Why India is not just Delhi….Pritish Nandy

I just read about Koro, the newest language discovered in the world. It has barely 1200 speakers. Threatened by the growing dominance of Hindi, village elders in a remote corner of Arunachal are trying their best to save it.
The North East is full of many such amazing native languages currently being bludgeoned by the onslaught of modernity and the all pervasiveness of what we have chosen as our national language. In Nagaland, 17 survive at the primary school level and only one at the university. In Manipur, only languages of the Kuki tribe have survived. Hamar and Paite exist. Maites have revived their own script. But smaller languages like Koro, Hruso, Miji, Tagin, Galo, Bokar, Padam Pasi, Sherdukpen, Bugun, Bangru, Idu, Digaru, Miju and Puroik Sulung in Arunachal, Deori and Tiwa in Assam, Chiru and Monsang in Meghalaya and the weaker Khasi languages are almost all gone.

This is just in one tiny corner of India. Look at the vast span of this nation and you will figure why, as India asserts itself as one nation, one people, millions of local voices are being silenced. Many of these are tiny voices but they represent the magic and the mystique of India. As these voices die out, so will songs, poetry, folk tales, theatre, local histories, the rich tapestry of sounds and words that make us the amazing nation we are. So it’s not only about languages vanishing. It’s also about histories and cultures disappearing. It is about traditions, never archived, dying out one by one, to leave behind a richer, stronger but lesser India.

This is the price we are paying for modernity and nationhood. The tiny and specific is bludgeoned into silence as the victorious yell of the majority takes over. Call it democracy if you want. Or you can, like me, see it as the very opposite. Inclusiveness does not mean absorbing everything into one boring mainstream that becomes the nation’s voice. (Like Hollywood speaks for America.) The purpose of nationhood, I would like to believe, is to nurture our differences, keep alive the millions of voices that make us who we are. The minorities are not those who we suffer. The minorities are those who we are. For much as you may like to think you are the Indian mainstream because you rahrah Sachin, wahwah Dabangg or parrot the glib clichés of easy secularism, the truth is we are who we were born as. And that’s why I see nothing wrong when the Kashmiri asserts his identity. You can argue with his semantics when he speaks of azaadi but you can’t argue with his search for identity in a nation where we are all losing ours.

I was born and brought up as a Bengali. Just as Sachin was born and brought up as a Maharashtrian. But like millions of others, we have built our lives and careers under the flag of India. But how much of me is Indian and how much, Bengali? How much of young Aditya Thackeray is Indian and how much, Maharashtrian? Does anyone have an answer? Kamaraj, the great kingmaker of Indian politics, never spoke a word except in Tamil. Yet he was the most powerful Congressman of the sixties. No one saw him as parochial. No one thought he was any less Indian. For because being Indian was not such a big deal in those days. A good Tamilian was automatically a good Indian, just as a good Bengali or a good Maharashtrian. Delhi was not India then. It was just another Union territory where, coincidentally, Parliament was. But every state had its identity, its languages, its cultures, its traditions, its histories intact.

But as Delhi grew more powerful, grabbed more authority, subverted more of our freedoms and our identities, regional conflicts have grown, intensified. We have become less of who we are and more of what India (alias Delhi) wants us to be. In the process, we have given up much more than what we have got. A Commonwealth Games at Rs 70,000 crore may be great for Delhi’s ego but, at that cost, we could have ensured no Indian would have ever gone to bed hungry. We boast of cricket and Bollywood bonding India. But these two, between themselves, have killed off a hundred other sports and a million local subcultures that made us the India we once were: a loose federation of many cultures, many faiths, many identities. There was no one Hinduism like the RSS preaches. There was no one Islam like the Islamists talk of. Every community in every region had its own version of their faith, thus enriching every faith. And no, there was no India, no national language, no Doordarshan.

But there were so many Indias in our hearts, so many languages we spoke and understood, so many ways we talked to each other without hate, rancour, coercion. We were the India we chose to be. Not the India, Delhi wanted us to be.


254 Responses to “Why India is not just Delhi….Pritish Nandy”

  1. This post comes at an opportune time when we were speaking of the diversity of India in just the last post. Interesting that Nandy has spoken of Kamraj, truly an iconic Congressman and Tamilian.

  2. Sharmila, Mr. Nandy,

    I am away for a conference all day. Shall get back with all my reserves on the above subject in the evening.

