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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Butterfly

A butterfly played with me each time I rode my bicycle up the road. The road went uphill and was flanked with tall gulmohar trees on both sides. There were bushes at the base of the trees that surrounded them like puppies huddled around Momma doggy.

The butterfly was beautiful brown in colour with tiny red spots on its wings. It played around in the bushes. Each time I treaded up or down the road, the butterfly flapped it wings and sat on the handle of my bicycle. When I pushed the cycle upwards by the pedal, the butterfly would fly away - only to land back on the handle next time I came along.

The butterfly was like a friend who would greet me every day. Nothing more. But nothing less too. It was someone who would never forget to greet me.


Today was a pleasant morning. I drove up the road again. I realized that the stretch of the road was over and the butterfly was not there today. I took a U-turn and halted the bicycle near the bushes. The butterfly was not there...

I pushed my cycle with my left leg and began pedaling upwards again.

As I moved away from the friend I met every day, there were a hundred Gulmohar flowers that had fallen on the road. The fiery red colour of the flowers looked like a hundred red spots on the road. It was as if the tiny spots on the wings of the butterfly had translated to these spots on the road - now that the butterfly was gone.

To feel connected to people, you do not have to spend too much time with them. We realize what big a difference these small connections made to us only after they disappear...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Comparing the Pizza shops

Disclaimer: A very customer-review of different pizza outlets. Not meant to promote or anti-promote any specific outlet.

With the loose flab hanging around my waist, I certainly am, in the truest sense of the word, a junk food lover. While many will argue over whether pizza fits into that category, I would say... it does. :-) Here I compare, in general, some pizza outlets in Mumbai that I have been to. In no specific order.

Pizza Hut: I love the ambience at pizza huts. It's very fresh. The pizzas are ok. There have been more than one occasions when the loo wasn't clean and more than ten occasions when the server dropped the pizza pan before/after serving the food. Btw, the garlic bread with cheese - I could die a hundred times over to be born to eat it!

Smokin' Joes: They have some interesting options- the kinds that the desi junta like me would love. But, many a times, the pizzas have been... smokin' burnt!! :-) The ambience is like a country bar at most Smokin' Joes outlets that I have been to.

Dominos: While their pizzas are the best of the lot and the cheese burst gives me a feeling close to the Big-Oh, their 30-minutes-nahi-to-free thing sucks to the core. They have NEVER given me that commitment! By that I mean, each time I am about to end the call, the lady (or the baba, as the case may be) says, "Sorry sir, we cannot give you the 30-minute-guarantee due to the traffic." And she's said this at 3pm as well when I could practically run shirtless on the road (due to no traffic.) They don't serve Garlic bread with Cheese.. which is a big boo-boo. They have Garlic breadsticks which are too thick and chewy for my taste. Btw, Dominos do not have a great seating space leave alone the ambience. But they have the BEST CHEESE BURST and that's sufficient for me!!

Garcia's Pizza: This chain of outlets is limited to Mumbai I believe. They are a nice low-budget version of the Pizza hut pizzas. The pizzas are AS GOOD AS the ones at Pizza hut. The places lack any ambience whatsoever.

Pizzas etc: Last but not the least, I would surely recommend this one outlet place called Pizzas etc. near Ghatkopar East station. The pizzas, the pastas and the garlic bread were all very yummy there. The seating space is outdoors though very attractive.

Poptate's/Jughead's: They aren't pizza-pizza joints but I have had AMAZING PIZZAS at amazingly low rates at these places. The choice is ofcourse limited to a total of six pizzas since that's just a small section on their menu.

As a side-note, I really don't like the thin crust pizzas served by most of these outlets. They only look/taste like paapads!

Waise, thirty minutes ho gaya and my Dominos Cheese Burst pizza hasn't arrived yet! Lemme go and call them once....

New Bolly Sirens

Note: For humour. The names of the public figures may be wrongly used

Mom said the other day that all Bollywood actresses of today look the same to her. Maybe it's because all of them visit the same doctor..? *wink*

The new batch of Bolly heroines is certainly new and improving. 'New' because they are 'new' and 'improving' because they are .. ahem.. 'improving'. I see a certain 'growth' in every movie of theirs. How I wish this growth was the one in their acting prowess.

