Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Nenapinangala, a book I read

Sometime back, I casually asked my colleague Sunil N, 'what's up for the weekend?'
He said he's attending something special, a book launch! And thanks to him, I got a copy of the book Nenapinangala.

The book is about late Ramesh Pattar, who was a popular government official, living true to 'Government's Work is God's Work'. Common people loved him.
Apart from serving the people through various positions he held, he also indulged in literature, writing plays, poems & stories which show his dynamic personality.
Coming from a middle class family, working his way up on his own, having experienced village life from close quarters, his writings reflect his social consciousness.

After he passed away, son Ravindra Pattar who loves his father immensely collected all his writings, brought out as a book along with photographs & opinions.
Right from the cover page design, to layout & content, just like Ramesh Pattar's life & his son's love for him, the book is special.
Here is the website

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs: Hero, Inspiration. Thanks, RIP.

Steve Jobs in Videos

The Commercial
Introducing the Macintosh

1997: After coming back to the ailing Apple
Think Different

2001: iPod

2005: After the surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004
Stanford Commencement Address

2007: iPhone

2010: iPad

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Magic Wand

During college days I too believed that one day we will become a great nation from a developing country, soon.
After that phase of 'I can change the world' comes the reality in every common man's life, of being a part of society & system to make a living :P
I had to start learning to live with the harsh reality of, everyday fight for basic necessities, our lack of discipline & cleanliness and our general lack of awareness & interest or the will to change the system. Without realizing, I was slowly being sucked into the vicious circle of 'chalta hai', 'we are like this only'.
As terrorism & corruption grew we remained apathetic.
Doubts started creeping in, 'will India ever be a developed country'?
Engine of India's growth, the middle class, was simply detached or indifferent, seemingly happy with the status quo.

But past few days have been refreshingly different.
As Anna, epitome of a common man, set out to cleanse the system, the middle class awakened, shook the rust off hearts & dusted off the souls and responded in a manner that befits the land of Gandhi.
The floodgates opened & people warmed up to Anna from their frozen state, pouring into the streets to protest peacefully.
I think all that we needed to come out of inertia, was just a right leader.
The Jan Lokpal Bill per se may not eradicate corruption. (I partially agree with the anti-Anna (pseudo?) intellectuals on this. But the movement is not just about marching to the Jan Lokpal Bill destination. I believe, the long journey has just begun)

The common man was woken up & that's enough to restore my hope & faith.
And Mr. Prime Minister, Anna has the magic wand.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

A night, when India turned into a party hall with 1.2 billion people

Yes, number one in Tests, first T20 world-cup, but deep down every Indian wanted this one, for 28 years.
And when it came, it came in some style, with Indian captain triggering the celebrations by blasting one into the crowd.

And the celebration in streets was like nothing we had ever seen before!

As we hit the road at midnight, opening highlight was an uncle parading his entire family, standing through sun roof & windows on his SUV, complete with flags & tricolor on face & screams of joy!
And then while filling petrol, we started realizing the magnitude of it all.
Long queue in the petrol bunk but no one in a hurry, people screaming slogans, loud music from a car & everyone swaying to it, party in a petrol bunk!
Celebrating all along with people on road as we neared the MG Road Bangalore, it was an unbelievable sight.
People riding on the top of vehicles, in the boot, sitting on windows, hi-fives, chanting 'Indiaa India', honking the same tune, waving flags, everyone expressing the overwhelming happiness in their own way. Each one seemed to have just realized a childhood dream.

Banners & bats, songs & dance, young & old, men & women...highlight was all of them taking turns to use the barricades in the road side as musical instrument & breaking into a impromptu jig with strangers, hugging each other and then moving ahead!
It was surreal.
Everyone had turned into a kid who just got his or her favorite toy.
Even with all mayhem, with policemen quietly watching, things were so great and there was so much happiness in air that even MG would have nodded from up above.

In the most successful ICC event ever (Inaugurated by Sehwag with a Four, ended by Dhoni with a Six!), India's journey had some awesome moments.
A tie with the entertainers of the world-cup England.
A ferocious opening assault from the big two, Sachin & Sehwag on the great SA pacers before the mind melt in the end.
And raising the game to different level in knockout stages especially with fielding from a team never known for it's athleticism!

In the quarterfinal, magnificence of Ponting & Brett Lee's fight. And then Yuvraj Singh turning a king again, slaying the demons of 2003.

The high voltage, semi-final with Pakistan,so spectacular that it made all the pre match hype look like, understatement!
A team effort to the core, with even much maligned Nehra & Munaf rising to the occasion with Bhajji's timely strike and Zaheer Khan leading the pack with sage like calm to overcome Pak with ruthless efficiency. Sehwag cameo at the top was the highlight.
Well, not to forget Afridi's dignity in defeat.

Every time, the tough time came, a hero rose for India, like we had read in fables!
And in the match worthy of final, where Mahela's class shone though, chasing 274, at 31/2 we really needed a hero.
And it was gutsy Gambir who put his hands up first looking possessed.
And when Kohli departed, out came the out of form, short of runs, Indian captain (the man surely has balls), ahead of Yuvraj, as if to announce 'I am here to take the bull by horns'.
And boy, he then went on to play what they call a 'Captains Innings'. Period.

