Sunday, December 31, 2023

Sajini Shinde Ka Vial Video - Movie

 Interesting. Fast paced, keeps you gripped. Funnily had a very Marathi film vibe despite being a Hindi film.

The Year That Was - 2023

A snapshot of the year in numbers
Goodbye beautiful 2023

Books read - 61 (Wooden on Leadership, Murder at the Mushaira)

Movies watched - 67 (Balagam)


- Review of 'Unveiling Jazbaa' in the Deccan Chronicle 
-Blogs - 307

Events -
Moderated session on sports writing at the Hyderabad Literary Festival with authors Ayush Puthran and Madhavi Lata in January
Was MC at Bobby Rao's book launch at Secunderabad Club, end of January
Raised a toast at Brother Joseph's 75th birthday (first time)
Panelist at the Hindu-Sportstar Sports Conclave  
Part of the first alumni meet at the Dance Department, University of Hyderabad, a huge affair
MC at the prize distribution ceremony at the senior zonals tournament, Hyderabad

Travel -
Pune (Shanivar vada, Vetal tekdi)
Bangalore (Attur Lake)
Cuttack (Mahanadi, Ravenshaw University)
Vizag (RK Beach, Hotel Daspalla, Raju gari dhaba)
Jaipur (Hawa mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Lassiwala, India Coffee House, Amer Fort, Jaigarh Fort and Nahargarh Fort, Jagat Shiromani temple)
Ajmer (dargah)
Pushkar (Pushkar lake, desert ride, sand art museum)
Delhi (India Gate, Humayun's tomb. Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid, Karim's)

Local - 
Bansilalpet stepwell?

Talks (2)
School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad, March 
Talk at Usha Goteti's dance school, March  

A 6 month training and coaching assignment with Backflipt
A 3 month teaching assignment at the Department of Dance, University of Hyderabad
A contract as Chief Selector for the Hyderabad Cricket Association
Workshops Conducted (7) -
Building Leadership Muscle (2 days) - Backflipt
Winning by Design (1 day) - Backflipt
Champion's Mindset, SMS, University of Hyderabad (4 days)
Building Leadership Muscle  (1 day) - Sparity
Leadership workshop (2 days) - Panzer Solutions
Winning by Design (3 days) - Psiog

Workshops Attended
Money Matters by Audrey, 

Art Management -University of Hyderabad, 

Coaching -
Vijay Sabbu, Sudhir, Rajeev, Sudi 

Mentoring- Hemanth, Abhinay
People met -
(Cricketers) John Wright, Jonty Rhodes, Vinay Kumar, MSK Prasad, L Balaji, Tilak Varma, Siraj, R Sridhar
(Writers) Jerry Pinto, Ayush Puthran, Madhavi Lata, Connor Sharkey, Abhinay Renny, Ushal Akella, Mani Rao, R Sridhar, Harshavardhan, Gouri Dange, Deepti Naval, P Sainath, Gita Ramaswamy, and Sandhya Iyer

- Music Festival Bandlands at Bangalore - Deep Purple, Goo Goo Dolls, Parikrama, F16s, Parwaaz, Thermal and a Quarter
- Music concert - Thaikudam Bridge at Hyderabad
- Dance programs at Ravindra Bharathi organised by my students - Gangadhar, Radhika, Shiva
- Plays 'Dear Omana' and 'Miya Biwi ke Mantaka'
- Watched one World Cup match - Sri Lanka vs Pakistan at RGICS, Uppal
- Watched sunset at Nahargarh Fort  
- Buying myself Rajnigandha flowers
- Walking on the road aimlessly in pure bliss after beating Mumbai in the Mushtaq Ali tournament
Gifts - Books, Shoes, Clothes, Travel, Pens

Writer's Meet - We had several writer's meets and lots of fun

People Lost - It has been a year of great trauma with the passing away of Ranjan, of Baig sir. Of Anil Kak and of Abdul Azeem. 

The Year in Movies

Movie watching has reduced, down to 67 from last year's 71, and so has the quality of movies watched. I did watch a whole bunch of old films thanks to Anjali trying to knock off some old classics. Of the new ones i enjoyed watching 'Balagam',  'MAD', 'Sam Bahadur', 'Month of Madhu', 'Funral', 'Ms Shetty Mr Polishetty', 'Ayisha' and '12th Fail'.