They come in all shapes and sizes. There's a Kareena Kapoor in size zero and a Vidya Balan in size... one zero zero. While the former seems to have learnt her 'weird blank expressions with a tinge of fear and sorrow' from her sister Lolo, the latter could never get over her Parineeta image. But I am really surprised at why Vidya Balan hasn't joined the bhooli bisri actresses league yet (the place where the likes of Gracy 'Lagaan' Singh - who's just as close in size to Vidya - R. I. P. )

Forgotten actresses ka naam liya and I remember, Tanisha - Kajol's sister. This lady could not scream over-the-top in emotional scenes like her sister, this lady did not have a good friend Karan Johar to back her. In sab ke baawajood, how did she even think she would make it in Bollywood?! And then she dropped (most of) her clothes in 'Neal n Nikki'. Now that was fine. But, who did she romance with those skimpy clothes on her? Uday 'Chimp' Chopra??? That did it for you, Tanisha Begum!!

Enough of bhooli bisri bollywood sirens. Among the new ones, we have Priyanka Chopra, Lara Dutta and the others. Priyanka Chopra is a sheer case of 'glam-babe-trying-her-hand-at-substance-roles'. I remember the days of 'Asambhav' (btw, that's a film of hers with Arjun Rampal) where she looked like a mannequin that walked. I also remember a recent film of hers called 'Love story 2050' with her then-boyfriend Harmanbhai Baweja. With all the red hair and Piggy (she IS rightly called 'Piggy Chops') expressions on her, I SO WANTED A REFUND!!!!!

And then there's Kangana Ranaut who is specializing in the 'traumatized aaj ki naari' kind of roles. The day I got to know that Shekhar Suman's son Adhyayan is her boyfriend, I got to know how she emotes so well. The poor girl is 'indeed' traumatized.

Bollywood we love and b*tching about the Bolly sirens I love...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Krishna's mothers

Dear Krishna,

You were born to Devaki in a prison. Due to circumstances, you grew up with Yashoda who raised you with all her love.

Were you only doubly lucky? No, you are God yourself. You must have orchestrated the whole thing. What, then, was the intuition behind having two mothers in this Avatar of yours?

Wasn't Devaki under the impression for a long time that she had delivered a daughter the eighth time and that Kansa had killed the daughter? So was Devaki's role as your mother over after she gave birth to you?

Didn't Yashoda believe that you were her son until she got to know that you were born for a cause and were with her just because your life was under harm in the prison?

Did Devaki forget you because she was ignorant of the fact that you were born? Did Yashoda take care of you only because she was ignorant too?

When I hear about Devaki and Yashoda, I only admire your strength. You keep us all ignorant and it is this ignorance that takes us through.

If we weren't ignorant about the things that we are ignorant about, maybe the reality would be too harsh to accept (Imagine Yashoda knowing that Krishna wasn't her son.)

Krishna, thank you for blessing us with ignorance. We are rising, we are living and we are learning only because of this ignorance.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


A swanky car stopped in front of the bungalow. A man in his late 20s got down from the car. The aviator sunglasses that he was wearing had the reflection of the bungalow as he stood before it. He pulled out his cellphone from his pocket.

"Shreya, I've reached!" and he disconnected the call. He was resting against his car as he waited for Shreya to come. Two windows from the neighbouring bungalows had opened and people were already peeping out. It wasn't every day that such an expensive car would be seen there.


"Please sit beta", Mr. Kulkarni said, "So you are a businessman, eh?"

"Yes uncle", Hrishi smiled. Shreya smiled proudly.

"Hrishi deals in carpets, Baba", Shreya added.

"Oh, that's nice", Mr. Kulkarni smiled, "I'm glad to meet you, Hrishi. Shreya has made the right choice indeed."


"Uncle, We'll take your leave now. Shreya and I are going to shop today", Hrishi smiled again at the end of this meet-the-parents evening.

"Oh ya, I'm sure Shreya will love some kurtas!"

"No uncle. She hates kurtas...", Hrishi remarked.


When Shreya and Hrishi left for the mall, Mr. Kulkarni waved them goodbye from the balcony.

He remembered Shreya's words on her recentmost birthday when he had gifted her an ethnic kurta. "Wow, dad...I love it!! Thank you!!", she had said before giving him a hug.

