"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be." - Patanjali

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The train ride to Rameshwaram

This is one ride I would highly recommend. The train leaves Chennai at 830 in the evening, and reaches Rameshwaram by 1 the next afternoon. Despite the length of the journey, the last hour will be one of the most spectacular rides experiencable!

90min out of Rameshwaram you glimpse the ocean on one side. The smell of stale fish is quite prevalent, especially due to the recent floods and hurricane. As you keep going the sea becomes more constant, until it is right next to the tracks. You could jump from the train into the Bay of Bengal. Rameshawaram is an island connected to the mainland by initially rail and then some years later, by road. As you reach the final point of the mainland, clear blue water apprears on both sides - the train is still on solid land, but there's space for nothing else. Mainland India thins out and before you know it, you're on a bridge. Its an awesome sight and no words can do justice to it. Be there to experience it.

Been a while...

Ok, so this is my first post in about a month, and i'm hangin out in Aurangabad at Sify internet cafe. The last month has gone quite quickly, and I'll hardly be surprised if teh next few months flies past just as quick.

As a quick summary, this is where I've been in the past month: colombo, chennai, rameshwaram, madurai, kanyakumari, trivandrum, bombay and now aurangabad.

So I'll touch on a few of the highlights of teh past month...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The past (fast) week

Its hard to believe that I've been here almost a week. Time has really flown

Actually we hit the ground running, so three hasn't been much down time
since I left. The flight itself was quite boring. Watched a total of 3
movies, which I can't even remember - thats how memorable they were! The
KL-Bangalore leg was the worse (than Sydney-KL), I think only becasue sleep
was at a premium and the quality of the service and amenities quite low.

In any case we made it unscathed, except for some lack of sleep. The first
thing I noticed was that even in the early morning, while traffic was scarce
the drive still never reached past 60kph. Surprising, but then I guess the
traffic is never used to travelling at anything past that, so despite the
chance, cars still prefer to crawl.

On Monday morning, my first course of business was to get my sim. To obtain
a sim one needs offical proff of a local address, and a photo and so on. Due
to that, my cousin now has about 3 or 4 sims under his name, but doesn't
keep a phone!

Its actually been raining here ever since we landed. The norm is for clear
skies and pleasant weather, but in the evenings we actually need to wear
trackies to survive! Its very close to a Sydney autumn. The worst thing,
though is the rain. Or rather drizzle. It starts and stops whenever, and due
to the great state of the roads, most places are afflicted by slush and

The roads actually are really bad. The water makes it worse. When its good
its real good, but otherwise the place is a mess. To add to the problem,
planning is a mess, and "encroachment" also plays a part. The end result is
litigation to resolve the crisis, even to build or repair a small inside

We visited Srirangapatnam on Wednesday (? - days are a mush!). We have a
family home there, dating back a coupl of hundred years, which is always a
great place to visit. The town used to be within the fort of kings such as
Haider Ali and Tippu Sultan. It lies next to the Cauvery River and is quite
famous for the Ranganathaswamy Temple.

Anyways, also did some shopping and so on, and things for the wedding are in
full swing.

Hopefully will be able to post some pics later...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

my ph no

+91 9945 322 908

Sunday, November 20, 2005

This is it...

So the end and the beginning is here...I'm off...

Don't really have much else to say...just look for random stuff and pics...and leave comments...


Monday, November 07, 2005

So where will I be?

I thought initially, that I would have a little map of India and when you click on a city or town, then you can find the day I may be there....but thats a little to techie for my liking, and I don't really have the time to research and look into it and develop it etc...

So you'll have to suffice for the cheaper List of places and times. And manually look it up. So 20th century!

Here goes:

- land in Bangalore on the 20th of Nov

- Sunita & Judge get married on the 5th
- fly Colombo on the 9th for a reception on the 10th
- fly out of Colombo on 0345 flight to Chennai for Mahesh and Shruti's wedding
- 11th night, Rahul and I catch the Sethu Express to Rameshwaram
- 13th we leave for Kanyakumari
- 15th we leave KK for Mumbai...

We set up camp here for a couple of weeks, after which I train it to Ahmedabad, and the rest of the fam leave for Bangalore on the way back home.

- The rough sketch so far looks as though I'll be spending Jan around Gujurat and Rajasthan. I'm not certain of dates although it may be that I spend two weeks in each state.

February, March & April
- By the start of Feb I want to be in Sidhbari, tucking in to a hot chai (they are unbelieveable up there!!)
- During this time, I hope to see a couple of places on tours people maybe doing but I highly doubt it. I'll settle for anything.

May & June
- If you thought the itinerary previous to this was spaced out, then this is more so. All I know is I want to cover the north, right through to Srinagar (sounds better, and less terrifying than mentioning Kashmir), Amritsar, Chardham, Agra, Khajurao, Varanasi, Konark and Kerala...


- Home?
- Sounds hectic I know, but will definately be worth the experience. i guess stay tuned for any updates later on.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

The stars are aligning

A nice rant on the Australia v Uruguay play off by (my mate) Andrew Dahdal...

Well my Friends,

Its been a week of intrigue.

First - Uruguan officials complained about the fact that a trio of belgium refs would be officiating the return leg in sydney, as this might be biased because belgium is neighbours with Holland - the nationality of coach Guus hiddink - bit of stretch. FIFA flately refused to hear anything about it!!! Good on you FIFA, you uncorruptable icon of all that is fair and just.

