Monday, June 24, 2013

Haiku: A free lunch

Deprived mortal,

mimes victim of hazard,

in search of a free lunch.


Written for Haiku Heights

Monday, June 10, 2013

Technology for Everyone

Hello Reader

Despite of so much of variety and advancement in every electrical and electronics product and online shopping, often it happens that what you get is not as you expected it to be. Many times, consumers feel that they should take a ‘test drive’ before buying the product and to practically use it before they pay for it. 

Another thing that customers want is to compare two or three products of different makes before they purchase it, to select the best in the range. In retail stores, you can open the sealed box and see your product only after you do the payment. So, trying out was not really an option in most of the retail stores. Also, you had to stick to one particular brand with no scope of variance, or else roam around different stores all day and ultimately waste your time in buying a product. 

Reliance digital fulfills this dream of a consumer by providing a space with all the products that one wants to buy, with an array of top notch brands. It gives you total freedom to roam around and survey the products that you desire to buy.  You can practically hold the product and use it yourself, buy it only if it suits you. 

My Experience:

Luckily, I happened to be in Mumbai this week and 
coincidentally I came across this notification where I got to know about visiting a Reliance Digital Store here. I chose R City Mall, Ghatkopar as it was the nearest to the location of my stay.

I walked into the store with my whole family which had people of age ranging from 6 to 60. After leaving them on their own, I went to meet the busy store manager, who was actually expecting me. But, since he was in middle of something, he asked me to wait for a while and go around the store for an ‘experience’.
Though, I have been to Reliance Digital stores in the past a lot, this was the first time with my family. And to my surprise, rather than bored, each one of them were busy looking up to different products in their respective sections. My Mother and Aunt were busy scanning the home appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners), father was already planning to buy the latest monolithic LED television while brother was busy discussing about which is more a worthy buy, a smartphone or a tablet, with the respective sales guy and the kids were busy in the game section, waiting for their turns to grab the Xbox controller. Even I kept myself busy checking out some new digital cameras and SLRs. They had products to please everyone!

The store sales people are really helpful and they do know what they are selling. Not just helping you with your problems but they also suggest you the best buy as per your requisites. Apart from that, there is a separate help desk and a finance provider counter which is really thoughtful and consumer-friendly. For each product Reliance Digital offers great discounts and a parallel option to buy their own ReConnect Products which are equally good as any other brand and much more economical. Also, the after-sales service by their Reliance ResQ group is what is missed at many other stores.

After roaming around the store for a while, I met the manager again, who introduced me to another employee who checked my ID to note my attendance. But, the only minus of the day was that they were out of goodie bag’s stock (a goodie-shock for me) which were supposed to be given but looking at my pitiful face, they did assure me with hopes that I’ll be receiving it soon via courier.

So, with lots of happiness and hopes, I returned back with my family, who by now would certainly be having a lot to buy on their wish-list. 

Big thanks to IndiBlogger and Reliance Digital for this experience.  


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Disturbing Silence: Short Story

“Reading other’s personal diary is not a good idea, you know that, Malhar.”

“Yes, Alimah, I know but this is the only way to find out what is wrong with the boy.”

The boy never talked much. In fact, in the initial days when he joined the new school, everybody had a feeling that he was mute. He wouldn’t speak until he was asked a question and used his words in a laconic manner.

“Or maybe he is just another introvert?”, Alimah pressed.

“His unusual taciturnity concerns me, Alimah. His behaviour is very different from a ‘just another’ introvert”, Malhar defended.

It was his third year in the school but yet he didn’t have anyone who could be called his friend. When in recess everyone shared their lunch boxes, he would sit alone on his bench and finish his lunch. All his classmates would play and participate in sports and other activities while he spent the same time in either library, if permitted or writing his diary, at a solitude corner on the playground, under a tree.

“By the way, where did you find this diary?”, Alimah asked.

“He dropped it on the playground today and I picked it up”, Malhar explained. “And do not worry; it will safely reach its owner tomorrow.”

“You never discussed his problem with the other subject teachers?”

