Saturday, June 30, 2007

Transcendence at last!

I had decided to abstain from posting anything until I finished writing the memorials for the moot court competition I’m working on.

But people, this just had to be done!

I had read somewhere that inflicting oneself with excruciating punishment is one of the ways of purging oneself of all the sins. It’s an experience that purifies one’s soul, cleaning away all the dirt accumulated over the years.

Although, I do not know much about the origins of this theory, I came to realize about its veracity yesterday.

Yes people, I did it. I subjected myself to extremes of agony, anguish, distress, grief, sadness, shock, and suffering.

As bizarre as this may sound to you, yesterday’s experience has changed me for good. I feel like being born again. It’s a feeling that cannot be described in words.

Thanks HR!

Yes, you guessed it right. I sat through Himesh Reshamiya’s Aapka Suroor!

Watch it people! It’s a short cut to transcendence.

And do preserve the ticket as medal for your gallantry!

P.S.- Internship's over. Heading back today!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Kingdom of Colours...

A rosy haze,

A puzzling maze,

An airy sight,

A distant flight,

A golden latch,

A vibrant match,

A glittering night,

A soggy bite,

A sparkling frame,

A swirling dame,

A perfect smile,

A glance so vile,

A brownish hue,

A royal view,

A tilt so slight,

A breeze so light,

Under a shade of Grey,

I had a sublime day,

Dear Rachit, Kundan, Rajveer
Gaurav, Tau and others,
In trying to screw a few,
I'd put everyone on the skew,
While blood still curls for some pests,
I swear I'll make amends for the rest.

Yours truly,


P.S.- People, I've taken up another moot court competition that should keep me occupied for July. Bad habits, die hard!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Shootout at Jaipur!

All I can tell you now is that a dangerous shootout took place at the Jaigarh Fort yesterday. Details Coming Soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Foreordained Submission...

Before coming to Delhi in May last year, I only had faint memories of this ancient metropolis (is it an oxymoron?) from my visits years ago. However, the resplendently orange elephant at Appu Ghar, the rasping male voice emanating from a loud speaker at the Red Fort light & sound show and the Ice Cream vendors at India Gate were all well entrenched in my cerebral alleys even as I tried hard to recall the other details of the city.

Although I got to know a lot about Delhi’s people and culture during that visit, thanks to soaring temperatures, I couldn’t muster enough courage to explore much of the city. The visit in November, however, was quite different. While mornings saw me drawing inspiration at the Supreme Court, evenings witnessed Delhi holding my gaze.

So as I moved about the city this time around, the nonchalance with which I found myself dealing with the Auto-Rickshaw wallahs told me that I now knew Delhi fairly well. And when the sweltering weekend couldn’t keep me from venturing out to discover more of Delhi, I could finally realize that I had been won over. I had at last succumbed to Delhi’s allure.

The city has so much of history and culture embedded into it that anyone with even a dab of aesthetic ability is bound to fall in love with it. And as for me, a bit of this place runs in my blood. So, in spite of that initial hostility in May last year, it was inevitable to be smitten by it.

Here’s what caught my eye,

Chandni Chowk

The place is as old as the Red Fort with sweet shops dating back to the 18th century still operative. My maternal grandmother was born and brought up here in a huge Haveli that still exists [my mom’s a North Indian]. In spite of being very crammed up, the fact that this place was at the heart of the 1857 riots makes me appreciate its aura at every visit [Read William Dalrymple's The Last Mughal: The Eclipse of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857 to know about what happened at the Chandni Chowk].

Amidst the age old temples and shops, as one observes some people squabbling with a petty Cycle-rickshaw Wallah over a meager amount of money, one realizes that if only the omnipresent 'Big M' was equipped with senses, it would have surely smirked at these people who had just spent a fortune inside without even bating an eyelid. That hazy structure at the end of the road is the Red Fort!

The mesmerizing Light & Sound show at the Red Fort. A must visit for those who understand India’s History.

I happened to enter into a narrow lane known as the Parathe Waali Gully. It has eat-outs functioning from the late 1800’s which specialize in making Parathas of every possible kind. I could just about gather enough courage to have one!