Well, as this complaint was being made a certain spanish ref sent off 2 players from a turkich club fenabache in the UEFA Cup. This same spansih ref was meant to ref the Turkey/Switzerland world cap playoff in 2 weeks. "Fearing for his safety" FIFA decided to switch his game, appointing the Spanish refs to the Australia/Uruguay Games. For those who dont know THE LANGUAGE OF URUGUAY IS SPANISH!!!!!!!!!! If its biased to have refs from countries that neighbour coaches countries.....how about refs that share direct lingual and cultural ties with one of the teams. In the off field battle Urugay has out witted us again. FIFA is addiment that they have not made the decision based on any Uruguan pressure or requests. Fucking FIFA corrupt bastards. The only reason Australia has to be in a playoff in the first place is because south America didnt like losing half a spot in the qualifiers.....What about CONCACAF (Nth and central America) they get 3 and a half spots for like 7 teams!!!!! - that means we will have either trinidad and tobago or Bahrain in the world cup but potentially not Australia or Uruguay. GO FIGURE!!!

In more Uruguian treachery - they have requested for a second time that the kick of time for the first leg be changed again. They first went from 5pm to 9pm in hope of getting Australia to miss their return flight to Sydney - we'll MR John ONeil and his corporate buddies are on top of it. QANTAS has agreed to charter a flight for the socceroos out of Montevideo shortly after the end of the match. About time corportate Australia started to pull its own weight (yeah i know its all good PR for QANTAS and im helping the whole thing by plugging them - but im just glad!). Well this ploy is perhaps going to backfire. Urguay is now struggling to find a flight to sydney after the game and they want to change the match back to 5pm. Ofcourse FIFA wont allow it. Or will theyu. Shit i wouldnt be suprised if Australia shows up to the Stadio Centario and are told sorry u missed the game and you lost 6-2 - you better hurry up the first half has alreay kicked off in sydney.....stoopid FIFA.

Australia has set up base in Argentina. Argentina being the arch nemisis of Uruguy they were more than happy to oblige. It kind of reminds me of Rocky 3 where Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers - the former enemy of rocky - klike argentina in 93 for australia) turns around and helps their former foe to overcome an even dirtier and more insiduious villian.

Looking at the form Guide - Viduka has hit top gear with a double for Borough in the UEFA cup 3-1 win over a Ukrainian opponent. KEwel is making some appearances for Liverpool and was said to have set up a goal for Cisse in the Champions league - although on seeing it - it looked more like a miskick - we'll take anything as long as it leads to a goal against.

As for Uruguay - Diego Forlan has ripped a calf muslce and is said to miss the playoffs. i was so happy when i heard that - and not even feeling guilty for being happy and a fellow humans misfortune - i messaged every friend i could to rejoice. Them my brother told me that ive been suckered.....do we all remember Dario Silva's supposed injury for the first leg last time - then he shat on us the in the second leg - could a similar conspiracy be brewing here. The smart money is on Forlan making a miraculous recovery for the second leg in sydney. Nevertheless his club is the one that announced his injury and even said that he might not be available even for the Man U champions league game they have on the 22nd. Go Figure?! I had another one of my Urugauy dreams last night......same as some of my friends and family have been having ......in this one i saw Guus as a casual teacher at my old school and i rushed over to him and he thought i wanted to shake his hand but i slapped it away and screamed something like "DONT YOU KNOW FORLAN IS FAKING"......needless to say i had to dragged away from him and woke up a bit unsettled.

All in all the stars are slowly aligning .......lets home the southern cross is able to out shine a brilliant Uruguanian sun!!!!

Stay tuned.......

Can't wait.

Festival of Lights, Parade of Sweets

The NY Times on the delights of Diwali...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

This whole last week

This whole last week has been quite random...on Monday, I was back till 8, working my ass of, which was great, cos I got a lot done...Tuesday, I paid the price...I had a violent head ache and stayed home, to enjoy the Melbourne Cup on a 68cm pre-curser-to-the-plasma tv. I didn't even know whch horses I drew out of the sweep. The damn donkeys didn't even get anywhere near the top 3, and I think one even gave up well before the line and simply trotted home.

That day was also Diwali. I did go to the Ashram for bhajans etc, and it was fun, cos its probably the last time I'll indulge myself at a puja there.

So then on Wednesday, my emotional roller coaster picked up again, only becasue I finally told the rest of the team of my resignation. I think everyone was like whatever, but quickly returned to a fake face of "Oh my God" etc after a couple of seconds. The entire reaction was quite underwhelming, and to be honest, I was preparing to hand out leaflets and have a seminar on my travels. Thats how I thought people would react, that they would be interested. From their point of view, I guess, this place has been a revloving door, so you know what another who's leaving, even though it may not be to another company. Still leaving.

So then, that reaction continued through till Thursday. By lunch on that day I had enough. I felt quite flat and highly unmotivated, so I thought screw this, and decided to take off some where. I went to the city, and started off at Dymocks on George, and that was really dead - they should probably start refurbish thier store and their image. In this day and age, when you have mega stores like Kinokuniya and Borders, the Dymocks and Angus & Robertsons of this world really have to sharpen their act.

So then, still seeking some inspiration to wake up in the morning, I headed of to Borders. See normally when I'm in such a mood, I could eat something nice, like oportos, or buy something or sit somewhere and take in a view etc. I need inspiration to get me going. Books are also a great source, especially, ones on architecture or interior designing, stuff that is done out of the ordinary, or even pictures. As you may know, I love pictrures, and especially of ordinary Indians - a face can tell you the story of a life time. But I hate routine, I hate doing stuff day in and day out, if I don't need to.