    Meanwhile, do let me know what is the National Anthem of Tamil Nadu or Bengal.

    In short, very provocative post, Mr. Nandy!!!


  3. Mr. Nandy has hit the nail on the head with this post.
    The line, “the truth is we are who we were born as” is superb.

  4. Anand Khare Says:

    Mr. PN,Sharmila,Reader, Aishwara,Shubha

    India is definitely a higher concept.High touch.Check this out,

    Song Composed just on 3 notes/Raga… by Ilayaraja


    • Aishwarya Says:

      Thank you for this, Anand. I have heard it before, but it was great to revisit. Did you follow the exchange between SPB and Ilaiyaraja?:)

      Interestingly, in Tamil Nadu, the State song (Neerarum…) is sung first at functions.

      ONV Kurup (Malayalam litterateur) who received the Jnanpith award recently said that ‘Malayalis are neglecting their mother tongue’.
      An ominous sign for Mallus shortly before the Malayalam day (November 1st). 😦

      • I should check this out now, sounds interesting!

      • Anand Khare Says:


        Nothing I could understand but the basic notes of music.Please explain if possible.I am curios to know.Who is that pretty singer?I’ve seen her several times, just not able to recollect her name.May God forbid,is she the same having some illness?

        I respect Mallus is high esteem.They are recognized at national as well as International level so much so if they are absent it becomes conspicuous.. As a language Malayalam is having the same fate as Tamil,Telugu,Kannada or Hindi.So no bad omen,it is the destiny.

        All the languages/dialects etc have the regional or local importance. When I went to Germany first time in life in 1993,I realized knowing English in whole Europe was just as good as knowing Hindi.

        Of late, I am observing more English/Punjabi dialogs and songs in the so called Hindi movies.There was a time when Urdu dominated the scenes.It is an inevitable change.

        One thing is for sure. A person learns more if he knows more languages.I feel myself highly handicapped in this regard.


      • Aishwarya Says:

        Thats all I understood too! What I liked about the clip is, Shreya Ghoshal (the pretty singer) is a Bengali, SPB is Telugu, and Ilaiyaraja is Tamil, but they understand one another through music. Music transcends language barriers.

        I never could get myself a loaf of bread in Moscow until I asked for ‘hleb’! A language can be sustained only by the community that speaks it.

      • Anand,

        How can the GM of BSNL feel handicapped in languages and communication?? Namumkin!


    • Anand,

      Thanks for posting this link! It is an amazing song by the great Maestro! I heard it for the first time and am completely mesmerized! I wish SPB had sung a little more of the song! Thanks again!


  5. Sharmila, Aishwarya, Anand, Shubha,

    Logging on in the lunch break. Eating with the right hand and typing with the left.

    Mr. Nandy’s write-up throws some good questions and perhaps I’ll address them in an order in the evening. <eanwhile a quick checklist:

    1. Reality check: Is Hindi the national language or English?

    2. Is preservation of a language, culture or religious belief the job of the government?

    3. Most of the Tea Estates and forests in the North East are owned by Christian missions. the Chinese are invading christian territory. As also Pakistan is invading Kashmir which has a majority of Muslims. Where is the case for fighting for an identity?

    4. Nationhood, even in United States of America is form of federalism. States are autonomous and have their own rule of law. India is even better, there is no rule at all.

    5. Delhi is not India. Never was. Even those who live in Delhi know that. It is only the Jerusalam of the ruling community.

    6. A good Bengali, Maharashtrian, Tamilian may be an Indian. All Tamilians, Bengalis and Maharshtrians are not good Indians.

    To be continued…

  6. Sharmila and EF,

    Snippets of a day amidst strangers:

    One meets curious folks when working with different nationalities. A conference with an Iranian conglomerate that is venturing for the first time in this part of the world.

    There was a Project Manager among them who does not speak a single word unless it is written in his diary. Reads everything from “Good Morning” to “Thank You”. The effort he took invariably made the rest of the team clap in encouragement. I was wondering if he knew how to record a clap in words!


    Allow me to share an inside information about revolving doors at the Radisson. Listen to this.

    The hotel has two revolving doors, one at the main entrance and one for the exit to the parking lot behind. Both the doors are practically facing each other.

    I walked in through the front one. That was not as easy as said.

    The revolving door turns in a clockwise direction. I realised it after I stood facing the wrong way and the glass struck me on the nose.

