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Monday, December 31, 2007


A mother gives birth. That's how we get to breathe. A mother gives life. That's how we get to be the person that we are. Mother protects. A mother helps us differentiate between the right and the wrong. Mother cares.

A teacher is a mother. A nurse is a mother. A person who helps you get up when you slip over a banana peel, is a mother. A mother is not just a person - it's a feeling. The world's most precious and beautiful feeling.

When the stars descend

I have been a no-fan-no-critic for Aamir Khan. While I thought Lagaan was strictly average (it just tapped the cricket fever in India), I liked Aamir Khan in the 'Hum-hai-raahi-pyaar-ke'isque roles.

His directorial first, 'Taare Zameen Par' would certainly be one more reason for me to like Aamir Khan. It is a feather in his cap!

The movie does not tag the 'front benchers' as the 'snobs'; the teachers are not the villians. And that is the best part of the movie. It is subtle - yet it brings forth something very beautiful - childhood.

'Taare zameen par' glorifies childhood. The innocence, the purity. There are moments in the film where you cannot help but value life. The film also shows different 'forms of childhood' - the student (the protagonist), a boy who works in a dhaba, the children living on the roadside.

And there are moments which you can relate to. And there are visuals which stay back - Ishan holding Youhan's hand when the latter comes to visit him at the boarding school, Ishan sitting on the commode with his eyes up in the air, Ram's painting at the Art Mela. And the way Ishaan goes "Bindaas!"

And yes, it is certainly a 'Bindaas' movie!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Union

She hears the tune on the mandolin. She remembers the tune so vividly. She gets up from her bed. Looks out of the window. A long stretch of mustard fields awaits her.

She runs towards the sound. Her white gown is flowing like a clear river over the yellow field. Her black locks are swaying in the breeze. Her eyes have tears of hope. She knows she has to get to the source of the sound. As soon as she can.

She stops. Panting heavily. She looks around to find a cow. The cow is wearing a familiar bell. It is the one she had purchased from the Zurich railway station.

She sees him. With his mandolin. A round brown hat with a white feather tucked into it. He is wearing a black leather jacket. Her eyes smile. She sees him with his arms stretched out. The same innocent face, the same warm smile. He has come back. Her longing has brought him back.

There is no stopping her now. She runs into his arms. Her eyelids are closed - slightly strained. His eyes are closed too. He wraps his arms around her. She clings on to him - she has got her strength back. They are standing motionless. Only the mustard crop is fluttering in the breeze. They are melting in each others' arms. While the fields watch in silence.

The Time Machine Series- 01

It's here. Right in front of my eyes. A small chair inside a capsule. With small bulbs and accelerators. Glittering like a tiny starlet, the time machine is standing before me with its lid open. Welcoming me to enter.

I get seated. I glance the buttons once. Each one is quite self-explanatory. I press the red button.

And here I begin my journey. Moving across the fourth dimension.

I am moving with the speed of light. Towards the horizon. Towards another realm of existence.

I see light. And now it slowly narrows down. Yes, I can see something now...


Engrossed in my books again. Miles away from the New Year celebrations.

The last-but-one engineering exam is on.

Engrossed in the last semester blues.

Engrossed in the thoughts of my engineering course coming to an end.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Tom and Jerry

Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse. The two characters bring memories to most of us. Memories of those summer vacations - when cousins would visit and all of us would watch these cartoons together. Memories of pleading Mom - to let you watch half an hour of this show while the exams are on. Memories of sheer fun you have when something very unrealistic happens - a heavy rock falls on Tom and he gets flattened to a disk.

We have 3-D animation today. And numerous other technologies I am unaware of. But do they have the innocence of Tom and Jerry?


It feels nice when you get positive vibes - from people you meet. From the work you do. From generally everything around you.

That's when you feel you are successful. That's when you feel you are happy.

After all, success, joy, confidence - or for that matter, even dejection, are vibes. Imaginary. Just states of mind.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Why I love Mughal-e-azam..