Next day as it all started sinking in, it was stirring to see the footages of Anil Kumble being handed over the cup by Sachin, for we need to salute him & the fine men like Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman & Srinath, for being a part of the team which laid the foundation to this day.

When the man who carried the hopes of more than billion hearts for more than two decades, held his most coveted trophy aloft, every Indian in the world would have been smiling, content, proud & misty-eyed.

They say, life is about moments that take your breath away.
All the above, as I witnessed magic happen, is stored in my memory forever as a little private video.
I am sure everyone has his or her own :-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


(An attempt at 55 word fiction)

‘Inspector, my wife works as maid and has not returned’
‘You know the house?’
‘Yes, though I never went inside’.
No answer at the door, on pushing, it opens to darkness!
Inspector ’Light’
There lies body of a female!
‘You are under arrest’, says the Inspector, as the correct switch was pressed on first attempt!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Killer Elephant!

Three men were strolling merrily that night.
They had a good dinner & drink. One among them had got engaged & were walking back from that function.
Suddenly, out of the thick dark forest, emerged an elephant, onto the moon lit mud road catching them unaware.
It grabbed one with its trunk, flung him into the drain beside!
Elephant threw the other one up & as the body hit the ground, stepped on him, killing violently!
It heard the moaning of the one in drain & killed him too.
The third one ran & saved his life to tell the sorry tale.
An occasion of joy in the village had turned into mourning the next day.
The elephant had escaped from Circus.
It had lost one of the tusks to its antics. One day it killed the mahout & ran into the Malenadu forest.
Thus a terror was born in the neighboring villages!
Once in a while it would appear out of nowhere causing havoc, killing people, destroying houses & crops.
It had immense hatred for humans, must be due to the torture it underwent in circus days.
It disliked dogs and fire as well.
One day enraged by a barking dog, it entered a house in the village, taking the dislodged roof on its back to a distance!
It had killed around 10 people in the surroundings.
People in the villages started panicking.
And in the Malenadu village region the houses were a km apart.
There was only one mud road through village and if a vehicle passed by it was a sight/news.
Electricity or telephones were science fiction.
By night, lamps kept inside the house, dogs tied & doors closed, villagers lived in fear.
Rice being the main crop in those days, villages were full of paddy fields and few coconut trees, both prone to elephant attack.
Government finally woke up to the loss of lives & crop, to announce Rs 10,000 and a rifle as prize for killing the rogue elephant.
But in those days of license raj only two people in the village had licensed gun!
For few days, some government officers were roaming around in a jeep with guns but to no avail.
It was dusk when people came running to me, terrified by the elephant!
As they were explaining me how and where they saw the elephant, few others got hold of Padmayya, the other one who had a licensed gun in the village.
I had a Game King - 12 Bore Dbbl Gun.
The cartridges came with different number of lead shots (Single Ball, Double Balls, LG (9), SG, BB...and so on) with the total weight of the lead in a cartridge being same.
I loaded the cartridge with a single lead shot & had backup cartridges in pocket.
Padmayya's gun wouldn’t take a readymade cartridge, the chamber had to be filled with bullet, gunpowder and primer for each shot, entire process taking more than a minute for even the quickest to reload!
Quickly we were set.
Two people with guns, and another with a torch.
The elephant was located in the paddy field, a km away.
Loss of lives, crops & helplessness had enraged us.
Our strategy was to go to the nearest safe distance and fire simultaneously at the elephant.
We had to be careful, while walking through the narrow path through forest, with chances of facing snakes & other wild animals.
We hurried to the paddy field.
It was near full Moon. Standing at a height in a corner, we could clearly see the elephant, right in the center of the field.
It was a sight, a wild untamed elephant in all its glory!
The elephant was collecting a bunch with its trunk, hitting to its leg to get rid of mud from rice plants & eating merrily.
Even with a loaded gun, the sight of the ferocious killer elephant would send shivers down the spine of the bravest!
Luckily it didn't seem to notice us.
We took position.
After a moment, we passed the signal to each other silently.
I pulled the trigger & then Padmayya, 'click, bang' almost simultaneously!
In seconds, I reloaded the gun with a twin lead shot cartridge & shot again.
The sound of gunshots ripped through the silence of the village.
The elephant rose on its hind feet & let out a roar, echoing in the night!
And then it ran madly, with blood dripping.
It got into the nearby river, with boulders & water in the river splattering all over and disappeared into the forest.

It was only the following day we could locate the elephant.
Next day when the quarry workers, some distance away, went near riverside with thick bamboo cover, found the elephant lying in mud, which promptly got up to chase them!
It was there for three days.
And then it was not seen in the vicinity for quite some time.
- As narrated by my late grandfather around 15 years back & this is my recollection with inputs from those who had heard the story too.
- The elephant died, a while later, holding the electricity line with its trunk near NH 48.
- It was in the 1970s.
- And in the Malenadu village region the houses still are a km apart.