So Borders didn't do it for me, although it did get me closer to where I should have been, what would have given me the lift. A while back at Kinokuniya, I was browsing a through the travel pictorial books, and came across this one on Rajasthan. When one looks at colours, at creases in faces, at Turbans tied distinctly, and think this is their life, this is how they live, how they eat, how they interact, the mind goes into overdrive, imagining a person, a relation, a world, quite unique to one its ever been trained to adopt. Its lifts you from a slumber, gives you renewed hope and vigor, to fight on, to emabrace and accept what you have and be content.

This may all sound like romatic idealism, but its a mood, a frame, and I was back in it. I think, quietly, I've been there for a while now, just not able to express the idea, and in the process, have almost shunned a life I was once accostommed to. Infact I've become quite anti-social, feeling less confident infront of those I'm closest to, deflecting all their queries and living in a world of my own. On occassion I've joked, that in my mind, "I'm hangin out in Jaipur somewhere" but the trusth may not be too far.

I think I am in another world, doing my own thing, being my own anonymous person.

So anyways, Friday, was more of the same. While I did do some work and accomplised a few tasks, it was a waste and only felt like going home and veging out. Which I did, in front of a movie called The Recruit starring Al Pacino, and others. Good, twisted movie about a CIA recruitment drive to expose a mole. Or something. In between, I switched across to About a Boy on channel 10. Hugh Grant is awesome in this dead-pan role, and his character is full of character - he does Nothing for a living!

So then, following the movie, can Punk'd. I reckon Aston Kucher is gay, or is probably treated as a spoilt son by Demi Moore, so the host sucks but the pranks are good. Another great show on MTV is Pimp My Ride. Cars of ordinary kids are done up to reflect their persona. Nice.

Anyways, that brings me to today, and I've found out I can get Robin Hood Prince of Theieves from the Video Ezy at Wenty. Can't wait.

Monday, October 31, 2005


An extraordinary innings took place today in the picturesque city of Jaipur today. Chasing a difficult 299 set by Sri Lanka, India was carried to victory by a stunning kock by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He made 183 of only 145 balls, which included, 15 fours and 10 sixes. About two-thrids of his runs came with out having to run, and he was on the field for the entire duration of the game bar the first five balls of the Indian innings.



Firstly, happy Diwali to all.

Secondly, here is an article from the editorial pages of the Indian Express. It captures the mood of the moment and the spirit of the people. Below is a complete recitation:

Spirit of Diwali
Heinous acts of terror will not extinguish it

Over the years, Delhi has been the historical site of great violence. It has also been the natural target of those who wish to attack the idea of India. The three calibrated acts of mass murder that disturbed its Diwali and Id preparations on October 29 must necessarily be read as part of that continuum. Once this is understood, it becomes easier to examine these events more dispassionately and respond to them with the resolve, courage and action they demand.

The intention of the faceless perpetrators of these acts of terror were three-fold. First, to spread mass panic and fear among Delhiites. Terrorists, by making ordinary helpless and defenceless persons their victims, expose at once the brutality of their project and the cowardice that marks their moves. Second, to attack the democratic republic of India with the aim of weakening it. Third, to undermine its unity by pitting community against community at a time of heightened tension. In none of these intentions did the perpetrators of the recent outrage succeed. In that lies India’s victory. The people of Delhi, and its institutions, rose as one in the face of the assault. The man on the street rushed to rescue the injured and dying; fire brigade squads and hospital authorities worked indefatigably to mitigate suffering, the police succeeded in restoring calm quickly. Greatness is sometimes thrust on the most unlikely in apocalyptic moments. The bus driver who threw the explosive device out of the vehicle, hurting himself grievously but saving innumerable lives on the bus, or shopkeepers in the affected market areas who decided to go back to business the very next day because they did not want to give the perpetrators the satisfaction of having paralysed Delhi, these are the unsung heroes of the hour. Together they demonstrated that heinous acts of terror will not extinguish the lights and spirit of Diwali.

The inevitable question as to why the Capital was not adequately secured at a time of great vulnerability needs to be asked. Bali happened just the other day; London, just the other month. The presumption that Delhi will some how be spared such strikes is a dangerously flawed one in a country that witnessed the serial Bombay blasts of 1993. If that was an old story, how about the recent storming at Ayodhya? Or the Delhi cinema blasts some months ago? Or the recent spurt of attacks in J&K after the earthquake? How much more evidence does this country need that it is in the line of fire? The resolve of terrorists can only be defeated if we display an even greater resolve to defeat them.

Well said.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A space for hope

The norm for sport stars these days is to live a life of luxury and excess, dining in fine restaruants, holidays of the most exotic nature, and cars swimming in the latest technology.

So with that back ground it has heartening to read of some stars spending their off season in more meaningful pursuits, giving back to the community, despite having no obligation to do so.

The most famous Australian celebrity to do so has been Steve Waugh, whose work in India has raised headlines through out the cricketing world. It would be great to see many stars be a credit to themselves and their country by adopting more of these initiatives to level the playing field, and to provide hope to those less fortunate.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Banglores Woes

The second topic is with regrads to Bangalore, and how the city has failed to capitalise on the IT boom. The Express is running a series of reports on the problems plaguing the city and state, at whose heart, the issue of the Bangalore-Mysore expressway lies.

The project has been running for almost a decade now, and still has long way to go. It has been beset with legal challenges, accusations of land grabbing and gross impropriety by members of the government. In the mean time, other cities have picked up the baton, while Bangalore's advantage slips away.

The end is nigh?

Reading the Indian Express this evening, I came across a couple of articles which truly indicate the distance India has to go, in order to wipe out corruption and the part "influence" has to play in the running of soceity.