    And the exit door turns anti-clockwise. I discovered that in the same manner.

    You would expect a 5 star hotel to have some idea of it’s customer’s IQ!

  7. Sumit Goyal Says:

    superb sharmila,
    khete hain delhi ka andaz – y- bayan kuch aur hai………..
    thx for replying …god bless you!!! keep on writing ………..

  8. Sumit Goyal Says:

    shubha———nice to see to you hear dear

  9. Sumit Goyal Says:

    i want to write a book on motivation, probably , i feel from inside i can write, but may be kyon nahi lik pata – pata nahi..it feels great to come here and read your blog and meet people of same interests dear sharmila…

  10. Sharmila and EF,

    A term called “The Word” occurs first time in the Maitri Upanishad. “Shabd” literally means “Sound” in Sanskrit. The extended meaning “Word” is an esoteric version.

    Linguistics, phonetics, etymology and philologhy are yet decipher how a language called “Sanskrit” began with a physical sign language and inarticulate babble to mystic sophistication and artistry.

    As a language, though it prevailed for over 7000 years, it has been dead for a long time now.

    In an ancient work called Nandikesvarakaarikaa a poetic thought ascribes the evolution of Sanskrit from the fourteen sounds of Shiva’s damaru!

    Before we see how it died a natural death, let us see the remarkable influence it had.

    There were two forms of Sanskrit right from it’s beginning. One, Vedic and the other Laukik (Secular)

    The scriptures and allied literature were recorded in Vedic Sanskrit.

    The ithasas (history) and puranas (mythologies) were recorded in secular Sanskrit.

    Rig Veda is the only book available in the oldest form of Sanskrit. In fact there was only one book till it was split into four by types by Krsna Dvaipayana, popularly known as Veda Vyasa, Rig, Saam, Yaju, Atharva.

    Three more collections were added to the four much later namely Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad.

    As the Sanskrit of the Veda was becoming archaic, the sages feared that the literature would become obsolete and wrote explanatory notes to go with the originals.

    Hence, six subjects were created by the teachers. These are called Vedangas.

    These are: Siksha (Phonetics), Vyakarna (grammar), Chanda (Prosody), Nirukta (Etymology), Jyotisha (Astronomy) and Kalpa (Practice)

    Four other sections became separate subjects as their research and content grew too vast to be included in scriptures.

    These were called Upaveda.

    These are: Ayurveda (Health), Dhanurveda (Military science), Gandharvaveda (Music and fine arts), Arthashastra (Political Science)

    Sanskrit evolved from the language in the books of mantra (Samhita) to the classical form that became popular later through the Brhmana, Purnana and the itihasa (epics).

    The entire literature of Sanskrit can be classified into 13 types:

    1. Alankara Sahitya: Figures of speech

    2. Campoo Sahitya: Combination of prose and poetry

    3. Darshana Shastra: Philosophical schools. (Charvaka, Jain, Buddha, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Yoga, Mimamsa and Vedanta)

    4. Gadya Sahitya: Non-fiction Prose

    5. Katha Sahitya: Stories, fiction

    6. Kavya Sahitya: Poetry

    7. Nataka Sahitya: Drama

    8. Nighantu: Dictionary

    9. Purana Sahitya: Mythology

    10. Stotra Sahitya: Hymns

    11. Sukti Sahitya: Wise words, proverbs, subhasita

    12. Upadesha Sahitya: Moral teachings, advisories

    13. Vyakarna Sahitya: Grammar

    The history of Sanskrit is not the history of a minority. On the contrary, it is the history of the evolution of human beings in our part of the world because it was the only language during it’s time.

    It did not die because another language took over.

    It transformed into 1576 languages in India as we see them today and many others in the caucasious and slavic nations.

    It is survived by it’s literature that was written by some intelligent folks in their times.

    In Pune, there is a school entirely dedicated to reciting the Veda. Chaps, like me, use modern dictionaries and try to come as close to the meanings as possible.

    The King of all languages is Dead, Long Live the King!!!

    • Fascinating Reader. Enjoy your discourses on Vedanta. Truly an eye opener for novices like myself.

    • Reader,

      Is Sanskrit really a dead language?? A lot is being done to revive it and create an interest in its learning. Sanskrit Sambhaashanam learning courses are being offered to the general public at various places from time to time and believe me there are many who join these courses. Unfortunately the way this language is taught in schools is very misleading and the general perception is that Sanskrit is a language that can be learnt purely by rote!