The other day, somebody asked me why I wanted to watch 'Mughal-e-azam' three times back-to-back and why I had mentioned it in the 'things to do before I die' list. Here are my reasons:

1. Madhubala: Frankly, I have not seen any other movie of hers. But, this movie is sufficient to make her my favourite actress of yesteryears. She looks like a dream - and dances better. 'Mohe panghat pe' is her best song in the film. (..yes, I love it more than the more-famous 'Pyaar kiya to darna kya') The way she hugs Salim when Akbar finds out about their love, she is mindblowing!!

2. "SHEKHU...": Prithviraj Kapoor fits Akbar's role to the tee. The way he goes "Shekhu..." in his baritone - it's funny, amusing and entertaining.

3. The scene when Salim comes back: If you've seen the film carefully, you would surely remember Jodhabai's expressions when Salim comes back (Dilip Kumar's entry in the film). I love the melodrama on her face! "Uff.. kya yeh duniya ghoom rahi hai, yaa meri aankhein hi ruk nahi rahi.."

4. Pyaar kiya to darna kya: My favourite Lata Mangeshkar song. The way it has been picturised is nothing short of pathbreaking for the age the film was made in.

5. Bahaar and her wicked plans: Bahaar is the typical vamp - she is the mother of all the Komolikas of today. This Muslim actress has conveyed Bahaar's aspirations beautifully through her eyes. Especially in the scene where she is wearing the Queen's crown and standing in front of the mirror.

6. The Sindoor scene: The scene when Akbar wants Jodhabai to hand over the royal sword to him is truly a Bollywood scene. It has Maa ki mamta, Patni ka dharm aur Raja ka kartawya put together!! How Bollywood is that !!

The list goes on.. I love Mughal-e-azam!

Delhi cuisine

The foodie that I am, Janardan and Meer say that I should never get a job in MacDonald's for I'll eat more than what I am being paid.

Delhi, apart from being the country's capital, has unique cuisine to offer. It is typically made in mustard oil and in opulent servings. Maybe because of the cold, but you can really digest all that.

At a shop in Chandni chowk, we had parathas. Served with a sumptous serving of three subzis and yummy gaajar ka achaar, these parathas come in a wide range of flavours/stuffings. All we know is mooli and aaloo parathas, but there were atleast thirty names on the menu of this rather small shop in the alleys of Chandni chowk.

The parathas are not made on a tawa - instead, they are made in a huge semicircular kadhai. They are stuffed with the vegetable of your choice, covered in flour of some sort and then, baked. And two parathas down, you are full.

'Pani puri' is something I love. Pani puri in Delhi is different - the puris are made of wheat flour. They are hard to break when you eat it. So, the 'mouth-fills-with-panipuri-ka-pani' feeling is missing. This was, hence, almost a letdown.

Eating kulfi falooda or ice cream while walking down the cold streets of Delhi is a feeling words cannot describe. You dont have to worry about catching a cold - it's nowhere. For me, the sweet sewiyaan with the cold icecream is DIVINE!

Aloo chat is another unique Delhi dish - fried pieces of aaloo with unique chat masaala. That's something you don't get in Mumbai. The aaloo lover that I am, I loved this!

The Paneer you get in Delhi is what should be called Paneer. Paneer elsewhere should be called 'edible Natraj eraser'. The weather of Delhi must be conducive for the fermentation process - because the paneer is certainly the softest paneer I've ever seen.

I happened to stay at Siddharth's place who is from Delhi. In addition to the warm hospitality, I also got to taste the more 'homely' dishes of Delhi too. They are oily - but extremely tasty. Rajma chawal, I found out, is the 'varan bhaat' of Delhi. And yes, I also know why people dig 'sarso ka sag, makke ki roti'!! The combination is absolutely amazing!!

Worth mentioning are dahi bhalle - that closely resemble dahi wada, kathi kabab and tikde - bhakri in its smaller, thicker form.

Overall, the food was one of the many reasons why I would remember my trip to Delhi!!

