's nice to have a place to go where you can do a little flirting and maybe bring your thin sister or somebody from work who isn't fat, and they'll be in your world for a while."
"That's an amazing experience for a lot of people who aren't fat, to spend a day or night in a world of fat people."
Vanessa Gray, a Club Bounce customer, added: "When you're not what they consider ideal and you're out there trying to get your dance on at those other places, you get the looks, the stares. But not here. Everything's accepted here."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 I took the free personality test!""Has a strong desire to contribute and influence o..."
Click here to read the rest of the results.

Unbelievable If This Is True

Unable to attract even a single girl, frustrated man sues Axe

New Delhi. In what could prove to be a major marketing and legal embarrassment for Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), a 26-year-old man has filed a case against the FMCG company, which owns the Axe brand of men grooming products, for ‘cheating’ and causing him ‘mental suffering’. The plaintiff has cited his failure to attract any girl at all even though he’s been using Axe products for over seven years now. Axe advertisements suggest that the products help men in instantly attracting women.

Vaibhav Bedi, the petitioner, also surrendered all his used, unused and half-used deodorant sprays, perfume sticks and roll-ons, anti-perspirants, aftershaves, body washes, shampoos, and hair gels to the court, and demanded a laboratory test of the products and narcotics test of the brand managers of Axe. Vaibhav was pushed to take this step when his bai (maid) beat him with a broom when he tried to impress her by appearing naked in front of her after applying all the Axe products. cid:image010.gif@01CA2192.E9691400

No girl ever asked Vaibhav to call her

No girl ever asked Vaibhav to call her

“Where the Hell is Axe effect? I’ve been waiting for it for over seven years. Right from my college to now in my office, no girl ever agreed to even go out for a tea or coffee with me, even though I’m sure they could smell my perfumes, deodorants and aftershaves. I always applied them in abundance to make sure the girls get turned on as they show in the television. Finally I thought I’d try to impress my lonely bai who had an ugly fight with her husband and was living alone for over a year. Axe effect my foot!” Vaibhav expressed his unhappiness.

Vaibhav claims that he had been using all the Axe products as per the company’s instructions even since he first bought them. He argued that if he couldn’t experience the Axe effect despite using the products as directed, either the company was making false claims or selling fake products.

“I had always stored them in cool and dry place, and kept them away from direct light or heat. I’d always use a ruler before applying the spray and make sure that the distance between the nozzle and my armpit was at least 15 centimeters. I’d do everything they told. I even beat up my 5-year-old nephew for coming near my closet, as they had instructed it to keep away from children’s reach. And yet, all I get is a broom beating from my ugly bai.” Vaibhav expressed his frustration.

Vaibhav claims that he had to do go a lot of mental suffering and public humiliation due to the lack of Axe effect and wants HUL to compensate him for this agony. An advocate in Karkardooma court, who happened to mistake Vaibhav for some deodorant vendor when he entered the court premises with all the bottles, has now offered to take up his case in the court. HUL has been served a legal notice in this regard.

HUL has officially declined to comment on the case citing the subject to be sub judice, but our sources inform that the company was worried over the possible outcomes of the case. The company might argue that Vaibhav was hopelessly unattractive and unintelligent and didn’t possess the bare minimum requirements for the Axe effect to take place. Officially HUL has not issued any statement, but legal experts believe that HUL could have tough time convincing the court.

“HUL might be tempted to take that line of argument, but it is very risky. There is no data to substantiate the supposition that unattractive and unintelligent men don’t attract women. In fact some of the best looking women have been known to marry and date absolutely ghoulish guys. I’d suggest that the company settles this issue out of court.” noted lawyer Ram Jhoothmalani said.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

I Like Somerset Maugham

As always, I caught up late with Maugham. Had read a very few short stories earlier when KT & Roshni's enthusiasm for Maugham had made me curious & they insisted on me reading them. But had dropped the thick book out of tediousness on my part rather than the stories being uniteresting. That was almost 2 years back. Since then had been planning on buying his books.

I think last month on a sudden book shopping spree with the Meister went to Walden and bought a couple of Maughm. Have finished reading Cakes & Ales (the book by which Maughm wanted to be remembered) & The Moon & Sixpence. Loved Cakes & Ales but I am mesmerized by The Moon & Sixpence. Its one of the best books I have read. The narrative is explicitly simple that you fall in love with it. The book is very Maughm with his matter of fact narration & his sardonic sentences. His wit is unabashed & his style un-compared. The Moon & Sixpence is a fragmentary documentation inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin (leading post impressionist painter) who was believed to have left his wife & children on a mere whim that he wanted to paint, at a time when he knew hardly how to hold a paint brush. The way Maughm describes the protagonist Charles Strickland, drawing from Paul Gauguin's personality, is exquisite & grand. He lingers on the most annoying of Gauguin's characteristics but without any hint of moral or social judgement (atleast I could not find any) and yet makes the readers like him. He intervenes as the author when he has something more than Strickland to talk about, his notes, his observations, or even to mention why he chose a particular way of telling the facts he had about Ganguin. His narrative has a very objective POV, but at the same time we know he is empathizing and understanding Gauguin's peculiar ways.

I have read a couple more documented biographies, even Marquez's 'Clandestine in Chile' written on similar lines, but Maugham style in The Moon & Sixpence is un-believable. I am completely in love with the book & would recommend it to anyone without blinking once. Some excerpts from the book below which might not show all that I wrote above but these are lines which struck home...

"There is no cruelty greater than a woman's to a man who loves her & whom she does not love; she has no kindness then, no tolerance even, she has only an insane irritation."

There were a lot more that I wanted to give here from the book, but being in office without the book makes it a little difficult. Would do it later when I re-read the book at leisure & mark some lines to share.

My manager beckons us for a team-meeting now...will continue later.

P.S.- The flow if broken can't come back after some exciting news at work-front. Back from the meeting - It was just announced that I would be travelling to the US next month for 5-6 weeks :) what fun!!!