The first deals with Sourav Ganguly and the supposed end to his tenure in the one-day team. The article concludes with the following:

"Then again, there’s always that one man who can turn Indian cricket over with a single phone call—Jagmohan Dalmiya. But Dalmiya is caught up in a whirlpool of court cases and the crucial BCCI elections scheduled in November. If he wins, he’ll be back in the middle, batting for his favourite player. If he loses, the Ganguly chapter is well and truly over."

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Quite chilling

On a serious note, I came across this site and its given me the creeps. Apart from the "progress" being made in Iraq, the number of people, both military and civillian, who have lost their lives is reason enough for the United States to fast track an exit strategy out of the Middle East.

Many of the faces belong to bodies younger than mine, or only slightly older. All of these people would have been like me - they have ambition, they want to make something of their lives, to serve their country, and all they have served in is a point less occupation, which more and more seems like Vietnam, and later the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The others, 30 plus, must have left behind wives, children, parents, siblings...what a tragedy.

Stupid funny?

...only on Non-Sequitor

My fav pic atm...

...taken in China by Chromasia.

(view it full size for the total effect!)

Competition in the TV world

Ordinarily competition is between companies who are after increased consumers for their airlines or retail stores. Here is an example of its use in the global television industry.

Cynics (such as me) may even suggest that this is a way to influence the popular Islamic masses by propogating the messages in a form that is easily understood, to head off, firstly, any signs of ignorance, and secondly, to send a Western point of view on many issues that would ordinarily be a free hit to those sympathiesers of the Islamic cause.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Little Something About...Ben S. Bernanke

...the govenor-elect of the Fed Reserve and also the new Worlds Most Powerful Man.

A nice, but brief article on the man in the NY Times.

Rosa Lee Park

All news agencies the world over are covering the death of Rosa Lee Parks. Rosa Parks was the inspiration behind Martin Luther King's civil rights movement, using her experience on bus in Montgomery, Alabama as motivation to achieve parity amongst all races of people in the United States.

In fact she refused to move to the end of the bus for a white passenger. Reverand Jesse Jackson eulogises:

"History knocked on her door, and with quiet courage she answered with non-negotiable dignity," Jackson said. "Her light in darkness illuminated the path for the majestic leadership of Dr. King. Together, they changed the course of American and world history."

God is back

Guess who's back?

An inexperienced Indian team put up a better than expected showing against a more experienced and talented Sri Lankan team. In the end India won my a massive 152 runs.

Anand Vasu decribes Sachin on cricinfo:

You would scarcely have believed it has been six months and eight days since Tendulkar had a hit in international cricket. More recently, he went under the surgeon's knife and suffered a rehabilitation period so debilitating that he could not pick up a cricket bat for the best part of it. There are few more cruel things you can do to Tendulkar than prohibit him from batting. The earliest indication came off just the second legal ball he faced - a fullish ball outside the off stump. Tendulkar reached for it a touch more thanhe would perhaps normally do, anxious to be back in the mix, and limed the ball through cover to the advertising hoardings in front of the Kimji-Phiroze Bilimoria Pavilion, where not one person was still seated. Then came a pick-up shot that could not be played by a man with one good hand - the ball sailed high for six over midwicket. A trademark on-drive, just about a push, raced past the bowler, and one journalist could not conceal his glee in the press box. "God is back."

Let normality return.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The state of our information

These days I rarely watch the evening news. Last night however I was home ana the TV was unoccupied. So I switched on Channel 9: the quality of journalism is far superior than the other commercial networks.

Leading the bulletin was the tragic news that celebrated rugby player Phil Kearns accidentally ran over his youngest daughter in the drive way of their Mosman home while driving a 4WD. Following this were stories on the latest hurricane of the coast of Florida (which included four league players being trapped in an underground carpark while deluged by rising waters); the perilious state of a young Australian in Singapore who is facing the death penalty for exporting drugs; and the (quite literal) rotund shape of people in the state of New South Wales.

That, of all these important stories, the episode of Kearns' calamity should headline the news, shows the level of tabloid journalism which afflicts the commercial networks. Its not to say that what happened was not sad, however, given the other events of the day, and in some case, the many more lives destroyed in fates administered by fellow members of the human race, the case of Kearns should have been relegated to the lower ranks of the news.

This case was not limited to Channel 9, but also to the Sun Herald, and its more respected broadsheet, the Sydney Morning Herald, where the case received the same level of prominence.

What does this point to? What does this say about society and its direction? Do we seek refuge in the fame of others? Are we unable to place importance where its due? Perhaps this is the result when even the Prime Minister of the country also makes mention of the tragedy in a press conference. His actions are slightly permissable given the nature of politics.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Red Fort...

...courtesy of Saad Akhtar

PS Looks even more incredible when viewed full size (click on the pic), you lose yourself, you immerse yourself as though you were there...

A change

So I had a post saying why I used the nic indianbookie. Well I decided to ditch it. Time to grow up and admit who I am!!!

So if you made it this far, you have the address...

A glimpse at the new Team India?

The potential of Greg Chappell outlined really well by Sandeep Dwivedi in "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Saturday, October 22, 2005


With anything of great magnitude, a measure of one's committment to the task can be what is given up to achieve it. I look at my situation, and see what I have gien up, what I am giving up today, and what I will be giving up in the next half year or so.

For the last five or six months, more often than not, I would be at work on a Sunday, plying away, by myself, all so I can charge double time (would I do it for anything less?) for those hours. I've effectively worked a six day week. I missed out on classes I could have gone to, time at home with the family, time with friends. In fact, I could have changed jobs, earnt more, started a "career", yada yada yada...

This afternoon I was at CK's place, and aftre biksha with the Brahmacharis, there was a camp meeting. Had I been around, this is one thing, I would almost be running. Similarly, theres the Intensive, and it would have been great being there. I will most certainly miss this place and all these people when I'm away.

