Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Finally I managed to see Shaurya a couple of days back.. As it is, the movie was related to Armed forces, so I was eager to watch it ever since I came to know about it. They say that the movie is closely based on a Hollywood drama: A Few Good Men, which I have seen a number of times.

The movie is about the court martial of a young Captain Javed Khan, played by Deepak Dobriyal, who is accused of having terrorist connections and killing his fellow officer, Major Virendra Rathod. The movie is also about a lawyer in army, Major Siddhant played by Rahul Bose who never takes life seriously, until this case lands in his court as a defense lawyer. For everyone it seemed to be an open and shut case, where the accused simply needs to plead guilty. Instead Rahul Bose pleads 'Not Guilty' on the first hearing, much to everyone’s surprise.

His only support throughout the case is Minisha Lamba, who plays a journalist in the movie and is primarily responsible for bringing a change in Rahul Bose. How Rahul Bose takes the case forward, and tries to understand the motive, accused and the situation. What seemed to be an open and shut case, the reality was absolutely different from it. It brought into light the powers that can be (mis)used by a senior officer Brig. Rudra Pratap Singh, played by Kay Kay Menon. It also brought into forefront the fake encounters that happen in the name of counter insurgencies.

It brought into light some very sensitive areas of being an officer, a human being, a person's hatred against a religion, wrong use of powers or rank that you hold... There was a scene, when Javed Khan says that he is being punished for what he is. He is a Muslim so he is paying for being that. Another scene which touches you is, Rahul Bose says while remembering his father, who died a martyr's death on the border - The nation got a hero, but I lost my Father.

It brings into light the problems our Indian Army goes through, the difficult situations which the officers have to deal with, how to judge whether it is right or wrong to kill a person, to understand the motive behind why the person is like this. The movie again made me closer to our Armed Forces. How many of us, do ever think about what they go through, staying away from families for months; breathing and fighting in the most difficult situations, where even the basic necessities of life are not available.

Whatever be it, go and watch the movie for power packed performances by Rahul Bose and Kay Kay Menon. I am actually thinking of having the movie in my collection. Go, watch, enjoy and think about it..

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Am reading a Hindi novel these days: Munshi Premchand's Godan. The novel presents a heart rending picture of a peasant called Hori and his struggle with the society, life. How he is exploited by the rich and his struggle to survive. It is one his highly acclaimed novel.

As usual, a colleague of mine asked what I am reading these days. The mere mention of Hindi novel raised her eyebrows. It was hard for her to digest that someone can read 'HINDI' novel. My reaction was even more of astonishment. Why not!! Whats wrong in reading a 'HINDI' novel. My mother tongue is Hindi and if there is something good available to read in it, then why not read it.

I generally find this behavior in today's society. Its considered below standard to speak or read anything in Hindi. They will know all about Sidney Sheldon or Khaled Hosseini or Paulo Coelho, but they would not know about Premchand, Mahadevi Verma or Ramdhari Singh 'Dinkar'. Am quite sure, not many people remember about them, even though they did read their literature in either school or college.

Why do people find it so derogatory to read Hindi? I still remember a friend of mine who passed a remark, while we were in school about the Hindi period: 'O God! What a pain to study Hindi after studying such an enriching language like English.' Our Hindi syllabus offered a wide variety of poems, short stories, comprehensions and novels. There were students who failed to pass the Hindi exam or they copied notes from others, including mine to score marks. Still they passed such remarks about the subject.

I sometimes wonder, why dont we take Hindi in such a good stride as English. Agreed that English may be a universally accepted language. But does that mean that we forego or forget about our own Mother tongue. Living in India, still we feel that its below standard to read Hindi. Why? Why cant Hindi language be given the same importance like any other language? Is it so difficult!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mesmerizing Voice

My profession of Software Engineer requires a lot of talking. Prior to the current job, I was in Production Support team where day in and day out we interacted with the business users and core team for the software fixes. The communication was not restricted to emails, timestamps or instant messengers but telecommunication as well.

So while it used to start on an official note with business being discussed, it always ended with the note: It was nice speaking to you. In the beginning, I thought that its just another gesture, etiquette which is followed. Later on I realized, that no one else was told this except for me. The communication over the phone grew a lot since we got into too many projects and most of the times critical tasks. The best way to communicate quickly and easy, was over the phone. I could not wait for the mail to be sent or its reply.

I became quite popular among the users. They were actually mesmerized by the tone, accent, voice - call it whatever you want. I personally dont feel that there is any kind of modulation or accent in my voice. I speak very normally with the users, the same way I speak with others here. There were cases, that the business users whenever visited India, came specially to our floor to meet me , much to my embarrassment. They sent chocolates, gifts and others were suspicious about it. Even my managers used to ask me, why is it no one in the ODC got anything from the users, except for me. I had no answer to this. One extreme case was when a person in UK asked a colleague of mine, who was supposed to travel to UK, to get a picture of mine.