      • Shubha,

        Sanskrit is not the language of communication anymore.

        Even it’s later contemporaries Latin and Greek are still in use in some parts of the world.

        I remember the Sanskirt news on AIR in the mornings at 0700 am.

        Iyyam aakashwani, sampratit vartahaam shriyantaam; pravahshika Vijayashree…

        Sanskrit is not the language of science, arts, trade or governance anywhere in Asia.

        Greek is still the language of the common man in it’s land of origin. Latin is still in vogue though not so much, yet most of medicine, pharma and ancient european research prevails in Latin and Greek.

        That’s why I said it’s dead.

        It lives like a piece of ancient art, like a symphony, a painting or a sculpture.

        Those who learn Sanskrit feel it’s magic and a silent, original pride that cannot be expressed in any other language!

      • Reader,

        I am fascinated with Sanskrit as I come from a family which was rooted to Sanskrit. I was the odd one out! I am trying to make up for that and get back to learning the language. Even if I am able to make simple day to day conversation in Sanskrit I will be happy and contented and I believe this is not very difficult to achieve. I miss the AIR news! Iyam Akaashavani Samprati Vartaaha Shrooyantam. Pravaachakaha…! Waoh!

      • Shubha,

        We seem to be in the same boat on this.

        My eldest brother studied in a Marathi medium school and had Sanskrit as an optional language. He learnt to read and write and then speak.

        Father and mother and studied Sanskrit in their schools.

        Unfortunately, myself amd my sister were brought up in purely English medium schools.

        Father taught me Sanskrit at home which was not very professional. Most of it was recital and religious. And as there were no exams at home learning was rather slow and occassional.

        But now I have two huge volumes of the dictionary and almost all the scriptures and puranas including their translations. I read and read and read and read and read.

        It’s an amazing feeling! I don’t mind if there is nothing more to live for!

        Once upon a time, these books were the beginning of a human being’s life. In my case, they are the end!

      • Reader,

        Oh! Somethings more in common again, I am a Maharashtrian by marriage, infact I am more of a Maharashtrian than a TamBram now. My younger sister and I were the only ones who studied in English medium schools and so had a very basic knowledge of Sanskrit. We were taught various Stotras and adhyayas from the Geeta! Now I crave for more knowledge of the subject and wish to learn more! I shall not even dare to make a remote attempt of learning it your way!! 🙂 🙂

      • Shubha,


        So let me do the reading and translations from the dictionaries and I’ll post them here for dissemination!

        At least I’ll feel my reading is useful to someone other than myself!

        Same goes for Sahir, remember? I will do the translations!!!


      • Reader,

        That would be wonderful for me too! 🙂

      • Reader,


        I shall be too happy with this arrangement! 🙂

  11. a truly thought provocative post by mr. nandi,i have been wondering the same question since the mns activity started in mumbai,i was studying in mumabi that time ,i was stuneed and really heart after the fracas taht followed ,since last one year i used to roam arond vt and soth mumbai without any fear and sense of pride taht i am in mumabi the city of dreams,suddenly i started feeling scared ..family members started teeling me beat dont go outside alone…dont speak hindi speak english or bengali anything..i was devastated,could nt help but think what is happening,raj’s logic was respect marathi culture,traditions.but,i never thought about disrespecting any of these.even marathis started whispering after seeing orhearing someone from bihar or up in local trains.one year earlier it was not the case.I MEAN RESPECTING OR CULTURES TRADITIONS IS ONE THING BUT PREACHING HATRED AND ANIMOSITY IN THE NAME OF LANGUAGE IS OTHER.the city i loved and had deep respect for suddenly became unwelcoming for me,it still rankles.hope god gives some sense to raj.

    • Sorry to see that the Sena had such an effect on you. When you talk about not “disrespecting Marathi”, that’s great but that’s not enough. The Sena wants you to speak it and blend into the culture.

      For a city like Mumbai, it’s probably impractical as it is already a lot cosmopolitan and dreaming of being an international city. But Sena’s push for migrants to blend into the Maharashtrian culture is right considering there is considerable migration to Maharashtra’s rural areas and towns as well.