The simple argument, though, is that I will be experiencing and doing so much more than what people ever get the chance to do. That I find it ok to stop my routine life for this time period and go on an adventure, is unique, and given the chance, almost everyone would do it. So I'm fortunate to be in this position. The only thing though, is that I could bottle up the events of my familial and friends lives, and keep it with me over there. Its selfish, for sure, but these are the reasons why I will come back.

So to all those with weddings, engagements, 21sts, I'm sorry I can't be there, but I assure you that I'll make up for it when I return. You can also live with the knowledge that I'm having the experience of a life time, and it takes such a thing to keep me away from you all....

Friday, October 21, 2005

Editing pics...

Recently, I put up a post on pictures and sites and blogs such as Chromasia, and Lonely Planet Images and so on.

Well, a constant dose of all that, and now I've started playing around with images, to see what I can get. I took a pic tonight, and I'll show you my handy work. Its not a particularly poignant pciture, or one that has great meaning or depth, but a picture, greatly altered. I used Picasa, and here are the results...


So the net effect is that I want an SLR! In my current state, thats well beyond my means, but in the meantime, I'm more than happy to play with my Powershot!

A Little Something About ME

So by now, I've been at this for about a month or so, and you're probably wondering who is this person, this writer of the pathetic, a patron of the moronic, a carrier of journalistic pestilence????

Well, let me then begin with the story of the Indianbookie. How did I get this name? To my cricket loving fans, the term Indian bookie is synonymous with Shane Warne, Mark Waugh and countless other highly esteemed cricketers, all under the omnipotent umbrella of match fixing. Essentially, it was a msyterious Indian bookmaker who provided cash payments of about US$100,000 or more to these high profile players for "information" on the state of the pitches, the weather, and other easily accessible material. In some cases the players were found guilty of actually accepting money to throw a game, or affecting the out come in some way.

So, one day, in the January of 2000, when India toured Australia after an absence of seven years or so, I was standing under the score board of the Sydney Cricket Ground during the third test, minding my own business, when, at about 5pm, a couple highly inebriated, larrikin Aussie blokes, looked at me, the colour of my skin and decided to ask a couple of questions...

yobbo no 1: yeah so this should be good...whats your name? I bet ya, it takes him about 20 minutes just to say it [laughing hysterically to his fellow yob]
yobbo no 2: hahah nah, I reckon its Sachin!
yobbo no 1: yeah, hows things the dressing room? couldn't hack gettin flogged???
yobbo no 1 & 2 are now in hysterics
yobbo no 2: or you know who he is???? he's the Indian bookie...hahaha...carn mate...how much did you pay em????

All the while I'm just standing there, hanging out, trying to avert embarrassment, as many eyes were pointed at me...I left the area just then and went home and sulked about losing and also about being made fun of, but then, with those of guy's I should have expected it.

At this point, I bet you're probably expecting me to come blazing with fierce determination to fight this racial profiling and make a stand and so on...but alas...no...I just adopted the name cos it sounded cool, and I couldn't be stuffed being another "star_prince15" or "w_a_r_r_i_o_r" or some other bull shit.

So here it is. Not flashy, not comendable, but a name, a nic...an identity, a me.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Navaratri Garba is...

...the most ideal place to meet someone...a likely situation...

opening line: (innocent, concerned tone) hi, this is the first time i've been to a garba and i don't know the steps...can you teach me?
him: oh yes yes ...this i've been doing my village for so many years in garba in
gujarat (or he may even say London)
you: oh really? you must be such a pro! can you show me the steps...and please go easy!
him: oh anything for you, anything!!!

and then you dance the night away...

you occasionally stop for a break to have a drink, while he pops his blisters (although if he were a true guju, instead of blisters, they would be polished metal, so he can dance better), while telling you how he milked the cows back at the farm...

the midnight hour strikes and you flee in your
mazda 3, and he chases you...you think you escaped until you realise your name is on your number plate...he searches and searches, all to no avail...one evening you go to Taj in Harris park for a quiet meal with the family...as you approach the counter, you find a waiter beaming his crooked teeth at you...they would be bright enough to blind you, but as he opens his mouth, he emits a toxic gas, also known as his breath....the yellow hue of his breath saves your eye sight, but now you're choking in the fumes...he asks "will you want some marry?", but in your terror of the fumes, you think he says "will you want some pani (water in Hindi?)" and you enthusiastically answer "yes, yes, save me!"...he pulls out a ring - kept just for this purpose - from a secret location in nipple high jeans and slips it on your finger all in one motion...at the same time you still yell "water, water", so he gets some water, and splashes it on your head, as a mark of a blessing...you're married the next evening and within 9 months your kid has popped while you lament the late arrival of the monsoons so your crops don't die in the wild gujarati heat...

so maybe you shouldnt go to the

Quite stupid...

...but still pretty funny!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Harriet Miers, please stand up...

...for Non-Sequitor, has immortalised you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Thank goodness I'm a guy

Well, I bet that was an attention grabbing head line. And its true. To be honest, I had actaully decided tonights post was to be on things more deep and spiritual than the shallow sludge I'll shortly dribble out, which you will no doubt read and try your hardest to comprehend, what part of me may actually constitute "spiritual".

Well, anyways, the subject is true for a quite many few things, but what I'll say now, I only learnt of in the previous 30 minutes, so consider yourselves blessed for the front page is now swimming in a headline hot of the wires.

My bone really, has to do with invites. As you may know, my dear sister is due to be married shortly, for which our whole family of five - my Grandad doesn't count: he's probably the most resourceful and takes away as much as our excesses add - will impress upon the soil of Inida, our Western footprint, which, in real terms is probably equal to about a hundred or so Indians.