Lovingly dedicated to Siddharth and Bhaumik, who I had an awesome time with, there in Delhi.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mirror - Poem

You are smiling sheepishly.
The mirror shows you...
How cunning you are looking.
With motives concealed by actions.

You are dancing in a group,
The mirror shows you...
that it's just you. alone.
sitting with your head down.

You are speaking slowly,
The mirror shows you..
you are short of words.
the calm is a pretence.

This mirror can be anyone..
a mother.. a friend..
a diary.. a blog..
or just a mirror.

but in our lives, all of us
have that mirror.
we may not look at it.
but it is looking at us.
-Aaditya Joshi

Gaping mouths

The bird has its mouth open.

The fish has its mouth open.

One is crying victory.

The other one. well...!

Same actions mean different things. It's the side of the line you are standing on.

Picture courtesy : Janardan Kelkar [he hasn't obviously clicked it. It is downloaded from the website http://www.focuswildlife.com/]

Metaphor One

Ever seen ants going across your kitchen? Walking in a straight line? Keep a small piece of stone in their path. They'll change their path silently.

Ever seen people getting down from a railway train? The way a suitcase in their way gets thrown around as they get down?

Both of them walk towards the source of food. It's the approach of looking at obstacles that makes the difference.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ten things to do before I die

This is a question which is generally answered by celebrities, but what the heck, this is my blog and these are the ten things I want to do before I die:

1. Meet Ekta Kapoor some day. Tell her that Indian morals and entertainment is not about three najayaz bachhas per serial and two deaths per twenty episodes.

2. Walk down the ramp in a fashion show. I am a clumsy fellow and my towel keeps falling atleast once a week after bath.

3. Wear my clothes inside out for a day. And read a book upside down that day.

4. Make a sculpture - of a wild boar with the head of a horse and tail of a stingray barb. Wonder where the boar would be? That's art my dear.

5. Dance naked with a group of gorillas. Do I hear you saying 'birds of same feather...'?

6. For a day, Watch 'Mughal-e-azam' three times back-to-back.

7. Live the first day of my school again. That's when the worldly ambitions, the struggle and the dejection started.

8. Meet the brains behind terrorism - train blasts to manned attacks. And see if they have a heart too.

9. Thank the mothers of the world. For they rule.

10. and for a day, I want to be myself. Because no one else will.


Gone are the days of 'Meri awaaz suno' - 'Sa re ga ma pa' and 'Indian Idol' are here to stay.

When Sunidhi Chauhan won 'Meri awaaz suno', she hugged Lata Mangeshkar and wept. That was when everyone in my family, right from the leaking tap to my running nose, from Mom to uncle, wept.

Today, every participant in every single 'reality' talent hunt show has a 'story' associated with him or her. Someone is a painter who's left his small-time job, someone's grandmother always dreamt of seeing her grandchild become a singer. And every single comment from the judges gets these participants into tears - and the camera zooms in on their faces. Three times.

And still I yawn and change the channel.

Has the audience gone stone-hearted?
or is it just the overdose of 'masala'tic reality shows?

Ek Paavsaali Sandhyaakal - Poem

Ek Paavsaali Sandhyakal - A monsoon evening
That's a poem in Marathi I wrote recently. The part on the left is followed by the part on the right.

Friday, December 14, 2007


As I am typing this post, I remember the three modes of Pentium. Then the six features of PCI bus. I also remember the steps of floating point pipelining for DEC Alpha AXP.

Then the data types of Pentium. Then the bus clock frequencies of 8085 to Pentium IV. Delayed, static and dynamic branch prediction logic.

I have a Microprocessors examination from 10:30-1:30 tommorrow.

I wonder how much I'll remember out of all this tommorrow evening.

That's engineering for you. No complaints, only addressing modes. [uggh.. I'll get back to my books..]

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Imagine a hen [perhaps, a young one] in a poultry farm. Let's call her the 'sweet hen'. She has lived with her Mother Hen in one of the cages. Like all the mothers of the world, Mother Hen has been very protective of her.