Chawri Bazar

This is another place teeming with life very close to Chandni Chowk. This picture depicts conventional India’s tryst with modernity. The chaotic traffic and the scary electrical connections hardly hint at the state-of-the-art Metro Rail Station right under this place.

Jama Masjid

Another marvel of Mughal Arhitecture not very far away from Chandni Chowk.

On a sweltering evening around three hundred years back, his forefathers could as well have been found where he sits today.

Fried Chicken at brightly lit traditional eat-out near Jama Masjid…

Although I didn’t have any, I’m sure it would be better than KFC. Unlike KFC, they don’t have to add any preservatives for God’s sake!

India Gate

Visit India Gate on a Public Holiday to see how Indians hailing from rural and urban backgrounds flow into each other like two rivers.

As Sun dipped down over the green expanse around India Gate on that unusually overcast Sunday, scores of people converged at the place to cool off.

Who said India didn’t have a Grand Public Bath? It’s a different matter alltogether that the architect who designed the landscape around India Gate would be perhaps turning in his grave.

He bubbled away in anticipation of attracting some kid’s attention...caught mine instead.

Connaought Place

In addition to being Delhi’s main commercial centre, this place has showrooms of all the major apparel brands.


As this man braved the heat (it should have been around 45 Degree Celsius that day) to eke out a living, I marveled at his determination to make ends meet. A substantial population of India lives in villages. Just imagine their plight in this heat! Our country is naturally disadvantaged.

Power Cuts

As temperatures soared, power failures became the order of the day. The inverter at the place I’m putting up at could only power the common hallway at nights. I couldn’t sleep much for three consecutive nights. Thankfully, I had George Orwell and Amitav Ghosh for company in the hallway.

Eat-outs in order of liking (from my visits during the course of all three internships...and excluding the international chains)

Oh! Calcutta (Expensive, but worth the Nehru Place...Ironically, I was taken to this place by Adarsh, a close buddy who happens to be a Mallu)

Karim’s (World Renowned...near Jama Masjid)

Zen (Authentic Chinese Food...South Extension-II)

Eatopia (Food Court at the India Habitat Centre)

Andhra Bhavan Canteen (all you can eat for just 50 bucks...and the that too for quality food... at Ashok Road)

Nathu’s Pastry Shop (Excellent Sandwiches...Bengali Market)

A Continental Restaurant at Khan Market…(Can’t Recall the name)

Pot Pouri...(at Connaought Place)

Banana Leaf(Flavoursome South Indian Connaught Place).

Sarvanna Bhavan (Lip Smacking South Indian Food...again at CP)

A Rajasthani Restaurant at Dilli Haat (South Delhi)

Being a teetotler, I woudn't be able to apprise you much about the 'Boozing Scene' here. And although I could have given you an insight into New Delhi's modern, magnificent infrastructure, I wanted a raw feeling to persist right through this post.

People, if Bombay Talks, Delhi Rocks!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Recollection...

Hello People! Delhi is on fire! All my mental faculties have been fried to a frazzle! So, while I regain them, leaving you with the story of an incident very close to my heart {had posted it around two years back...quite obviously, my aspirations are no longer the same ;)}:-

On the wing to Hong Kong...

It takes around five hours to Hong Kong from Delhi and this information was communicated by the small monitor embedded in the seat of the passenger sitting in front of me. The Sardarji sitting next to me was a British citizen and was too big for his economy class seat. The air hostess had to vex him twice to make sure that he puts on his seat belt.

As we waited for the takeoff, the captain announced that the flight would be delayed by few minutes as a passenger required some medical attention. At this, Sardarji got quite perturbed and after few authentically Indian vituperative epithets in British accent, narrated an incident:

"They would have thrown him out in US. Once, I had this swelling in my toe, and requested for some medical attention only to have been given the option of going out."

The 'take off experience' wasn't as religious as the one on my last international flight (read Bangladesh in Retrospective-I).However, I was edgy enough to concentrate on the monitor which displayed the route map and also informed about the altitude, tail wind speed, etc. while the other passengers nonchalantly watched the umpteen channels available on their respective monitors. A brisk confabulation with Sardarji ensued soon:

S-So, where're you going?
D- I 'm a law student. Am going to participate in a moot court competition to be held in Australia.