Back to the invites: when we last went to India, we went trekking, to a part of Bangalore, whose notorierty is not for IT, but for invitation cards. The place is stacked and crammed with all manner of shops and outlets, each having about 568743595 or so different decorations for the thirsty wedding parties. We were just another. So we trudged for about five hours, trying in vain to go through the multitude patterns colours and most importantly, Gods. Along the way there were conversations about how everyone has to make moeny, about how stingy the Guju's are, and along the way, we also lost a couple of the stragglers. While my Uncle and I sat for a rest to recover, my Dad and Sunita surged ahead, dancing around the crevaces to reach the Everest of invitation cards.

At the summit, still not happy with the choice, they too came back, and together we found base camp and refereshed ourselevs with some Thumbs Up and the usual favourite, Foorti (which incidentally, may also be a form of liquid food, because it is THICK!!!). In the end we selected the card from base camp, which has the unique distinction of being the FIRST CARD WE SAW.

So now, lets fast forward to the present day. I'll admit the cards look damn good. Infact, for my wedding I'd even risk being called unoriginal, and use the same style of invites - of course the girl I marry would probably slap me for it, but hey, I'll risk that as well!

But tonight, we were putting the inserts in the pouch - or "case" if you wish to be fashionably Western - which then go in the envelope. The pouch is almost the buffer between the inserts and sterile envelope. It adds a touch of class, or gives the inserts a superiority complex, for the inserts are protected from the outside world for they have Something More.

But these inserts - one for every different fucntion - are damn hard to get in to the pouch, which are then harder still to get into the envelope. All you people who recieve these invites better appreicate the skill with which we got them in. Actually, you probably will. After the invite has been opened, and you try to re-enter the inserts into the pouch into the envelope, only then will you see the master class required to handle these invites.

So the reason I'm thankful I'm a guy is cos all of this belongs to the girls side. I love the person who made this Decree. "Yep, you can do it!" So easily said, and damn, are we thankful we got in first!!!

Having said all that, the reality of the situation will probably be that she would complain that I take no interest in the wedding, and then I'll be dragged along to the selection rounds and, chances are that, cos she has so much else to organise I would do the slave labour of putting the inserts in the pouch and the envelope, but at least I'm armed with a Decree going back through the ages, although by the time I pull out this weapon, she'll throw some rubbish about a glass ceiling at me, and I'll be compeled to do the time...

Monday, October 17, 2005

That Pic

I was actually proud of that pic...I took the shot at my mum's birthday party in the gleaming India Quay restaurant. I resized and lightened a very dark the background. Her smile is what makes this great, as well as the hands casually placed below her chin...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Every guy's got to have a pic of his mum...

The trip

So the trip: Essentially, I'm going to India on Nov 20, for my sisters wedding, and in the process, decided to stay back for a few months to travel, and to do some sewa, on the Himalayan foothills.

I've always wanted to do something like this, and now is a better time than ever. I'm resigning from my job, putting Life on hold, to lead and create another world, during which I can be freer than normal, to explore the land and myself, to learn and - hopefully - teach.

I've been to many of the places to where I'll be going. I've seen the sights, revered the history, floated amogst the frageneces, and sat dazzled at the confusion. I've also been comfortablly lapping it up, the hand of parents not far away, their correcting gaze a safety net awaiting use...its without these that I wish to test myself, so see if I'm able to live and survive in, essentially, a foreign land.

I don't speak (any of) the languages well. I never went to school there - I have been a mere tourist. I know I will be taken advantage of, made a fool of, duped, but on the same token, I want to over come these. Or try and see where it takes me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

An update...

After much consideration, and much less emotion, I have decided to not go to Kashmir to help with the earthquakes. Apart from the logistical problems, the personal ones have been more prominent in this decsion.

Its not something I regret at the moment, but something which was a responsible decision.

The trip will continue regardless, and inhabit the same path as before. I will still see the devasted regions when I visit Kashmir but not at such an early juncture.

Actually its high time i shed more light on this Trip...not much can be gained from the shadows except that i'm going on this fantastical journey to somewhere doing something...slowly i'll try and open the door to my thoughts and motivations for going, what I hope to accomplish and what I expect my experiences to be.

So it shall come.

Stay tuned (with a little less angst)...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Nice article...

...on jazzing up domestic cricket in India


The ideal time to help

The devastation as a result of the earthquake in the Kashmir region may well prove to be an opportunity on the national scale, where two countries can unite despite conflict and history. In the vision for humanity, insignificance will be seen for what it really is.

On an individual level too, there is an opportunity to rise to the wants of the needy, do ones bit. To donate money, to send blankets, old clothes. A more direct way is to go there. To be part of the efforts. To get ones hand dirty in helping the survivors. To aid and assist the Lifesavers, for they too need assistance. One could help themselves as well. To open ones heart and mind to the concept of sewa, that is, slefless service.

This is what I feel I too should do. I am currently confirmed for a Malasian Airlines flight on the 20th of November. A little under 6 weeks to go. I could quite possibly pre-pone that to two weeks away, fly straight to Delhi and make my way to the Indian north west.

As usual, though, there are BUTS…quite a few…how do I get there – landslides cover many roads. What will I do once there? Who will I stay with? I hope for an influx of foreigners, but what if that doesn’t happen? Is it safe? There are many questions here in Sydney as well: do I have enough money saved for the remainder of the trip? Will my parents be convinced of my safety? There are many hurdles, but then, there were many on the path to this point.

