Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Travails of an English summer

That's the title of my latest article. You'll find it here.

Unfortunately, they haven't retained the spacing/lettering formats a play requires. Hence doesn't read so well on an HTML page.

Take care.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Appetite for change


The Lokpal, the Annasaheb Hazare super-phenomenon and this small thing called the civilian movement. Those are the themes of my latest article.

Are the change-makers here to stay?

It was a challenge writing it mainly because there's so much to write about. I had to keep chopping for hours. My editors in Dawn are already kind enough to accept 1300-word articles even though the word limit is 800. I try not to test their patience :)
But I wish I could have mentioned how thrilled I am that whole new generations are hearing the name of Jayaprakash Narayan. I've been pissed off on a couple of occasions when usually well-informed friends asked, 'JP, who?' Hopefully, fewer people will ask that question now.

Anyway, time to meet an old friend. Ta-ta and have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why do we enjoy an ailing Britain?

This is the title of my latest article in Dawn, which you'll find here.

Having written it, I now wonder if this will prove to be my most misunderstood article yet. I hope not.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Really random thoughts

My latest post on the Dawn blog is about Dhoni's individual form.
Bring back the helicopter shot
As an aside, I feel compelled to mention that I'm grateful to Sachin for not scoring a token century at Trend Bridge. Such an event would have made our media go ga-ga over the "hundred 100s" milstone. Someone would have had to pinch the anchors and ask, 'What about the defeat?' To which they'd have responded, 'What defeat? Oh, er, of course. The defeat. What about it?'
As my friend Pat points out, the issue isn't the attention Sachin gets. It's the manner in which the feats of others are belittled in the process. Had Dravid and Laxman played in another era, maybe we'd have learnt to appreciate their genius. Which brings me to another emphatic statement Pat made: 'Nobody must open their mouth anymore about Dravid's retirement. He must be allowed to play as long as he wants.' Well said, Pat.

I'm halfway through Madhulika Liddle's The Englishman's cameo. It's yet another book that has not received the attention it deserves. We as a nation seem hell bent on celebrating badly written books. The good ones find quiet spots in musty libraries to bury themselves in.

Meanwhile, I'm glad that July has ended. This July rivalled the July of 2007 in its ability to inflict pain. For the better part of the month, I felt displaced from myself. The body too caved in, and I was forced to visit a doctor for the first time in perhaps 5 years. Viral flu, it turned out to be. The situation offered me a glimpse of the future. Me cooped up at home, all alone, waiting for my cook to arrive so that I could have some warm soup. As luck would have it, Senthil and Simona were visiting me during this time. So I wasn't all alone all the time. But since I was not working, I kept thinking about Risha. Resultantly, I kept fuming about how unfair the world really is. And, also, how unfair one person can be to another. What surprised me was that, during a discussion about my past, I found myself defending this person whose position is becoming increasingly indefensible by the day. Somebody better teach me how to fall out of love. Fast. Right now, I feel the need for some meaningful, well-directed anger. You know, I used to have the knack of getting angry in a jiffy. What has happened to me?
Another fallout of my flu is that my training regimen has come to an abrupt end. I hope to get back to my cardio and light-weights workouts soon. As of now, it's not happening.

July ended well, though. For the past 10 days, I've been writing well. An average of 3000 words a day. So my long-term assignment is progressing well, the articles in Dawn have resumed and I have enough gas left in the tank to consider additional copywriting assignments. As always, my ability to produce - which defines me - has put me in a better frame of mind. My parents are in town, too. Bachpan ka khana awaits me at every meal. And the only woman who is willing to love me unconditionally is around to chat and laugh. It's almost too good to be true.

The city is on the right hand side of my apartment complex. But a right turn is disallowed when we exit the gates because the break in the divider is around 10 m away. My solution is to ride on the wrong side for 10 m and then cross the legal break in the divider. I don't quite like the alternative of riding an extra 200 m to the left and 200 m back each time. And I have, what I feel, is a sound reason for this. By not riding the extra (400-20) = 380 m, I save quite a bit of fuel. So breaking the rule is the greener option. Of course, one must ensure that one is not blocking the oncoming traffic and one does not terrorize the pedestrians. And herein lies the clincher - as of today, the traffic is light enough for a 2-wheeler to negotiate the 10 m without causing anybody any harm or delay. Were the traffic situation to change, the wrong option no longer remains the green option - I might spend just as much fuel revving my engine and waiting for the traffic to clear.
What I'm trying to say is that I feel comfortable and far from guilty in turning the wrong way. Because I'm not the kind of guy to jump red lights etc. I break this particular law because I see merit in breaking it. But what do you think? Can environmental concerns override civic laws? And is it alright for individuals to make such judgment calls?

I always feel weird when I write about personal issues on my blog. In this case, I guess I wanted to have a conversation, aloud, with myself. I don't know why.

Take care everybody, and I hope your August is looking pretty good.