Watching 'Deewar' in the theatre with Anjali was an experience. Ramesh's 'Balagam' was a force of nature - authentic. 'Zubeidaa' took me took a different time and space. 'Month of Madhu' was another beautiful movie. All the movies I watched with Anjali were so worth watching and so much fun.

1. Fouja
2. Kuttey
3. Glass Onion
4. Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey
5. Saath Saath
6. Pathan
7. A Man Called Otto
8. Fursat
9. Jana Gana Mana
10. The Elephant Whisperers
11. Phalana Ammayi Phalana Abbayi
12. Nanpakala Nerathu Mayakan
13. Dear Friend
14. Balagam
15. Chor Nikalke Bhaaga
16. Funral
17. Ela Veezhi PooncheraCinema Paradiso
18. Dr Strangelove
19. Annie Hall
20. Dasara
21. Amar Akbar Anthony
22. Kaala Pathar
23. Zubeidaa
24. The Wife
25. The Threshold
26. Tendlya
27. Mithya
28. Don
29. Sholay
30. Pachayum Adbutham Villakum
31. Ayisha
32. The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch
33. Bheeshma Parvam
34. Koomam
35. Good Luck Leo Grande
36. Oppenheimer
37. Mammanan
38. Shiv Shastri Balboa
39. Thankam
40. Thandatti
41. Ford vs Ferrari
42. Murder Mystery
43. Murder Mystery 2
44. Neeyat
45. Jawan
46. The Outfit
47. Mr Shetty Ms Polishetty
48. 2018
49. OMG2
50. Benaam
51. Month of Madhu
52. 12th Fail
53. MAD
54. Hannah and her Sisters
55. Sam Bahadur
56. Mast Mein Rehne Ka
57. Garudan
58. Dhak Dhak
59. Sajini Shinde ka Viral Video
60. CBI5
61.License to Live
62.Everything Everywhere All At Once
63. Irikka
64. Purush
65. Qala
66. The Blindside
67. Burial 

The Year in Travel

This year has upped my travel a bit thanks to cricket tours. My long pending dream of sight seeing in Delhi came true finally. Not fully yet but I loved what I saw. 

With Vasu and Abhinay at Humayun's Tomb

Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, Cuttack, Vizag, Mahabalipuram, Vizag, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Horsely Hills were some of the places I visited.

Delhi stays top of my mind just for the one day experience - me catching up with Vasu and Abhinay and then walking in the fog to India Gate, going to the beautiful Humayun's tomb, Qutub Minar, Jama Masjid and even visiting Karim's for a bite. Red Fort will have to wait but I loved what I saw.


I spent many hours exploring Jaipur in the two trips I made - and apart from the touristy things of seeing places, I have enjoyed the pleasure of walking along MI Road, stopping for a coffee at the India Coffee House with my colleagues, stopping by at the food court near Albert Hall Museum. Cannot forget the beautiful Hotel Taj Amer. Lassiwala, food at the chaat court, the famous veg restaurant whose name I forget.

Ajmer Sharif - with NP, Muskaan and Denzil

Ajmer, I visited with a fervent wish of beating Mumbai (which happened), Pushkar was an add on and it turned out that I made my offering to the departed souls of my parents and ancestors along with NP who had just lost his father. 

Pushkar - with NP

Some exotic meals cooked by Muskaan, delectable kachoris and malpao I think at Pushkar.

Cuttack's Barabati stadium

Watching the Mahanadi in Cuttack was an experience. I loved the Ravenshaw University and the old feel it had about it. It's huge, sprawling  grounds. The hospitality and friendliness of the people in Cuttack, Hotel Peepul Tree - so beautiful. That sweet they make - chenna poda.

At RK Beach Vizag with Pavan and NP

The throwback years to Vizag when I visited it, the way the town seems not to have changed much at all, the walks to the RK beach, the visit to the Raju gari dhaba, the wonderful hospitality by the locals, Hotel Daspalla, badam milk, Waltair Club.