To get where I am, the seed was planted a while ago, and soon, with time, the idea manifested to an action, and now the last 6 months of my life centred around this Trip. Could I possible add an extra, completely unforeseen, exciting, redeeming, dimension to an already amazing plan? I certainly hope so. Like those who remain trapped under the rubble across the two countries, my fate may well be decided in the next 24- 48 hours.

Stay tuned…

Sunday, October 09, 2005

An opportunity

On 8 October 2005 a massive earthquake has struck India and Pakistan. The epicentre, seems to be in Pakistan, with POK - Pakistan Occupied Kashmir - taking the larger share of the damage, both in terms of lives and physical structures.

In this calamity, lies a distinct opportunity like no other. In cooperation, the two countries have the chance to develop enormous good will and faith. Already India's PM, Manmohan Singh, and Pervez Mushareff, the Prez of Pakistan, have spoken on the issue and authorised commication at all levels of the goevernment machine. This is a promising start, but no doubt much will need to be resolved.

For example, the issue of whose territory Kashmis belongs to, will come to a head during reconstruction efforts. Which country foots the bill development? Who has the authority to approve and disapprove buildings. These things will certainly test both nations and it is up to the leaderships of both to determine once and for all what the status of Kashmir will be.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A picture tells a thousand words...

...or so the saying goes, but one that I trully believe in. Recently I updated some of my links and more than some reference sites where one can find different pics, of different things, in different places.

I began this visual festish through the SMH, at work in the mornings. Its one of the first things I open to when I get in. It fills me with imagination through the multitude of different images which then lead to different thoughts, giving a differnt perspective of what Its all about.

Then there was this afternoon. Time magazine had a thing on the top 100 internet sites, and one category belonged to blogs. So I checked it out, finding the best picture blog to be Chromasia. It blew me away. The pictures are amazing, and theres a new one each day. Check it out if you have the time...

About an hour ago, while browsing Lonely Planet, I came across their pic site, Lonely PLanet Images (it never struck me to think a trvael guide company may actually have pics of the attractions visted: duh!) Brilliant piece of work. The database for their pictures is second to none. Under a search for "India" alone, it came back with approximately 6000 pics...thats decent...and I wasn't waiting forever. Each picture comes with a brief discription, the photographer as well as the location. Well woth visiting.

So give your eyes a feast, and let your imagination wander...the best thing you'll do in some time...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Blame Game...

Nice little commentary on the New Orleans situation...

...courtesy of Non-Sequitor, of course.

Indian Railways: Part II

With great glee and enthusiasm, I issue an apology to Indian Railways. My faithful readers have emailed in hordes to inform me the site works. And so I too gave IR another chance and they did not let me down.

So it may well have been my computer at home or that the site may have been temporarily experiencing difficulties. But it works and query was satisfied.

Thank you to my faithful followers for saving me from the habit of ignorance to the guidance of knowledge…

Monday, October 03, 2005

Indian Railways (damn then!!!!)

So I thought I would finally sit down and do something about this trip of mine, and at least try and figure out where I'm going, when I get there, where I stay, what deodarant I use to fit in with the locals...

My major form of transport between cities will be train. They're a reliable (most of the times - this last time when I went to India, my train arrived in Delhi from Cal only 6 hours late; in 01, we were hangin out at Agra station for about 4 hours doing not much), efficient, cheap, not-so-clean, cheap, form of travel, where its quite easy to chat to a villian, who's probably trying to rip you off, or a business man on a business trip, who's probably trying to rip you off...

In anycase, I began by going to
http://www.indianrail.gov.in. Now if you want a word of advice, heres a couple. Don't go to this site! It took me forever to load, and once it did, the links of the pages led to nothing. Had I not actually been on a train in India, this really would not inspire any confidence in their trains. So I've given up on the webiste. In this day and age, I'm actually trying to find someone who may be coming from India in the next couple of months, so that I can use the hard copy - yes a 300 page book with all the times of every single train going from the one remote part of the country to another. But the website can't.

NRL Grand Final 2005

Sitting high in the perch of level 6, we zoomed in below to view the biggest game of the year, by a couple of the most unlikely teams to be there. Wests Tigers and North Queensland Cowboys. The Tigers were working of a shoe-string budget - or so the saying goes - and came out on top to defeat some of their more fancied rivals.

The Cowboys were smacked 50 - 6 less than 3 weeks ago, and then came back, with an unchanged line up, to beat Melbourne and Parramatta. The Eels were also minor premiers.

So this game then, was supposed to be a tad unpredictable. How could the Tigers handle the big game pressure? What if the little moments didn't fal their way, as it did when they played Brisbane and the Dragons? These aspects did show in their game in the first 20 minutes. Scott Prince and the Tigers team seemed distracted, and disorganised. They weren't going forward, and their kicks went straight to the man. Accordingly the Cowboys took advantage and scored first.

Again, this was not part of the usual game plan for the Tigers. But they stuck it out, and scored through an error by the Cowboys. Scoring a try proved to be the magnet for their concentration. They realised they were in a Grand Final and played accordingly. From then, till half time, the arm wrestle was slowly falling the way of the Tigers.

After half time the Tigers scored immediately, and that would have killed of any team. Yet the Cowboys tried again, and brought it back to a six point difference. In what was probably a mental blow, the Tigers hit straight back and kept the difference to 12.

Eventually the final score was 30 - 16, and a fairy tale was written. I found the whole thing surreal. The crowd, in their noise reminded me I was there, but it almost didn't seem to happen, or what was happening was merely the show after numerous practices.

It was great to be there, though, and having been to many Grand Finals and struggling to recall what happened in what, this one will definately stand out.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Work defines Life

So, at work I got a promotion. Not a big promotion, but a promotion none the less. The perks which come with it are more money - again, not too big, but a rise non the less - more work, more responsibility and so on.

