Sunday, 30 November 2014

Tomorrow  may or may not come
but today is always by our side

Friday, 28 November 2014

Standing here all alone by myself,
I have tried to count those fluid moments
that have crossed me by .
Waves of abandoned nostalgia
attached with these unconcerned distractions
drowns the expected occurrences.
Nowhere to be seen , the butterfly
in this decaying city of dead dreams  
fluttering above the barricades.  
Was it some mistake that brought me here  
or those vague notions of lost love  
which I tried to get back again.  
From the ruins of this sultry afternoon  
to collect the scattered bits of antiquity   
forgetting the reasons of being here.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Raghu speaks my language.

The reality is that too many large borrowers see the lender, typically a bank, as holding not a senior debt claim that overrides all other claims when the borrower gets into trouble, but a claim junior to his equity claim. In much of the globe, when a large borrower defaults, he is contrite and desperate to show that the lender should continue to trust him with management of the enterprise. In India, too many large borrowers insist on their divine right to stay in control despite their unwillingness to put in new money. The firm and its many workers, as well as past bank loans, are the hostages in this game of chicken -- the promoter threatens to run the enterprise into the ground unless the government, banks, and regulators make the concessions that are necessary to keep it alive. And if the enterprise regains health, the promoter retains all the upside, forgetting the help he got from the government or the banks – after all, banks should be happy they got some of their money back! No wonder government ministers worry about a country where we have many sick companies but no “sick” promoters.
We need a change in mindset, where the wilful or non-cooperative defaulter is not lionized as a captain of industry, but justly chastised as a freeloader on the hardworking people of this country,
What we need is a more balanced system, one that forces the large borrower to share more pain, while being a little more friendly to the small borrower. The system should shut down businesses that have no hope of creating value, while reviving and preserving those that can add value. And the system should preserve the priority of contracts, giving creditors a greater share and greater control when the enterprise is unable to pay, while requiring promoters to give up more.
Perhaps the reason we have been so willing to protect the borrower against the creditor is that the hated moneylender looms large in our collective psyche. But the large borrower today is not a helpless illiterate peasant and the lender today is typically not the sahukar but the public sector bank – in other words, we are the lender. When the large promoter defaults wilfully or does not cooperate in repayment to the public sector bank, he robs each one of us taxpayers, even while making it costlier to fund the new investment our economy needs.
The above statements are not mine. Had I made these statements , many of my friends who are supporters of free economy , aggressive capitalism, etc. would have branded me a left leaning socialist , communist , maoist and what not. Maybe some would have also called me a raving lunatic of the AAP fringe as the final insult . But these are words by our RBI governor. I am happy that he echoes the same words that people like me have been saying so long. That crony capitalism and oligarchs are ruining the economy of the country and looting the resources which justly belongs to the public.
Now another scam is being planned by putting pressure on RBI to cut the rates. This will help the large companies to reduce their interest burden and provide some relief to the NPA position only without really addressing the basic questions. It is time now for the industry captains to pay back the country the benefits they have derived from the system by new ideas and better management of the industries to compete with China in manufacturing space instead of siphoning funds. But will they do it, Can this government really turn the tide . I am not a cynic but sadly no signs have emerged that makes me trust that this government will be betterthan the previous ones. They are just counting their luck and streching it far.
L

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

I will keep coming back everytime,
you banish me from your heart.
And thank you with a large smile ,
for the lovely gift of hurt.
Without you the restless feeling , 
this thirst in a sea of water. 
Still you ask me with utter disdain ,
tell me what's the matter ?

If only......

It wouldn’t be so bad , after all,
only if you had cared;
to remember your promise.
This vacant space of light years
between us could have blossomed
with flowers,if only you had smiled .
All love stories would have lost
their pride of place if only you read
my eyes, when they met yours.
Shackles of mundane existence
that binds us to our daily lives
could have broken down in minutes ,
if only, you held my hand.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dateline 4th November