Marzorin - my fav go-to place in Pune

Pune through the eyes of Anjali and Mansi who came with us on her first solo trip perhaps after their board exams. It was beautiful to indulge them with food from Marzorin, the steak place, Irani cafes, Durga cafe and so on. I have always enjoyed walking in Pune, and hopefully more of it this year.

With Timothy at Horsely Hills

Beautiful. Hopefully this year could have more travel - certainly would like to see more of Delhi, want to do a trip to Kochi to walk about Fort Kochi, Trivandrum when Mony visits next, Lonar lake, Thiruvanmalai when the calling comes, and whatever else life may bring.

Thank you thank you thank you god of travel for making  all this possible.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Year in Books

Slightly lower count at 61 from the 72 and perhaps dropped in terms of the quality of my reading as well. But some of them were truly brilliant. 'A Room of One's Own', 'Saundarya Lahari', 'Wooden on Leadership', 'Em and the Big Hoom', 'The Undoing Dance', '3 Zakia Mansion', 'The Hero With a Thousand Faces', 'Culture Code', 'All My Rage', '40 Rules of Love', 'Save the Cat', 'Murder in the Mushaira', 'The War of Art', 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running' and 'Hollywood to Himalayas' were the ones I enjoyed most.

Of the writers I met this year were Ayush Puthran, Madhavi Lata, Jerry Pinto, Connor Sharkey, Jayanthi Jaisimha, Abhinay Renny, Ushal Akella, Mani Rao, R Sridhar, Harshavardhan, Gouri Dange, Deepti Naval, P Sainath, Gita Ramaswamy, and Sandhya Iyer. Mostly at the Hyderabad Literary Festival.  

Friend of mine who puts my book on top and sends pics

As things go, I once again resolve to read a better list of books, perhaps complete as many as I can from the book shelf which is now rather full of unread books. Top of my mind somehow is Amrita Pritam's autobiography which I propose to gift myself.

1. A Room of One's Own - Virginia Woolf
2. Saundarya Lahari - Mani Rao
3. Hum Aisich Bolte - Usha Akella
4. Swimming Against the Tide - Madhavi Lata
5. The Art of Conversation and Self- Expression - Betty E Norris
6. The Tools - Phil Stultz and Barry Michels
7. Liberating Passion - Omar Khan and Paul B Brown
8. Classified - Rajashekharan Nair
9. Coaching Beyond - R Sridhar and Kaushik
10. The Hyderabad heist _ Sharmishta Shenoy
11. Asylum - Jerry Pinto
12. Em and the Big Hoom - Jerry Pinto
13. Much Ado about Everything - Jayanthi Jaisimha
14. Bobby - Connor Sharkey
15. Sahrudaya Sangathyam - Harshavardhan
16. Vanijya Fannulu - Harshavardhan
17. Wooden On Leadership - John Wooden
18. Gunbatte - Albert Lierbermann
19. The Undoing Dance - Srividya Natarajan
20. Men Without Women - Haruki Murakami 
21. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept - Paul Coelho
22. 3 Zakia Mansion - Gouri Dange
23. The Accidental Billionaires - Ben Mezrich
24. Walking - Henry Thoreau
25. Save the  Cat - Blake Snyder
26. When Chicken Soup is Not Enough - Ralph and Rutherford
27. Reinventing Organisations - Frederic Laloux
28. The Laws of Attraction - Esther and Jerry Hicks
29. There's No Such Place as Far Away - Richard Bach
30. Small Towns, Big Stories - Ruskin Bond
31. Hippie - Paulo Coelho
32. Yo Yo Nama - Gouri Dange
33. Footprints - Dr B.L. Maheshwari
34. Colourless - Abhinay Renny
35. The Golden Key - George Macdonald
36. Great Stories by Nobel Prize Winners - Leo and Edmond
37. The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad - Twinkle Khanna
38. A Country Called Childhood - Deepti Naval
39. The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday
40. The Fry Chronicles - Stephen Fry
41. The Last Queen - Chitra Divakurani Banerjee
42. Exprovement - Hersh Haladkar
43. Satyajit Ray - Suranjan Ganguy
44. Birthday Girl - Haruki Murakami
45. Talking Life - Nasreen Munni Kabir with Javed Akhthar
46. Maturity - Osho
47. The Hero's Journey - Joseph Campbell
48. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Haruki Murakami
49. The Culture Code - Daniel Coyle
50. The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
51. The Hero With a 1000 Faces - Joseph Campbell
52. Hollywood to Himalayas - Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
53. Rogues and Rajahs - S D Iyer
54. The 40 Rules of Love - Elif Shafak
55. All My Rage - Sabaa Tahir
56. The Sweet Salt of Tamil - Tho Pa
57. The Last Heroes - P Sainath
58. The Love of a Good Woman - Alice Munro
59. Laughing Gas and Other Poems - David Nicholas
60. Zeba - Huma Qureshi
61. Murder at the Mushaira - Raza Mir 