      Although I dont agree with Sena’s ways of promoting the language, it has had some effect on the Congress led government and now there seems to be a push to close down loopholes in education system and develop a way to increase the takeup of Marathi language in migrants.

      I don’t think Maharashtra is under any kind of threat, being a big state but states like Assam are feeling the heat. In a few years there will be more Biharis in Assam than Assamese themselves. And the ULFA doesn’t like that.

      Although Sena’s agenda is not just Marathi language..it’s a lot to do with jobs, votes, power and all that.

      • i think they are not trying for us to blend with culture they
        are trying to drive them out.u must be aware that when people go to other places they in course of time get blended with the cultures and traditions of the places where they migrate,to forcefully accept their culture is a wrong thing anywhere.but you are right when u say that its not about marathi language its about coming to power but what worries me is that at what cost you are coming to power..and i was not the only person who was feeling hurt and betrayed many north indian living an maarashtra and many paople who left the place after the movement against them started must be feeling the same..

      • It was both. The Sena wants migrants to blend into the culture of the state they are in. You might have read when Bal Thackeray said Maharashtrians in Tamil Nadu should take up Tamil and make an effort to blend into the Tamil community. He said this in response to his views that migrants to Maharashtra should blend into the Maharashtrian culture. This does not however mean they should forget their own culture.

        Secondly, driving out the North Indians was also in focus. This was against blue-collar or poor migrants. This causes problems as it reduces the wages of poor people in Maharashtra and job losses in poor community is undesirable. Also many of these migrants take fake domicile certificates to apply for jobs, have taken fake licenses to do fishing which is a restrictive field. And many are placed by ministers from the north, by advertising jobs only in their constituencies.

        Obviously another reason for the Sena is to get Maharashtrian votes and block leaders like Kripashankar Singh who encourage migration because it helps them get North Indian votes.

        As I said…there are many causes.

  12. sorry a lot of typing error in my comment earlier,i had so much to say that speed of hand could nt cope with speed of feelings..

  13. Sharmila,

    Endangered Cultures.

    Long ago I had gone to Hyderabad with my parents. N.T. Ramarao was the chief minister.

    As I was brought up in a cosmopolitan society, I was unable to connect with the children of my age.

    There were huge cut-outs of NTR on the streets. NTR was shown in the mythical outfit of a King with a golden crown, an armour on his chest and armed with a bow and a quiver full of arrows.

    “Who is this God?” I asked

    “He is not a God. He is the chief minister of this state” my dad replied.

    “Then why is dressed like this? Is he an actor?”

    “He is an actor,” said dad, “But he is not acting. This is for real.”

    “What is real?”

    “This avatar”

    I remained silent. I didn’t quite follow him.

    Realizing that, he said, “Wait till we get to the Tirupathi. You will know”

    Tirupathi is at the other end of the state and would have taken a week to reach, stoppiing at several places to meet my dad’s friends on the way.

    We travelled through the tribal areas. A lot of villages. Practically all the people are engaged in physical labor.

    There is no electricity and there are no roads. People return to their homes by sunset and sit under large trees after dinner chatting about nothing specific and sleep around 0830 or 0900 pm.

    They wake up about 2 hours before sunrise to bring water from the village well. The water is calm at that time and there are no animals. Many men and women bathe at the well and return wet without drying themselves with towels. This is a daily ritual regardless of the climate or season. They worship God in that state – dripping wet. They never suffer from cold or fever. Probably shocks the hell out of any bacteria planning to invade the body.

    All activities are decided by custom. All the tasks, including daily routines, are justified by superstition and the fear of the wrath of God. (Note: There is no Devil. Only God and His anger). The villagers worshipped all forms of natural divinities.

    Suddenly NTR’s dress-code began to make sense.

    The people’s votes were a show of respect and obeisance – not their right to be represented.

    Black magic, superstitious rituals, fear of ghosts and evil spirits, fear of Natural elements and worshipping cults. That was the basis of the culture. NTR had learnt it when his movies became super-hits.

    I did not go to Tirupathi. I stayed in one of the villages and my parents picked me up on their way back.

    A culture is always good. The basis of the culture is often on the wrong grounds, be them the barbaric cold-meat-eating Normans of London, the tree-people in Africa or farmers in India.

    If a culture is endangered because it’s foundations are shaky, so be it.

    If a culture is endangered because it is being invaded by another, then it needs to be protected, especially if it is our own.