One morning she wakes up to find her Mother Hen lying motionless in the cage surrounded by a group of other hens. The sweet hen gets scared - and flaps her wings against the cage. The owner of the farm comes in - opens the door and takes the Mother Hen out.

The sweet hen is devastated. She knows that she has lost her mother. She is weeping in a corner of the cage.

Some hours later, all the hen are dragged by their feet out of the cage - and thrown in a deep, dark pit one by one. The sweet hen has been mourning the death of her mother - now she has to lay silent waiting for death to come.

Death does come - they slowly begin to fill up the pit with soil.

Bird flu, as in this case, scares the humans - and then they show how inhuman they can get.

Where does humanity disappear when the human realises that the existence is in danger?

And that's when the fowl cries foul.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My Autumn

"Aaditya, you look older than me", my thirty [aah, wouldn't reveal his real age] year old uncle said this to me - and I was not surprised. I suffer from a problem which could be categorised under the 'lifestyle problem' category - hair-loss. Here I share the story of what many people know me by - my receeding hairline.

Long long ago, once upon a time, I applied a cheap hair gel. And there has been no looking back. Because if I look back, I see my hair fallen on my shoulder. Not that I am shedding, but yes, I experienced terrible hairfall in the days I shouldn't have.

Earlier, I used to like it - My hairline was like Akshaye Khanna's. But when you start resembling Amrish Puri, you press the panic button.

And then you collect phone numbers - of Bengali babas [I repeat , "babas" and not "babes" *makes an angelic face*] to Dr. Batra. And you end up calling the dermat who has his clinic closest to your house.

And then begins, a spate of hair massages - gallons of oil being poured over the barren land; scoops of pills going down my throat [and then the commode].

Meanwhile, I had my classmates clicking my pictures every month - not because I looked hot. They wanted to have a 'Before' - 'After' album ready.

The treatment started showing its effect - my dermat renovated his clinic. And I could see sprouts of hair.

Thankfully, it is not as bad now. I look as old as my thirty-year old uncle. :P.

whew, Baal baal bach gayaa..


Every relationship does not have a name. Now, you must've heard this one a thousand times before. What is it that I am trying to say?

You share a relationship with your parents, your friends, your colleagues and your teachers. Is that the end of it? You occupy a seat in the train which was occupied by somebody else, you make friends and get linked to a larger network. You buy a flower from a roadside vendor - and make dinner five rupees easier for him/her. You watch a Shahrukh Khan movie and get entertained. You get stuck in traffic in a pool of cars. You are watching a news programme the same moment as lakhs of others are.

I am related - to the flowerseller, to my parents, to the TV viewers, to Shahrukh Khan, to the friend-of-my-friend.

We are all related. Because we are sharing this earth. Because we all have come from the same source of energy - and are threads to a larger journey.

Credit: To an online friend I chat with every day. At times, every hour.

I love you - Poem

in the darkness of broad daylight
I have seen some shadows familiar
I have seen you in their faces
In their smiles I have seen you…

In the echoes of cooing cuckoos
In the whispers of a starry night
I have heard you in the sound of a flowing river
In the rustling clouds I have heard you

In the softness of rose petals of the morning
In the warm drop of blood out of pricked thorns
I have felt you hug me when I trembled with fear
Dancing with me in my success, I have felt you…

I have danced with you, I have walked with you..
I have smiled with you, I have lived with you …
I have felt you, I have breathed you…
In every passing moment that I passed with you.
In my heart I have worshipped you…
I have glowed in your light and your energy…

When you brought light to my life, why were the shadows so dark?
When the shadows were so dark, why could I see you in them?

When you smiled at me, who says I didn’t feel like hugging you?
When you hugged me, who says I didn’t hug you back?
Who says I am unlucky...
Who says I didn’t get you…
You’ve lived with me all through the years
And forever you will stay…

-Aaditya Joshi

I was a small plant - Poem

One phone call can set you thinking. We received a phone call in 2005 informing us of the demise of a relative who had stayed in the US for the last fifteen years.