I am no orator or someone who participated in debates while in school or involve in speech therapy. But yes, whenever I have spoken over the phone to people who do not know me, get attracted to the voice, much to my amusement. Till now I have not been able to figure out the reason behind it. I sound very much the same on the phone, as in person, but still people are mesmerized by the voice. Do they hear a tinkle or a smile or warmth in the voice, I am not sure of. Now if someone says, that they like to speak to me, because they find the voice attractive, my reaction is : Oh No!! Not again...

I am not sure whether having such a voice is a boon or a bane..

Friday, April 11, 2008

Easy to talk!

A few days back a friend of mine in office walked up to me and said if I have a few minutes, she would like to speak to me... I was ready to speak to her despite the work load. She needed to make a confession to me, which I found very SWEET... I had not expected that she will ever come to me, to make a confession which was so very personal. We were never so close friends. I was surprised as well as delighted that she thought of me in such a nice way, that she opened up her heart...

In the end, she also said that she finds me the kind of person, one can easily talk to.. so this was one example of one of my friend cum colleague making a confession to me. There is another colleague of mine, who actually does the same. Like me, she has not been able to make any friends here.. We two are not great friends or bosom pals but still whenever she has some concern or she wants to share something, she will walk upto me.. Last week when I was on leave for 3 days, she actually asked me later about my absence.. She said that she wanted to discuss something important regarding her movement to another team..

The whole point was again the same. She finds it comfortable to talk to me about anything that bothers her. May be I just lend a hearing ear which generally everyone looks for, when they are bothered. I mentioned about a similar situation where people walk up to me to talk about their problems, grievances, issues and I would look like a agony aunt . But here, its not being a agony aunt. Here you simply need a person, who can LISTEN. Not only the friends, but a few colleagues of mine have so many times, talked with me about something, which they would DARE not discuss with anyone. I remember my days in Pune when a few colleagues who later on became really good friends, used to share with me about their girlfriends, crushes, new found love, girls being crazy about them, they being crazy about someone. We all worked together in the same team and I was supposed to be their mentor. May be my easy-to-gel-with nature prompted them to share their feelings with me. Thats how we all became good friends and we still are.

I get the same feedback from my team as well. Even though some team members have moved into another teams, still they come up to me whenever they have problems. They find it very easy, comfortable to talk to me. They feel that they are being heard and it puts them at ease. They feel relaxed and go back to work with a happy feeling. I do feel good about the fact that many people find me approachable for anything that they want to share. Sometimes they just need a person to give a vent to their feelings, without the other person being biased or giving any opinions. They simply want someone to hear them out. I do wonder what is it that makes the other person feel, Yes, she is the one whom I can share anything confidently and without the fear of being disclosed or discussed with anyone else. I am not a very social person. I still have not managed to make any great friends. I simply know them so you can say; they are my only so-called friends.

The whole idea - what makes one person feel about the other that he can share anything with the other one. Is it the attitude or the friendliness or the way you exhibit yourself or your outgoing nature or simply a smile? Whatever it is, I feel its something good if I can be of any help to someone and it makes the other person feel good too...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The trip is over

I am back from my wonderful, short trip to Cochin. It was the much needed break for me. Had a gala time there. Cochin is still very green as it used to be, when I had visited the place during my Kerala trip 4-1/2 years back. The view that you see from the flight is of a green village surrounded by waters. Houses can be seen but at quite a distance from each other. The whole city makes you fall in love with it.

Being a major city of Kerala, still it has maintained the peace, liveliness, needs of a village as well as of a cosmopolitan city.... The ceremonial function was a grand function. I got a chance to meet the Chief of Navy Staff - Admiral Sureesh Mehta whom I had only seen in pictures and on television. My brother received the award from him. It was an indescribable feeling. Every passing moment, made us feel proud. Even though we were seated for the ceremony at 7:00 am, still we were wide awake. The parade lined up. The band came. The Commander-in-Chief came. The CNS came. All the officers looked very smart in their crisp, white uniform. It was a lovely, pleasant morning after a good amount of rain in the previous evening.

All the wait for the Official dignitaries was worth every second of it. Receiving a gallantry award is like a lifetime achievement. Not everyone gets this honour in his tenure of service. I feel so proud that my brother got this award for the act of valour, which when I heard, had chill running down my spine. There were only six gallantary awards that were given among the other awards. Not only the officers and soldiers who were being felicitated that day, even their families had a proud look on their face. Fighting against all odds and in difficult situations made these officers stand apart. They all had actually risked their own lives to save others. My brother was the youngest among all the officers who received the award that day. He was also a step ahead, since he was being award for an act which happened in Maldives - A foreign country. The kind of appreciation, felicitation that he got from the Maldivian Government and the Indian High Commission is something to reckon for. The only experienced Indian Officer on the ship with a handful of sailors, managed to fight the battle with the fully armed LTTE militants in the middle of the sea.

Even though he did not tell me the full details( he is not supposed to), I could still picture the whole scene. How proud my brother looked after the medal was put on his chest by the CNS. It will adorn his uniform forever. I salute him and all the brave Indian soldiers who fight for our country and make us safe everyday, every moment, without wanting anything from us in return. How I wish I was a part of this esteemed organization. I guess now the only way left is, marry an officer. Hope to find one.