“No, you think they’ll be interested, Alimah? 

“Maybe yes, just like you are. Why are you so interested?” 

“I am concerned because I am their sports coach and his inactiveness bothers me. And how many more questions do you have?”

The teachers were not too much bothered since he was pretty good academically. He scored well in his subjects. But, he was physically dull and weak compared to his other classmates. He usually remained scared to even look up into anybody’s eyes while trying to converse. 

Once, they had a public speaking event and it turned out to be the worst day at school for him. He became a punching bag of the class.

“Now I can’t even ask questions to you?” Alimah fumed.

“You can. I just wanna help this kid, but, stop interrogating me.”

“Interrogating? I thought I was helping but-“

“Why don’t you leave me alone for some time? It has been a busy day.”

“Sure! Am gonna sleep in the other room, good night!”, Alimah slammed the door behind her.

“Couldn’t have been a better night”, Malhar replied in rage.


“Alimah, Alimah… I am really sorry…for last night, I shouldn’t have-“,
Malhar woke her up. 

“Actually, it was me, I was really irriating-“ Alimah prompted. “Forget it, let me make us some tea.”

Sipping the refreshing tea, Malhar continued, “Well, now, I think I know what the kid’s problem is.”
Puffing air to cool the hot tea, Alimah looked at him with fishy eyes, “You read the diary, didn’t you?”

“Well, yes, I did. I recommend you to read it as well.”

“Sorry, but committing sin isn’t my cup of tea.”

“Okay. Your wish but I still recommend you to… read a bit of it. Little sin with the morning tea is fine. You wanna help me or not? While I go take a bath, read this entry, the answer is here, this page…”, Malhar bookmarked the page and left. 
Alimah gave up, took a deep breath and started reading.

11th Jan

Dear Diary, 

Today, Mumma is very sad again. I can hear her sobs echoing in this silence. Daddy is very angry on her. I was really scared when they were fighting. I wanted to play with my Daddy and finish today’s homework with my Mumma but they were late from their office again. And Daddy was very tired and Mumma had to cook the dinner. So, I did my homework alone. Then, while we were having dinner, Daddy became very angry, so angry that he threw away his plate and the food were spilled all over the floor. The cracking sound of the utensils frightens me. I think he didn’t like the taste of the food so he was scolding her. I didn’t dare to look up from my plate as I finished my dinner. They were screaming so loud that I wanted to close my ears and my eyes to not see him slap her again like last time. I wanted to stop them but I was very very scared. I really want an angel to come soon and make us all happy.

Good Night.


“We are never letting this happen to our child”, teary-eyed Alimah said.

“Never”, he assured.

“Now tell me, angel, how are you going to help this poor child?”

“Oh! Alimah, how many questions do you ask?”, Malhar giggled. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Poem: Box of Blues

To avenge the banal opus,
in fiasco, the controller is assaulted,
numerous times, it is clicked,
only to find exhilaration. 
Every face of the colored box is painted,
but, with a similar shade of poignancy,
boasting of some lachrymose issue. 
Despair makes the headlines look fancy
and every page turns into a tissue. 
Be it inside or outside the box,
to search happiness is not a cake-walk.
Liberation from an unendurable writhe 
or is it our world stuck inside the box?
A thin screen between material and myth,
or is it just a mirror that stares back, I wonder? 


Sunday, June 2, 2013

"Raanjhanaa" is enchanting

Hello Reader,

I usually do not write reviews but I couldn't stop myself from writing this one. Actually, rather than a review, calling it a praise would be more precise. Yes, Dr. A R Rahman’s next music album “Raanjhana” is finally out and my ears are very happy about it. 

His last successful Hindi album was “Rockstar” after which his albums “Ekk deewana tha” and “Jab tak hai jaan” couldn’t do that well. Though, his last two Tamil albums “Kadal” and “Maryan” were exceptionally good. But, sadly regional music doesn’t get too much focus on a national level. 