A welcome holiday again today , almost at the beginning of the week and more enjoyable as yesterday , the dreaded Monday was spent in travelling to and fro between Mumbai and New Delhi . And considering that the last Saturday was a full work day spent in office and meetings , one will understand how much pressure a lazy middle-aged , delicate has to go through to make a decent living . It actually brings tears to my own eyes. What to say about those who are reading it. Sympathies are surely in order and I will surely appreciate.
Visiting another city for work and meetings invariably causes sleep deprivation added to the change in daily cycle . Catching an early flight after waking up at ungodly hours , completing the morning ablutions and reaching the airport on time is by itself so unpleasant. Returning home at the dead of night after a stressful day of inane meetings and constant touch with office and work over mobile phone adds up to the troubles. At some point of time , you feel like crying out - Oh God ,why me ?
But enough of my tale of woes. These are part and parcel of life and many others are , may be ,already sneering at me for this lack of professional attitude . So let us also look at the positives from these trips. The biggest positive is the complete switching off you experience while the plane is on air. From the family,from workplace,from reminders and tasks. And,if you can catch hold of a good book to read or carry good music to listen , then actually there is nothing like it. Instead of stress, the couple of hours forced shutdown from the life on earth actually helps to de-stress . I always believe that one should play on the strengths rather than try too hard to improve the weaknesses which are genetic traits of a personality. That actually involves faking which means your life is not happening as you were meant to spend it .
So I always try to engage these flight times by covering myself with the chadar of laziness, my strongest trait and embark on my own flight of fancy with a book or music apart from the favourite pastime of unfettered bird watching . Without the presence of wife or the distraction of colleagues around discussing office , this activity sometimes become very interesting if a nice bird happens to be there in the vicinity.
Now before I again ramble into the territory of forbidden delights of the senses , let me change track . Yesterday,I was at New Delhi. It had nothing to do with the LG's decision to call for fresh elections there . Neither it was to take tips on either fitness or foolishness from the Right Honorable Shri Robert Vadra , the untouchable Indian. It was purely a business trip to attend meetings and review office work there. Routine,like all previous visits. But I added a small twist myself , more out of curiosity than anything and tried to connect with Delhi in a different way.
Somehow this time , by some coincidence,which taught me a lesson ; both my arrival and departure flights were to and from the Terminal 3 at the IGI airport. That actually gave me an idea again to explore the Delhi Metro network.
So I decided to do away with the car or taxi and even did not inform the office or colleagues at Delhi fully about my travel plans. Thus almost incognito I arrived at the airport and walked out to the Airport Metro platform which was just about 5 mins walk. That I had almost no luggage to carry helped. My first meeting was at IFCI building which is bang opposite the Nehru Place metro station. That knowledge also helped. I rung up my colleague and told him that I am already in town and will meet him at the venue directly without giving him a chance to ask how ,why etc. so that I was not dissuaded from the mini adventure.
The fare from Airport to New Delhi station by Delhi Airport Metro Express service is Rs 100 and it takes just around 25 mins to reach. Thereafter, it is the domain of Delhi Metro , proper or DMRC with its network of different routes colour coded and popularly known as blue, yellow, purple lines etc. or something to that effect. The journey from the airport to New Delhi is one of the best and one gets the feel of being in some developed country because of the comfort , quickness and the absence of crowds at all. I think this was the quickest and most pocket friendly way to travel from the airport to the city avoiding the traffic on road. For a single traveller or a couple of adults with light luggage this is the best way to reach the city , in my opinion.
But the real India and the problem of urban life hits you on the face with full force once reaching the New Delhi Metro station. The metro station connects the New Delhi railway station , of the Indian Railways . I don't know if it happens everyday but a sea of people were jostling at the ticket counters at the ND station. It was almost like any station on the Mumbai local network ; only difference being the cleanliness and underground facilities of a very high degree . People from different places were thronging the place in long queues with their luggage. From ND metro station I took a crowded metro service to the Central secretariat and here again changed trains on a different route , towards South Delhi . This part of the journey was less crowded , most likely because the direction was away from the city centre during the morning rush hours.
Nehru Place station Metro station has excellent facilities and a wide range of shops and a wonderful food court too . I must admit that barring the crowd at ND station the experience from the Airport till now had been wonderful as the cleanliness , precision, punctuality and easy to understand directions were really great and made you wonder why such experience is not replicated everywhere.
A fter the forenoon meeting my colleague Vivek took me for lunch to the food court . There was an franchisee outlet of the iconic Karim's where we preferred a light lunch of Rumali rotis with mutton seekh kebabs accompanied by shredded onion and a lemon piece . Rounding this off with a chocolate milk shake completed the treat. For the next part of the journey post lunch we travelled by the office car brought by my Vivek before he dropped me at the SBI complex on the parliament street. The afternoon meeting at SBI LHO dragged on and was followed by another meeting with my sales team at Delhi. I had knowingly booked a return flight quite late because from my previous experiences I know how such review meetings go on quite late .
After the meeting when I expressed my desire to again travel by metro to the airport ,my people must have thought that their boss was behaving a bit strange. Refusing their advice and help to call a cab , I asked them to direct me to a convenient metro station. Everybody advised to take the Airport Express from Shivaji stadium station . But getting a cab or rickshaw was taking some time. Then someone suggested that Patel Chowk station was at a walking distance. They were not suggesting it because they did not want me to take the trouble to walk. This actually showed that not all your well wishers give you sound advice. Sometimes people judge you by something else and do not give you the full picture. More so juniors in workplace. Out of respect or seniority often many information are withheld . As it turned out , the Patel Chowk metro station was just five minutes walk away from our Delhi office.
From Patel chowk to New Delhi and then to the airport took only 45 minutes including changeover , ticketing etc. And a very hassle free journey. I am now a great fan of New Delhi metro. Speaking with different people during the day I could realise how the metro has changed the lifestyle of people in Delhi for the better. For an example many people did not visit Chandni Chowk for ages due to traffic jam and parking problems . But now many take metro and visit the place to shop and eat out. Then places like Nehru Place metro station is a good hangout for the young crowd. And for the average office goer , it is just a boon .
Next time I visit Delhi I will plan to have my meetings on Friday and stay over the weekend to explore the lovely city meet friends and definitely have more sheekh kebabs at Karim's. No franchisee outlet , it has to be the real thing.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Chatushkone