    • NTR was God like MGR was God in TN. But NTR chose to dress like one while MGR shied away from it. When NTR played Krishna in the historical movie “Karna”, there would be thousands of people mobbing the theatre to see their God. In the eyes of the electorate of Andhra Pradesh there has been no greater reverie for anyone besides NTR himself. After his demise, the party could not be held together by his wife and thats when Naidu stepped in.

  14. Sumit Goyal Says:

    Good Morning friends

  15. Sharmila,

    A blind-folded tribal culture may look primitive and brainless to many.

    To counter that allow me to present a view of something similar in the so-called “Developed World”

    Between 2003 and 2007 I spent many evenings here with a friend. He was a retired Lt. Colonel from the Indian Army’s Gorkha Regiment although he himself was a Coorgi and spoke Tulu and Kannada. He went back to India in late 2007 and settled in Bangalore.

    He was 68 going on 69. I saw that he had an innate urge to relive his youth, even if it was just for a few moments and simply involved recollecting those days and feelings.

    I suggested we drive down to Dubai over the weekends.

    He enjoyed his drinks and I enjoyed music. We went to almost every night club in town, spending a fortune in the process.

    Initially he had no particular choice. We went to any hotel that we saw.

    There were special floors by region. There were belle dancers from Egypt, Lebanon, there were Russian troupes in some. There were strip-tease dancers from Central Africa, bar singers and soloists from London, a hawaian troupe doing the calypso, a brazilian samba group and so on.

    Even though my friend appeared to enjoy each one of them, I was rather bored. The music was neither here nor there and I couldn’t sit for more than an hour drinking fruit juice!!!

    Finally, after some persuasion, we landed in the Indian room, occupied mostly by arabs and Indians.

    I spent 10,000 Dirhams once, all in a single evening!!!

    The attraction was in the permission to order-a-song!

    While my friend busied himself in finding out names and phone numbers of the dancers, I got busy listing all the songs I wanted to hear live!

    The female lead singer’s name was Meghna (real name), residing somewhere in Kandivili, Mumbai and married to a marathi drummer in the same group. Two good dancers were Neelam (fake name) from Gujarat and Jahanara (fake name) from Mira Road, Mumbai.

    My friend began with some old songs of Rafi (Ankohn hi ankhon me was his favorite). When his songs were played the girls paid special attention to him and our friend, all of 68, stepped on the stage and danced like a young boy! He had the best time of his life, living his wildest dreams!

    Given my temperament, I quickly picked on a thematic line of songs; set-up a sort of competition between the girls – whoever danced better got the larger tip till finally one of them gave up – I don’t remember which one.

    The male lead singer was a bengali, Mukesh (real name) and was flabbergasted at the un-ending list of dance numbers I came up with.

    Later, in the mornings, we drove back to our hotel rooms. My friend would snore peacefully in the navigator’s seat.

    He had two daughters. One was married to a Bulgarian and another was married to an Italian settled in Hungary. The elder one is a translator in the foreign office.

    An year later, he had a by-pass surgery and his health deteriorated rather rapidly. His land in Bangalore was illegally encorached and captured by some hooligans. He was fighting a losing battle there. To add to his woes he placed all his savings in a mutual fund that sank without a trace.

    At, 69, he began a struggle to seek justice from a system that could never meet his expectations.

    I have not heard from him since 2007. I hope he is alive.

    “It’s a jungle out there!” he had said in his last mail.

    I wonder which jungle he meant. The real one with innocent, god-fearing tribals or the lawless metropolis that cannot preserve it’s own flock.

  16. Sharmila,

    On Nationhood.

    I began to test my reading in daily life during my teenage, often trying to relate my learning with the reality around me.

    The best place to examine the validity of a principle was the house, and the safest people to try them out on were parents and siblings.

    There was one catch though, and it is quite innocent in a way.

    In my enthusiasm and the ecstatic jubiliation of having discovered something I would often misquote most of them. The family responded with equanimity. They laughed at my earnest efforts at perceiving things that were mainly conceptual in form.

    (Not much has changed about that even today. I am still inclined to find meanings that apparantly don’t exist!)

    Some attempts were pretty hilarious.

    Like this one:

    The family was having dinner and the general discussion was what each one was planning to become. Eldest brother was aiming to become an Engineer, the next wanted to join the armed forces. And I said, “I want to make money.”

    The reactions were as different as each one of us was.