Friday, December 29, 2023

The Heartfulness Institute, Kanha Shanti Vanam

Madhuri, Pratap and the entire Pai family is into heartfulness meditation for a while now. I have heard much about the Kanha Shanti Vanam campus - mostly from Koni who seems to have done some work there during its construction phase. 

The Sri Ramachandra Misison has found their world capital for their Heartfulness Institute here in Hyderabad which is a beautiful thing but what is more beautiful is how beautiful the place is - I heard so much about it from so many people. Sheelu and her mom, Rao and his entire family.

The Yatra Gardens - something about chakras

So when Rithu, my friend from Osmania University days, a heartfulness practitioner herself, decided to visit the ashram and spend a couple of days here, I told her I would drop her. That way I could also get a peek into this wonder world. I lost my way (is there a hidden message or meaning there?) while searching for Kanha. What showed up first was Kanha Vanam and I did not look further - turns out that its a farm stay. I am rather disappointed in that chap because he must be misguiding many lost souls like me who do not take the extra trouble of looking for the right thing and click on whatever comes first.

Madhuri and Rithu in the campus

Anyway, turns out that we went off track by about 40 minutes or more. Rithu and I picked up Madhuri (who did not let me hear the last of my missing the path). The campus is some 1400 acres according to their website, has some 500000 saplings and already looks brilliant. The meditation hall is impressive, seats 100000 people at one time, there are rooms to stay, hotels, parks, canteens, even badminton academies set up by Gopichand.

Rithus with a sticker (which stuck well) she gave me 35 years ago! 

We ate some fine lunch, dropped Rithu off, and returned. Definitely a place to visit, perhaps attend a couple of meditation sessions. It really seems to be helping the people I know.


Dhak Dhak - Movie

 Watched this with Abhi and Anjali in Bangalore. Four women, different ages and backgrounds and motives, ride off into the Himalayas on their motorbikes and find freedom. Ratna Pathak. Fatima Sana Shaik, Dia Mirza and Sanjana Sanghi return, as bigger, complete versions of themselves, in control of their lives.

It's a good road movie to watch.

Murder at the Mushaira - Raza Mir

 I bought this book a while ago, started it, was confused by the elaborate maps and names of characters and gave up and then picked it up again and boy, was i glad. I loved it. It is one of those books that makes you marvel at how the author got the idea, how Raza Mir executed the idea so perfectly and makes you wish you could write like that.

Imagine this. He sets the scene in Delhi in the times of the 1857 revolution or the sepoy mutiny when the rebels in Meerut, Jhansi, Bengal and other places are hatching a plan to overthrow the British and reinstate Bahadurshah Zafar as the Emperor. Then you pick Mirza Ghalib as your protagonist and assign him a critical role in this mutiny along with many of his friends and acquaintances. And to make things even more delectably delicious, make the instigating event a murder at a mushaira. There is poetry, intrigue, love, passion, patriotism, heroism, chivalry of the old fashioned kind and it all comes down to a beautiful climax - perhaps not the high of a complete victory but the satisfaction of having started and completed something significant.

If I fell in love with the idea and how beautifully Raza Mir conjured it and mixed it with his passions - Urdu poetry and Ghalib (he is the author of "Ghalib; A Thousand Desires, 'An Introduction to Urdu Poetry'), I was totally blown by how he executed it. The words were just right, the descriptions bringing the world alive and not appearing like unnecessary research rubbed off on the reader, the chapters short, the characters clear and full of various shades of virtue and weakness. It made me feel like how I felt when I read 'Grapes of Wrath'. Raza's setting and the story will perhaps remain a tribute to his loves but to me it will be a classic just for the conception and execution. I am no pundit but if it fails to achieve great commercial success or critical acclaim it will be because the setting and theme may have a limited market and nothing else. But that would not matter to Raza who I would think is a bit like his characters - of old fashioned virtue.