Overall Chatushkone ( চতুষ্কোণ ) has shaped up to a very good movie . Highly watchable , entertaining , cinematically and visually appealing. Srijit Mukherjee has scored again with his structured commercially viable but not the run of the mill movie with 'hatke' subjects.
The core of the movie is based on a love triangle and how; whst we think as liberty to live own personal lives of people can affect the personal lives of others as unintended consequences. It also explores relations both in their deep and superficial layers. The story is told in a very impressive format where past , present and the imagination all merge into a very effective story with the suspense quotient maintained till the end.
In the recent times Kahaani (I am a big fan) Barfi and Jatishwar were three movies which I enjoyed thoroughly . I have no hesitation in adding Chatushkone to it. Coming to the movie , the casting of the main characters itself guaranteed a high level of acting but its the casting of smaller characters that adds so much value to the film. Tried and tested actors have made Srijit's job easier and the use of lesser characters in telling the story is remarkably done by a wonderfully written script. But one has to note that Chiranjeet is a revelation and steals the show in the face of such good competition from actors like Aparna Sen,Parambrata and Goutam Ghosh. He looks much better in his older avatar , leaner and mature. And the grey stubble and sunglass hooded eyes give him a very attractive personality matching the requirements of his charater fully . About Aparna Sen ,what more can one say. She has shown that age is just a number. Her acting remains still of the highest order and make us forget about her age. But let me also add that her age shows up at two scenes a bit unflatteringly. I had a slight idea that perhaps Roopa Ganguly ( and no one else ) could have fitted.the role better. But that's it.
The script , story idea , cast and acting takes the movie to newer heights. This movie does not have too many songs which is a very strong point of Srijit. only two tracks are there and both are well picturised including the excellent one by the perennial favourite , Anupam Roy. So actually he deserves more credit for making the audience attracted to the visuals through dialogues and photography. Like his other movies he has experimented with camera and lighting and resorted to sepia , filters and out of focus frames to tell his story either in the flashback or imagination. Editing has been efficient as far as changing the scenes are concerned but the film could have been shorter. I will request Srijit to stop having the epilogues in his movies and not try to explain too much. Heis now a leading director not only of Bengali films but in the country and people are knowing him .by his films. I t was a pleasant surprise to see the packed hall in Navi Mumbai. I wish him many more successes and hope he will keep on making good movies.
While watching the movie ,I could not help being reminded about Happy New Year. There also references to movies past and witty one liners with filmy connections were made . How jejune and forced it seemed in HNY but how nicely Srijit had used them. That's the real pity. With a budget and scale of HNY this guy could beat Hollywood. But he will not get that luxury now when he is at his creative best.