He remembered Shreya keeping the regular cutlery away and pulling out the expensive set from the cupboard just before Hrishi had come today.

The empty expensive tea cups on the table was like a footprint of an arrival. An arrival of a new person in their life.


A 'meet-the-family' evening brings a lot of changes. It's the arrival of a person, beginning of the adjustments, iterations of the pleasant 'oh-that's-so-nice-beta's and certain astonishing change of choices in the sons and daughters. Hence a father like Mr. Kulkarni only smiles when he no longer knows his daughter as well as he used to. After all, when new bonds are formed, the existing equations have to be adjusted a bit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Silence of oneself

Disclaimer: Read at your own risk!

I close my eyes. It's the same darkness again. The darkness that seems to prove to me the presence of an infinitely deep world within me.

I sense the vibrations in my body. The vibrations whose existence I know of without a doubt but whose location I would never be able to pinpoint. I sense the vibrations travelling from my brain to my shoulders and then coming back to my voice-box.

I hear the sound of an 'Om' - a sound that resonates through my brain, a sound that slightly escapes through the thin slits of my eyelids. The sound is like the steam that takes along with it all that was impure and foreign leaves my body.

The sound of the Om wanes off and I hear nothing. I have no thoughts, no feelings.

I am at peace. I hear silence. Silence of myself filling up my ears and my mind...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Interpreting 'The Homecoming'

Disclaimer: Imaginary in parts. An original work of expression.

He was reading 'The Homecoming' by Shashi Warrier as he walked home. He had begun reading the book for the last ten days and was reading it throughout the train journey today.

He closed the book and rang the door-bell. It was mom at the door. Her face smiled as she saw her son back after more than seven months.

He kept his bag on the floor. He carried the book to his room. He hurled it on his bed and headed for a shower.

The book lay on his bed and he took a peaceful shower.

The book speaks about a native of Kashmir who returns home after a long period of time. He is immediately picked up by the police along with his son. They are suspected to be a part of the militant group.

The world turns around for him as the land that he called his own considers him a traitor and the people who he thought were his friends distrust him. He then fights a battle for justice and for his son.

The he who was taking the shower stood silently outside the bathroom as the water dripped down his calf on the floor.

We tend to assume a lot of joys to be naturally occuring to us. We take such joys, which are in fact 'privileges' for granted. Coming back home and feeling peaceful is one such joy. The sad part of it is that a lot of our people have not been as lucky...

If we are peaceful and happy, we are only lucky...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Reviewing 'Shivajiraje Bhosale boltoi'

'Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale boltoi' was a movie I wanted to watch for a long time now. Last night I did.

The hype created around the film is that of a very motivating movie that makes a strong social statement. The movie does not.

The movie is a fantastic tale of a Marathi family who are trying to save their house from an evil builder.

The entire Marathi-non-Marathi discussion is only the backdrop of the movie and that is, in my opinion, the best part of the movie. The movie does not separate people on the basis of their community, it only unites them.

The movie does not move you or leave you with a message - it is not meant to. It is an out-and-out entertainer!

There are people who are rubbing the movie off saying it is juvenile. Some scenes are. But, I would say, it is funnily entertaining.

If a Shahrukh Khan can bounce to a height and shoot the goons, why can't any other actor? If Sunny Deol uproots a water pump and hits the villians with it leaving the audience in an enthralled state of mind, why can't Sachin Khedekar?

'Rang de Basanti' related the stories of the past with a story in the present time. This movie does the same. It is for this reason that I can digest the fact that there is a Shivaji Maharaj living on Pratapgad - in today's times. :-) (Fantasy.. but why not!)

Shivaji Maharaj was a man who stood up for his people, united them and fought with them as much as he did for them. He was not just a leader- he was a motivator. He was someone who brought hope to people who had lost it.

'Lagaan' was marketed and targeted at the cricket fever in the country. This movie is targeted at the Shivaji Maharaj loyalty of the people.

(Btw, the music is lovely. The Powaada, the Koli song and the Shivaji Maharaj Song are super!!)

The movie tries to bring back hope to the people, the hope to live and the courage.

The movie is not an outstanding piece of work. But, it is fun!!

P. S. : Mahesh Manjrekar does not get the Marathi pronunciations correctly. 'Abaadhit' becomes 'Abaadit' for him among several cases.