S- Where in Australia?
D-Gold Coast

S-Why do you want to study law? (Then followed certain imputations on our system)
D-(Trying to defend myself)...Well, you cannot debase the entire profession just because of a handful of miscreants. (And in an extra-defensive move)In any case, I want to become a law teacher (thinking that it would be too much for Sardarji)

S-(Even before a second had elapsed) How will you have the conscience to teach something you know wouldn't be realized?
D-(Taken aback...with that sinking feeling) Well, not see...

S-(Cuts me short) How long will you be there?
D-(with that 'just got screwed feeling) A Week.

A long silence follows as Sardarji dozes off and lies like a mountain between my window seat and the loo where I needed to go for quite some time now. I gather the courage to wake him up and squeeze my way into the aisle. I come back in roughly five minutes only to find him lying like a log on his seat. The lady standing in queue for the loo cannot hold back her smile as she watches my emphatic efforts to awaken Sardarji go up in smoke. He finally allows me to squeeze my way back.

The captain suddenly interrupts the passengers' in their in-flight entertainment and a thousand things cross my mind before he finally speaks, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. Sorry to disturb you in your in-flight entertainment. If you could look to your left, we have a beautiful sight...the Himalaya Mountains...and we’ll be flying past the Mt. Everest in about five minutes...enjoy your flight. Thank you for flying with Cathay Pacific."

I immediately glance to my left and mutter God knows what all words to some distance, the snow laden peaks emerge out of an even cloud cover that stretches below on both sides of the aircraft and brightly shine in the afternoon sunlight against a spotless blue sky...I am left pondering on my providence.

After some time, as the aircraft starts to descend, I check my laptop bag to make sure that my passport and tickets are in place. The aircraft touches down on a landing strip few meters away from the South China Sea while I am left wondering as to how could the sea which was visible till the last moment, suddenly vanish. The sea green coloured water reappears as I look beyond the airport compound through my window. As I get ready to disembark from the aircraft, I hear the chief air hostess say, "Thank you for flying with Cathay Pacific. Have a nice stay at Hong Kong."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Of Cats and Dogs...

Gandharv, Zuber, Shantanu, Bhavin and Me...reliving the school days!

Three weeks have passed since I came back from Bombay. In the face of no real challenge at hand, this period can be said to be one of the most uneventful phases of my law school life. so far. I didn’t even come near anything having to do with my future profession.

However, having said that, I utilized this period for rejuvenating those bits of my life which had been left unattended for quite a while. Catching up with long lost (not literally) friends, reading some brilliant works of fiction, socializing on the internet like never before, working out, and most importantly, introspecting.

Introspection quite obviously took me for a ride of emotions inter alia, happiness, dejection, satisfaction that comes with any accomplishment, emptiness and even despair.

So many things have taken place in these three and a half years of my existence at the law school that if I start penning down all my experiences and come out with a book, I might as well give Chetan Bhagat a run for his money! Jokes apart, the moot point is that controversies and Debanshu have always walked hand in hand at HNLU. There hasn’t been one semester where I didn’t land up in some or the other kind of jhol (aka soup)! My problem is that I am very arrogant at times and vengeful too. I have always believed in the following:

Tit for tat,
It has always been like that,
You killed my dog,
I’ll kill you cat.

Though killing somebody’s cat (not literally…you know what I mean) does tend to satisfy me, I do it only and only when somebody kills my dog. However, as any true Gandhian (is there one?) would tell you, being vengeful is extremely immoral. It makes you go round and round in a cycle of unhappiness. It’s a cycle because once you kill somebody’s cat for avenging the death of your dog, he would move heaven and earth to have a shot at your other dog. And if he succeeds, you would again run after his cat and this cycle would continue for ever.

I want to be out of this cycle once and for all. To facilitate this, I hereby tender an apology to all whose cats have been killed by me. Not that I lack the ability to kill any more, but just that I want to spend the remaining short period at the law school in complete peace.

And yes, I’m leaving for Delhi tomorrow. Back to the grind! And thankfully so!