And there I saw his friends and relatives cry for him - they had not met him for over ten years. You certainly make a difference to the people who care.

Here is the poem that I wrote for him.

I was just a small plant
born in lush-green valleys
besides a golden river and mountains
covered by the blue sky above

I was just a small plant
seeking solace under the trees
growing with others like me
now bearing flowers so beautiful

I was just a small plant
fluttering in the wind
welcoming the rains when they came
smiling at the storms as well

I was just a small plant
filling the air with my fragrance
dancing with the bees and the birds
glittering with the dewdrops resting on me.

I was just a small plant
with my happy World around me
I was just a small plant..
who withered away one day

As I lay on the earth dry and motionless
the bees went about searching for the dancing me
the dewdrops collapsed to the ground
the winds and the rains went numb
the terrified trees shed their leaves for me

So what if I was just a small plant??
They had done all this just for me, the small plant…

-Aaditya Joshi

Thursday, December 06, 2007

God and Man - Poem

the ant walking down
the dog playing around
the kid’s gleaming eyes
the old lady so nice
they are all God!

the flowers that sway
grey clouds far away
the fishes that swim
rivers full to the brim
they are all God!

the beggar, the giver
the mountain, the river
the father, the mother
the enemy, the brother
the dead cat, the angry lion,
the rabbit, the Hindu,
the Muslim , the astronaut,
they are all God!

just that a man
loves to classify
right and wrong
pure and infidel,
he’ll always keep them different
a rabbit as a rabbit
a flower, a flower!

"If you can read this... "

Last month, I went back to school after six years. Everything had changed. A swanky new swimming pool stood where there was barren land. The classrooms were made up beautifully - there were paintings all over. There was a reading room where there existed a science laboratory. And the science laboratory was shifted to another larger place. There was an outdoor chessboard with life-size chess pieces. The school now boasted of three playgrounds – and all this was quite an achievement for a privately governed 15 years old school.

I watched with amazement these changes in my school and kept saying “Yeh hamaare time mein kyun nahi tha…” I happened to walk past the classrooms when I heard a familiar voice. Our Hindi teacher. In that typical tone of hers, she was reading out some chapter from the textbook. Yes, I remembered the chapter. It was about two sisters-in-law who fight and decide to split up the family. Like any other schoolbook chapter, the story ended on a happy note – this is what the textbook-makers are particular about.

She saw me outside the classroom and seemed happy. She completed her dictation while I waited outside the classroom. Then she came out and started talking, “How are you Aditya? What are you doing these days?” “I am doing my computer engineering at Somaiya.” “Wow, that’s so nice. You all have become big boys and girls now.” I smiled gleefully. We exchanged goodbyes and I left the place.

I met many other teachers who were all happy to see an ex-student visiting the school. I was very glad to meet them too – many of them asked me if I was in touch with Swati Ghiya. The famous, talented girl of my batch – then, a rival and now, quite a friend. They still remembered her vividly. Teachers love their students – especially the school teachers do.

I came back home but something seemed to be lingering in my mind. I was feeling disturbed – and I did not know why. This is where the cause of trouble lies for most of us – ignorance. I kept wondering why I was feeling weird and initially thought it was just the nostalgia. But it was not that. It was certainly something else.

A couple of days later, I met a school friend of mine– I would not give away the name because this write-up is going to portray her in a bad light. She said, “I had been to school the other day. I was shocked to see the teachers teaching the same lessons – god! Their knowledge is static – the same lessons, the same ‘extra questions’ and ‘important questions’. ” The words struck me like a bolt of lightening – almost. Yes, this was what was troubling me.

As I walked home, my mind was filled with thoughts. Over the six years after I passed out from school, I had been a part of various educational institutions – studied under many many teachers. When the course is on, we often tend to ridicule them, imitate their mannerisms, tag them as ‘khadoos’ or ‘bechari’. And then we pass out from that institution, move on with our lives, take up a job, get promoted and keep climbing the ladder step by step. And then one day, we look back like this friend of mine, rather look down on them.