The love stories are told beautifully - Zainab and Siraj, Mohan and Hyderi, Ghalib and Umrao, Kallu and Ishrat and even Ramji and Fazilat - and I had this moment when Ramchandra leaves Ghalib for the last time like I did when I read 'The Book Thief'. Raza understands the emotion, the exact space of how the characters feel, does not judge them or want them to be any different. One page where he describes Siraj's withdrawn nature when he is with Zainab is so sensitively written. One line that stayed with me from the book ' what is love but a sharing of secrets!

Raza Mir was my senior at Osmania University College of Engineering and we used to know him then as Mir Ali Raza.  He was a well known intellectual, a student leader with a left wing party if I am not mistaken, a cultural and literary powerhouse, and a person who everyone in the college/campus knew of. That he would succeed was a given. He went to one of the IIMs if I am not mistaken again. Many years later I heard that his brother Mir Ali Hussain wrote the lyrics of a song for 'Rang De Basanti'. Raza Mir would not remember me of course but I am so happy for him (I loved the way he mentioned his mother always encouraging him to express himself - she'd be so happy to see this - as would have been his father). 

I spotted a couple of typos that Aleph could have done better to keep out - a blot on an otherwise perfect book. I am not sure if I captured anything coherently but enough to say - you will love it if you like old fashioned, passionate people who loved and lived fearlessly. 

Read it.         

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Miya Biwi ke Manthaka - Play by Taher Ali Baig

 Watched this play directed by good pal Taher Ali Baig at Rangabhoomi. It was hilarious and we laughed our guts out. Brilliant stuff.

Watch it if you get a chance.

Miya, Biwi and Taher in that order to the right!


Friday, December 22, 2023

The Laughing Gas and Other Poems - David T Nicholas

 I found this cute little book with an even cuter title in Anjali's room and flipped it. It was signed by the author for Anjali on April 4, 2022. I checked with her and she said that Tenzin gifted it to her. I do not know any further connections except that Tenzin does gift us a lot of books, so I flipped through.

David's book has this line on the cover page which says - poetry is the freedom of a poet and laughter is to a child. The book is a compilation of 40 poems which are about rainbows. nature, sparrows, happiness, laughing gas, family, brother, sister, a monkey, death, air, memories, walls. They are all written with an honesty, an innocence that is charming, of a world that exists in his life which he wants to share through his poems. Many lines touched me for their honesty, their intent. Though it could have done with some editing, I am so glad David expressed himself through his poems and wish him well and hope he continues to write poetry.

Thanks David and thanks Tenzin.   

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Zeba - Huma Qureshi

 Abhi went to the Bangalore Lit Fest and bought this book and got it signed by author Huma Qureshi. Its a commendable debut, she has the language, the sense of humour, the turn of phrase and the style. What she does not have is patience.

So superhero Zeba despite all its promise suffers from huge gaps which are left out - like she left the climax out for Rohit Shetty and one another chap to write for her. The premise was promising, the characters were interesting, Zeba even got her super power, the setting was delicious. Almost Salman Rushdiesque. I was rubbing my hands in delight when Huma decided to quickly end the book with a - and they lived happily ever after.

Some more work, some more patience, and this book could have been something else. That said, there's a lot of promise, of good ideas that could become great. Only, she must really sit down and write it out patiently. I did love her quirky sense of humour though.

Thought for the Day - What Upsets Us Is What We Need to Learn

 What upsets us is what we need to look at and learn about so we know why its upsetting us.

But what we normally do is not look at it and behave like its someone else's problem. Which means we are setting ourselves up to get more and more upset.

Look at why it's upsetting, learn. Then move on to the next upset. Don't stay stuck with the same upsets.

Bandland - Deep Purple Etc

I heard Deep Purple in the late 70s - thanks to my sister who told me of this album called 'Deepest Purple'. Ever keen to expand my knowledge and range of western music I got hold of the record and had it taped on a cassette. 

Off to Bandland! At ESI Bus stop!