“Raanjhanaa” brings back to us the brilliant, magical music we know Sir Rahman for. The album, as expected from the Mozart of Madras, is very versatile. Every song has a different flavour like his previous works in Rockstar, Rang de Basanti and Delhi 6. This album has 9 tracks consisting of both western and Hindustani music. Lyrics for all the songs are written by the very talented Irshad Kamil. 

Track 1: Raanjhana 

This is the title song sung by Shiraz Uppal and Jaswinder Singh. Song starts with a slow vocal solo on high notes and light synth chords and before you know, it progresses into a rustic foot tapping music with Desi Dhols that will make you wish to dance on the street and sing along the beautifully penned lyrics. Noteworthy pieces in this song are the violin chorus before the first interlude and the sitar & tabla, before the second interlude, giving the song a bit of classical touch. You’ll fall in love with this song on the first listen.

Track 2: Banarasiya

As the name suggests, this classical-folk song boasts about the colors of Banaras with the lyrics telling us the story of the city’s specialities like Paan, Bhaang, Ghats of Ganga and their culture. Sung by none other than the very talented Shreya Ghoshal, she titillates the listener with her little ‘harkats’ in this song. The sounds of Bansuri will take you directly to Banaras.  

Track 3: Piya Milenge

And the duo (Sukhwinder and Rahman) is back, which gave us songs like Chaiya Chaiya and Jai Ho! 

‘Piya Milenge’ is a sufi-qawwali song with western percussion beats which works brilliantly with the powerful voice of Sukhwinder. 

Song is also credited to the K M Music Conservatory student’s Sufi Ensemble for their amazing choir and back vocals. 

Track 4: Ay sakhi

A pure Hindustani classical song sung by two very sweet voices; Chinmayee and Madhushree. At times, their voices are so well synchronized that it’s hard to differ the singers. Also, apart from singing the lyrics and sargam, their voices have been used like a musical instrument which sounds like a shehnai. The song is very well accompanied with Indian percussion instruments; Tabla and Mridanga. Songs like these will always keep the Indian classical music alive. 

Track 5: Nazar Layee

A duet sung by Rashid Ali (Kabhi-Kabhi Aditi fame) and Neeti Mohan (Jiya  Re fame). This song is a usual soft-romantic number which is peaceful, with guitar and light beats supporting the vocals. Not much to say about this song.

Track 6: Tu Mun Shudi 

A contemporary song that balances between western and Indian music with its western beats and Shehnai leads. This is the second collaboration of A R Rahman with Rabbi Shergill after ‘Challa’. It is a very good fusion with mostly Punjabi lyrics. 

Track 7: Aise Na Dekho

‘Aise Na dekho’ is a Jazz number, a very soft and romantic song sung by A R Rahman and backed by Karthik. If you liked “Tu bole Main Bolun” (Jaane tu ya Jaane Na) then you’ll love this one too. Only that, instead of the saxophone, accordion is used along with the vocals. 

Track 8: Land of Shiva

An intense instrumental song with heavy Indian percussions used. This one sounds spiritual with some Aarti chants, temple bells and Shankh in the background. 

Track 9: Tum Tak

By now, most of you might have heard this song on the TV promos. Tum Tak is certainly the heart of the album and most refreshing song. The song begins with soft spiritual Aarti chimes and progresses into a romantic composition with Javed Ali’s ear-pleasing voice and the lyrics telling us that what we love is the zenith. The words of “Tum Tak” have been used to sound like the ‘bol’ of Tabla as in Indian classical music. The noteworthy parts of the song are the Shehnai chorus beautifully used and Keerthi Sagathia’s cameo in-between with his powerful high notes. This song is also the debut of another sweet voice; Pooja Vaidyanath. So, swing your head with the music and clap your hands along with the taal of “tum tak...tum tak...”

So, overall this album is a creation as good as Maestro’s previous works like Lagaan, Guru or Jodhaa Akbar. 
Take 9/9 

Remarkable Tracks: Tum Tak, Raanjhnaa, Tu Mun Shudi and Ay Sakhi.
Its Folk-ing awesome! 

Buy Original. Do Not Download. It’s worth it.
Available on iTunes