They are the people who stood by us – the people who pushed us, the people who helped us to take our initial steps on the ladder of worldly success. They are still standing there. Helping others do what they did to you, years ago. They are the Teachers.

From grammar to arithmetic, from world history to environmental science – all this has been the foundation of whatever we have managed to do in our lives. One cannot undermine the sheer magnitude of the difference these teachers have made to all of us. Every single teacher we have had has contributed in making us the person that we are. And to them, we can only be grateful.

I stopped thinking. Switched on my computer. I changed the signature line of my email account to a quote I had read somewhere – “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

Today I had realised what that meant.
-Aaditya Joshi

How I got placed...

Until that day, I was an engineering student in his pre-final year - with marks fairly above
average. But there is this rather confused stage when the knowledge in the books needs to be
translated to something concrete. Such is our education system that a student will be able to
give us the 'definition' of something - but not be able to tell us what is it about.
And I don't say my condition was any different. While I was celebrating a rather low-key birthday [aah Aditya, you are 20 now. you don't need birthday parties], the very next day was going to be the TCS Aptitude test day.

I still remember the date - 22nd June, 07. I reached college early that morning. We were going to have a preplacement talk in the college auditorium. I saw with amazement the 'promotional video' for TCS. I remember my friend Janardan telling me, "Hey, chal chal let's join" after the video ended with the line "JOIN NOW". He's a funny guy.

The TCS aptitude test was 'online' - they had a centralized server which alloted questions
randomly. I scraped through the three sections - though I was absolutely bowled over by the
Verbal aptitude section. While I wondered who used those words anyways, I knew I was not the only one who got jacked.

The test was supposed to give an automatic result - after you click "SUBMIT", the test would tell you if you'd cleared. This is where the bravest of men would falter, I am sure. Somehow I could not bring myself to pressing that button. It was almost like the 'Danger sign'. I waited silently as the time ran out. And I got a message that I had cleared the test.

We were then handed out forms for the interviews which were scheduled the next day. The next day was probably the longest day ever. A long wait of almost two hours had me appearing for my technical interview. I managed to get through. The HR interview was rather horrible - the two interviewers literally pinned me down. With comments like I did not know anything at all, I felt rather terrible. Not expecting a positive outcome, I was surprised and happy when my name was included in the final list.

But when my name was announced, I know I was waiting to hear another name - Siddharth. A dear friend who very well deserved to make it there. But he didn't get through. This was slightly depressing and I know how I scorned about it before Mihir [another friend].

Long long day, I came back home tired. But I was a new person now. Th feeling took time to sink in - and things changed. It gave me a lot of confidence and security. You know it feels good when you are not just "Aditya Joshi TE Comps 'A' ", but "Aditya Joshi TE Comps 'A' placed in TCS". This sounds very much like satisfying one's ego, but that's how it is.

... This is how I got placed in TCS. Something that made a big difference - for I was happy for an year. Getting placed is perhaps a big day for every engineering student.

Destiny's children - Poem

all flowers grow on trees
some lay calm on a grave
some celebrate to victory
some stay beautifully in her hair
some hang around a dead man’s portrait
flowers, they are destiny’s children

they all glorify the cause they were made for!
-Aaditya Joshi

Who is 'Aaditya'? Who is 'me'?

Something about myself,
I am Aaditya Joshi. Stand as tall as many others in my engineering college. Do everything that any normal 20 year old person would do. Eat everything a person from Mumbai would.

In simpler words, I am like many others, in many ways. But, perhaps, different too. I proudly bear the name that means the Sun; I am equally proud of the surname - of a family who call me their rising son. All of us are playing two roles - what we are to the world and what we are to our family. The latter is often what we are in person.

This blog is to have a talk with myself - more than anything else. Because often, we need that to get in tune with our thoughts.

As I like to put it, "Aaditya and me" is when the person talks to the reflection - when the Aaditya in me talks to the Aaditya that people see.

Confused? Never mind. This is my first attempt at blogging. Let's find out how it goes.