When Katalog played the music at our college concerts and played Smoke on the Water you could make out it was an instant hit and I was in seventh heaven. So when i heard that Deep Purple was performing in Bangalore, I told Anjali, who I had promised to take to her first rock concert, that we should give it a shot. She agreed and ended up getting much more - turned out to be a festival of sorts spread over two days with performances from the Goo Goo Dolls. Deep Purple. Amyl and the Sniffers, War on Drugs, Thermal and a Quarter, Parikrama, Parwaaz, the F16s, Skrat etc.

Anjali and me - pic Abhi

I called my nephew Abhishek who lives in Bangalore and who has an ear for music and bands having been the Cul Sec at IIT, Madras in his studying days, and he was game. He booked the tickets, bus tickets and pretty much organised the entire thing. Turned out it was a trip of many firsts for me.

Entering the Bandlands

For starters, going in a sleeper bus which my nephew booked. KSM Travels berth bunks looks very classy and are quite comfortable - except that they are about 6 inches short for me so it wasn't the best of nights. Anjali slept like a log. 

Rohan Joshi, Anjali and the half eaten burger

We woke up at Bangalore and got off near Abhi's house at about 930. Some nice Udipi breakfast, some catching up and nodding off into a nap, and we were good to go to the venue which was about an hour and a half away! 

Bands doing their thing

The skies looked pretty dark and we stopped at Decathlon on the way to buy me a poncho - but I never needed it anyway. The drive took more than an hour and a half and we made it just in time to catch the end of Parwaaz's performance. The layout was nice - spaced out - two stages some distance away. Lots of food stalls, beer and alcohol, places to sit, merchandise. You could top up cash into your band and use that to buy stuff. Very cool indeed.

Anjali and Abhi braved on and went into the crowd while I stayed at the back like I normally do and enjoyed the music. Parwaaz had a nice sound to it. Anjali had told me that she was hoping to bump into Rohan Joshi who is a well known stand up comedian, someone she says helped her keep her sanity through her Board exams - and lo - he was right there in front of us and she ran to him, half eaten burger and all and chatted up with him. Talk of manifesting stuff.  

Then there was The War or Drugs which I found rather predictable and monotonous. Skrat was loud and then there was Goo Goo Dolls - apparently their first time in India. Its a band from Buffalo New York and they played with a lot of energy and commitment and Anjali told me what I realised when i watched Roger Waters 25 years ago - that we must do our work with the same dedication and that's what transmits to the audience. 'Iris' brought me back memories of soft rock albums and it was a big hit.  We ate all sorts of stuff - shawarma, popcorn, french fries, drank juice, lemonade etc.

The second, smaller stage

Anjali had a good time, walking off and exploring the place on her ow which she normally does. I sat in a corner on a bench while Abhi and Anjali went into the crowd when the bands played and returned. It was like one bad would pay for their time and by then the next band would set up the other stage and off we were.

The same one

We were worried about getting out of the melee which normally happens at the end of every concert but thanks to an enterprising bunch of guys who took down the bamboo barricade behind us we could get away almost instantly. A lovely drive back home - took an hour still,some pizza and we were done for the day.

A sense of the place


I woke up early. Overcast sky. I sat in the balcony and wrote some stuff, read Huma Qureshi's 'Zeba', chatted with Abhi. We knew Anjali would not wake up anytime soon so we ordered some stuff from A2B  - including a combo breakfast for me. More and more chatting and catching up and it was time for a spot of lunch and head back to the venue.

Coffee at Udipi Aathithya

The crowd was much bigger today. Lots of grey haired people, many grey haired couples too, young girls braving the cold in fashionable clothes, solos dancing away, people getting drunk and behaving all funny. Like this bunch of three friends who were before me - one boy and two girls, maybe late twenties - the girls were high and getting higher and the boy bore the brunt of their affections and their anger - well directed kicks and well meaning slaps. Some groups with their shady smokes. A small fight between two drunken gangs. Bunch of local boys looking at the hip girls in their shorts and tank tops. People buying more food and drink than they can eat or handle. A dog that wandered in and would not let go of a lady who was feeding it. Young couples with very young kids, a few infants in their strollers. A playful mom who went missing from her young kid and appearing just when he was about to cry - that kid is going to have a tough childhood it looks like. A very nice set of plastic loos that looked like some alien stations - interesting to note how each one chose their station.