My issue is this: I am going to India for six, seven months, leaving in eight weeks from now. Were I staying, then yeah, sure I would have taken it and things would be fine. But the thing is, I don't want to take it, but becasue of that, my parents are not happy, thinking I'm wasting a great opportunity. And that may well be the case, but its also risk I'm willing to take.

But the one thing this points to is that work defines the lives we lead. Its primarily because of work we move cities or countries. Its becasue of work we can or cannot do the things we like. I'm not a big fan of that attitude. Maybe because I'm more risk-averse, not sure, but people should enjoy the freedom to live a life of their choosing. But then obviously to do this one needs money to survive, or one needs money for the basics.

The idea of being a full time back packer has always intrigued me. Maybe this trip is my mini-back packing life. Life would entail no responsibilities, no savings accounts, no insurance premiums or excess, no "i hate this person" or "i really want to be with that person"...life would be carefree and enjoyable and full of experiences.

Counter to this of course, is ones basic duty to family, and unless you win the lottery, how does one survive when they can no longer work. It is also said, the soul is freer when discipline is followed. All that stirred into one pot serves a meal with a big "no" to the idea of back packing. But finding a job which allows freedom or at least enjoyability is a must me thinks....

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Economic Rationalism...

Thanks to Non-Sequitor...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Ancient India

So I’m researching for my trip to India, and one of the places I really want to see are the remains of Vijayanagar, a highly advanced kingdom in Southern India.

The other thing which really struck me, compliments of none other than Shah Rukh Khan, and Kareena Kapoor, was the reign of Asoka the King, and his grandfather, Chandragupta. I was amazed to hear that firstly Chandragupta had connections with Alexabder the Great during his attempted conquest of India. After Alexander was defeated, much of the territories he once controlled fell into the hands of Chandragupta.

During Asoka’s reign, the domination of the Maurya dynasty continued and Asoka was able to realise the goal of his grandfather by creating the largest empire of the time. As a result of this, however, Asoka also found out the nature of war, and turned to Bhuddism. His next battle was to spread the meassage of Bhudda and in doing so establised pillars on common trade routes, with an emblem of three lions. Today this is a symbol of modern day India. His emissiaries traveled all across India, and to present day Sri Lanka, as well as to Europe.

India has such a rich and diverse history, that is quite untapped. I think often these histories are by passed as not being sexy enough. You have the Romans, the Greeks, the Pharoes, etc, and theres a touch of magic and mystery. The same is not associated with India, or its history. In any case it exists, and is in the same league as the histories of other parts of the world.

Go the Swannies!

The Sydney Swans, after a drought of over 70 years, have finally won the AFL grand final!

They beat, in an "epic, titanic struggle", the West Coast Eagles, who spent the first 17, 18 weeks of the season undefeated. The team to end their unbeaten streak was, of course Sydney.

I think the Swans had a team which lacked the talent and skill of the Eagles - the Eagles polled the top two in the Browlow Medal count - but for this, they made up with pure team work, aggression, and an insatiable desire to triumph against the odds. Infact its the qualities of the people, combined with the talent of the player that determines their selection in the team. This was highlighted in a report on Channel Ten before yesterdays grand final. Indeed the club was lampooned for turning down some highly talented players, but the vindiction of their decision is proved by these same players having disciplinary issues today.

Maybe it was destiny? They won in the death against Geelong, and then came back from behind against StKilda. Earlier in the season they were written of by the CEO of the AFL and a highly respected commentator.

But what can be said of the coach, Paul Roos? He took over mid-way through 2002 and won six of the remaining eigth games. As the board debated who was to be coach, the players and fans demanded it be Roos. And so it was, and how he has repaid that faith in him. In 2003 he took them to one game from the Grand Final, and last year, took them to the Finals Series. This time he took them all the way. He must have an unbeliveable coaching record, with an unbelivable coaching technique.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Salaam Namaste

Well I must admit with no hint of embarassment that I watched Salaam Namaste for the second time this evening, only a week after I watched it for the first time.

Why? Well becasue I enjoyed it. Becasue I like to see the human spirit triumph through adversity, and even though all these movies can be cast out of that same mould, each story takes a different route to get there, and therefore, can teach or exhibit different values or morals or lessons, or whatever, quite frankly. And they also entertain.

Salaam Namaste is, I imagine, quite a controversial movie, as it confronts some key issues which are thought to be quite taboo for mainstream Indian society. These include a guy and girl who are going out, moving in together, the substition of the glorious hug-after-a-run-through-a-field-of-flowers scene with quite provocative kissing; and the standard western, M-rated sex scenes. And these are all played out by two of the leading lights of Bollywood, Priety Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan.

I can only imagine what the elder members of Indias society must be thinking. Not that this is a true barometer of society, but only as an indication of where things are at from only a few years ago.

This subject has the ability to open a whole other debate, which we won't go into, but the movie is controversial, and will continue to be so, until this becomes the norm.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Thanks to SMH Pics...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Faraway Tree to Phumble...

Hello All,
On this cold spring night in the midst of the Sydney basin, a computer flickers with pain to the nonsesical msuings of a...

I have this site, a Web Log, a blog, in which I entreat the vast world to my thoughts, innermost as well as outermost...whether I post something beyond this initial, is well beyond me. I live a dodgy life, governed by the mind at the minute. One of these minutes in the last one year was governed by a mind of malaise, where a ruling was passed to the effect that I was to spend a few months in my home land, mujhe ka desh, Bharath. Now this has distinct under tones of patriotic ferver, and you would be right to think that.

So welcome, feel at home, and hopefully you won't be waiting too long for the drinks and some decent conversation...