Sunday, September 30, 2007


And once again Jaan has lived up to his reputation of speaking to kids of all ages and sizes. But this time, he helped save an innocent boy from what would probably have thrown him into a murky future.

I must confess that ordinarily, I find the hubby's penchant for speaking to street urchins and giving them food and water (but mercifully, not shelter, yet) and sometimes unasked-for advice really irritating. Like most people, I like to think I'm practical, not petty. So when he called me and said he was with a kid from Pune, who had run away and was the son of a bigshot, I thought, "Here we go again..."

Meeting the boy and trying to extract one truthful answer out of it of him was not on the list of 'How I spend my Saturday evenings'. The child lied about everything - his address, what made him decamp from home, his father's phone number, his residential phone number, that he had a brother who was coming to Mumbai on a trip, everything. Mercifully he didn't lie about his father and the area he lived in. If not for the correct numbers supplied later on, goodness knows what the future of the child would be.

Finally, the parents arrived in the wee hours this morning. Hubby gave a statement to the police and everything. Bless his heart, he's still thinking about the boy and how to help him. I was so proud that he had the goodness of nature to help out and save one runaway from the horrors of this splendid city. And I am prouder still because he sincerely believes that he only did his duty as a citizen.

Though I cannot promise that I will not be irritated by Jaan's overenthusiasm in helping misguided little kids in seeing the light, at least this incident might take the edge off my irritation. Here's wishing all the best to Ms Practical.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Urban Development boo hoo hooo!

You have no idea how embarrassing it is to sit there anticipating, nay simply waiting, for your name to be called out for the grand prize and then when the prizes are called out, not only did you not win but you were so unceremoniously ignored that all you could do was scuttle out of there.

Jaan and I attended the first day of an urban development expo at Goregaon, and the organisers decided to liven things up by having awards given out for 'best examples of innovation and excellence in implement of projects related to urban infrastructure'. The awards are meant to reward the efforts of city governments and agencies.

So obviously Mumbai has to be a clear winner, right? Quite apart from all that tosh about being the financial capital of the country, we're just the BEST there is. They would have done better to just give us all three awards and be done with it.

Then they called out the three winners - Suryapet, Rampur and Indore.

Like Bridget Jones says, "Oh my bloody god and fuck."

Jaan and I paused for a split second, then collapsed into silent, sheepish giggles. Dunno about him, but I seriously thought we would win at least half a prize. And apparently our Municipal Commissioner and two of his sidekicks (read: additional municipal commissioners) also felt the same thing, because a moment after the assembly broke up, all three had scuttled out. Probably to look for three chullus.

So anyway. Point of the matter is, do not take for granted your own greatness, or the lack of it. Do not expect accolades to just walk into your lap without having earned them first. We have to learn that sincere effort reaps rewards. If we want to be rewarded, we must work hard and tenaciously and with good planning.

In other words, next year we're going to bribe our way into winning.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Reading a match

Never thought I would ever watch a cricket match, or indeed any sporting activity, in text form.

Today, as India and Pakistan took turns to alternatively clobber each other and then play badly, we didn't have the match running in office. Some technical glitch and non-payment of dues resulted in all our pay channels being unceremoniously cut off at the mains. Hope still hung about though as we thought DD Sports or DD National would telecast the match. But DD turned traitor as well.

Everybody took it to heart. The bosses, the minions, the chai-wallah, everybody. So much so that MB thundered, "Pawar kaka ke office mein cricket match nahin dekh sakte? This is a crime punishable under IPC."

Then Dixit sir came across which very ingeniously gives text updates in real time. So we 'watched' the match thus, to cite an example: Gambhir takes on Gul, and it's a FOUR! Gambhir slices away with a very clever gap between ______ and ______. That should take the pressure off India a bit."

Dixit sir, MB, Umakant sir, Ajay and I actually imagined our way through the match. Since we couldn't see the visuals, we actually mapped out the field mentally, and helped on by cricbuzz' instructions, knew roughly how people played and why. Besides, the shouts from the neighbouring building signalled a wicket a split second before our virtual scoreboard flashed the same thing. And of course, the groans confirmed that the Indians were sometimes being silly or that the Pakistanis were playing really well.

Funnily enough, watching the fall of all the Pak wickets one after another on Aaj Tak later made me curiously disoriented. After having watched the match in a different medium with silence (save for the click of the mouse or our own ceaseless chatter), the sudden presence of visuals and commentary does tend to jar on the nerves.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday sucks so she won't work

It's just not the same, is it, with a head cold and an aching throat, and sitting in office alone on a Sunday? Nothing's changed in office or even at home, but even the slightest difference in how I kept my papers yesterday and how I find them today is something I take as a personal insult.

Like all other Sundays, this one is also one of those slow, lazy kinds. Maybe three Sundays ago I worked my ass off on the Hyderabad package, but it's too morbid to hope for terror strikes to happen just so that you could keep yourself occupied on a Sunday. There's nothing on the ticker, nothing on other websites, nothing on my mind. One story down and the craving for tea continues, though, with my nose blocked I don't know if it's tea or coffee or something else I'm drinking.

Bleeaarrrghh. Nobody should work on a Sunday, especially us poor souls in the media. It's a holiday everywhere, for Chrissakes', what is the most that can happen in the city? I can confidently say that nothing of note has happened anywhere so far - probably some minister has given off a fart in his sleep or a pavement dweller has his head bashed in with a slab collapse. Either way, nothing worth reporting, unless of course there is a Pune angle to things. Like, you know, the dead pavement dweller was the second cousin of a Pune resident. Or the farting minister actually farted in a "Poo--nay..." refrain.

Sheesh, see what I mean? Working on Sundays is not good for my mental health. Bleeaarrrghhh.