A secular group watching

I bumped into two people - one person who I could not place but who told me he met me during the writing of MVS's book, and another was Satish, our senior from the MBA college, who was always a bit of a rebel - he told me we should organise something like this in Hyd. There were a few others I knew in the crowd but we never met.

I think we made it to Parikrama, then the F16s which was surprisingly good, Amyl and the Sniffers, Thermal and a Quarter, and finally Deep Purple. The lead singer is 78 and he looked it and somehow doddered through the show. The big moment came when he sang 'Smoke on the water' and everyone sang along and luckily Anjali got that on video.

We left a bit early to beat the crowd and once again got out pretty easy, headed home, had a drink, ate more pizza and crashed out. Anjali got herself a Deep Purple T shirt.

And an iconic moment captured!


Overall very satisfying.  I think Anjali had a fairly decent experience at her first concert. But for someone like her, going with a bunch of her friends would be great fun!


The next day was chilled out. Since Anjali forgot her Aadhar card we had to download her Aadhar on her phone and then download Digiyatra which I found to be brilliant. No more carrying your Aadhar etc if you are on the Digiyatra airports. Scan your boarding card, scan your iris and you are through. I went out to meet friends - was a fun meeting at a chilled out place called the House of Commons. I did another first - took the Metro to get to Byapannahalli. Anjali and I then went to the Forum Neighbourhod mall which is a stone's throw from Abhi's house. Its one of the cutest malls ever with a Crossword, a super eating place with some lovely food. The vibe was brilliant and we voted that it was the best.   

Anjali and I wandered around the airport until way too late - ate a turkey sandwich, drank coffee and rushed to our gate just in time. Got a cab and headed home, ordered a lousy biryani from Blue Fox (never order from there) and crashed out.

Thanks Abhi for a brilliant experience. I don't think it would have been half as much fun if you weren't around. We should do more such in the future!     


Friday, December 15, 2023

Going to Bandland

 I promised Anjali I would take her to the first concert and when I heard that Deep Purple was performing in  Bangalore I said this was it. Only it turns out that we will be watching about 6 - 8 concerts over two days! Off to Bandlands tomorrow!

Some Great Ideas in Images - Srikanth Iyengar's Great Contribution to my Life

 Here are some fine images capturing a few great ideas. Srikanth posts a lot of those and while I only gave a few here, I will add them as he shares them.

Does Dance Matter - Workshop by Ms. Anita Ratnam

 Sravya is a student of mine and what I liked best is that she took the marketing part of our course seriously enough to price this workshop. It's always a dilemma for artists - how to price their work. She invited me and I went for a while and watched Ms. Anita Ratnam make all the attendees dance to her tunes - fun, interactive ways to make them loosen up as part of an exercise.

Good stuff Sravya. Keep it up! Wishing you loads of success in your future endevours.  

Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Love of a Good Woman - Alice Munro

 Alice Munro is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013 and this book won her the Man Booker. It is a collection of eight short stories. Until the second story ended I somehow thought the story was the same and then I realised they were different stories and then realised i cannot understand these stories nor remember them or the characters and if I try to it is only to make myself act like I am smarter than I am to readers so I give up.

Instead I must dwell on how I got this book which was gifted to me by Pallavi who has the most eclectic of tastes in music and books and art and stuff who gifted it to me in 2021 along with another fabulous book - both of which I read.

The stories are about women and their different shades - a woman who leaves her husband and child and runs off, another w

ho is involved in the killing of a doctor who molested her, a bohemian couple, a young girl who lives with her dysfunctional father who made a living doing illegal abortions and so on.

Like all great writers, she leaves a stain on you, doesn't say things so obviously and stays with the theme and the emotion.

Thanks Pallavi.     

Thought for the Day - Don't Separate, Choose Love

 When we are quick to separate - to be the victim - we lose love.

Instead, do not separate. Drop ego. 

Choose love.

When we choose love, we choose flow, we choose ease. 

Thought for the Day - Judgement and Love

 When I do not judge, its easy to love!

When I judge, I lose love. 

Judgement is what causes the separation.