    Brothers asked, “Money comes from anything we do. Whats the big deal?”

    “I don’t want to go in town with harmonium around my neck, singing ‘Diwaane hai diwaano ko na ghar chahiye…'” I replied.

    (This is a song from AB’s Zanjeer where AB and Jaya watch some street singers outside their house singing and collecting money.)

    Brothers laughed aloud.

    The eldest one was kind. He said, “R, you get impressed by silly things. Any type of work brings money. Whatever you do, you will have money.”

    My argument was, “People give ownership of things in exchange of money. So why not give them money and take the ownership?”

    Silly, but true in some ways.


    On another occassion, a more serious situation arose. That’s where the discussion on nationhood took an ugly turn.

    Father was very nationalistic in his thinking. He had a network of friends and thinkers all over India.

    But in the house, he let my mom do whatever she pleased. He grumbled at times but never did anything against her wishes. She always had her way.

    One day I said very casually, “Anna, she takes advantage of your sense of duty. Why don’t you say what you want to say?”

    Dad was serious. He turned around and asked, “Why don’t you mind your own business?”

    “I am.” I said, “Why don’t you want me to speak?”

    “Okay.” he said, “Hope you recognize your rubbish.”

    “Mom gets whimsical at times and her moods are crazy. She goes on hunger strikes like Mahatma Gandhi and you submit to whatever she wishes. Is that proper? She is wrong so many times.”

    “Listen, ” he replied, rather sternly, “This is my family. Not the nation. Your mother left her house and her town and her family to be with us. She has never gone back. You don’t know what that means. We are all that she has. If I can let you do what you want, she deserves that freedom first. Understand?”

    “But she tortures herself to get her way. I don’t fast, do I?. You agree with her even when she is wrong.”

    “You don’t fast because you are a pig. And she is never wrong. Get this into your head!”

    “Is that your duty?” I asked, “To accept whatever she does as right?”

    “No, ” he said, “My duty is to save her and protect you all. What is right and what is wrong is for each one of you to decide for yourselves.”

    “You sacrifice things for your duty” I said.

    “Duty is all there is. There is nothing to sacrifice. Why do you ask?”

    “What’s the difference between a family and a nation?”

    “I get your point” he said, smiling, “You mean there is a sacrifice in our duty to a nation and there is none in a family”


    “There is no sacrifice in either, so long as it belongs to you. Remember that.”

    And there the matter ended. I didn’t feel very bright but it was true. There is no nationhood without a sense of belonging.

    What is an Indian?

  17. Anand Khare Says:


    Home is where heart is.That’s India (with all its shortcomings). Indians live,work,earn, settle across the world but they eat Indian,watch Indian TV&movies,listen Indian music,talk with Indians,meet Indians,Go temples,care for Indians and discuss Indian events.

    Having lived abroad for many years, I hope you would agree.

    I worked abroad on different projects for five years, and every day I was waiting for the day when I return home with some savings.


    • Anand,

      You are right. The sense of belonging is something that is regardless of where a person is located. Sometimes, a person who is at another part of the planet feels more Indian than someone who is in India and selling it’s precious goods to foreigners!

  18. Anand Khare Says:

    Jewish version of Shri Satyanaraya katha,

    The great Rabbi Israel Shem Tov, when he saw that the people in his village were being mistreated, went into the forest, lit a holy fire, and said a special prayer, asking God to protect his people.
    And God sent him a miracle.

    Later, his disciple Maggid de Mezritch, following in his master’s footsteps, would go to the same part of the forest and say:
    “Master of the Universe, I do not know how to light the holy fire, but I do know the special prayer; hear me, please!”
    The miracle always came about.

    A generation passed, and Rabbi Moshe-leib of Sasov, when he saw the war approaching, went to the forest, saying:
    “I don’t know how to light the holy fire, nor do I know the special prayer, but I still remember the place. Help us, Lord!”
    And the Lord helped.

    Fifty years later, Rabbi Israel de Rizhin, in his wheelchair, spoke to God:
    “I don’t know how to light the holy fire, nor the prayer, and I can’t even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell this story, and hope God hears me.”
    And telling the story was enough for the danger to pass.

    • Anand,

      Very interesting.

      I believe, there are several reasons why persons, especially guys in the middle ages, like me, try to get things off their random access memories. I think one of them is the cause of the Sathynarayan Katha!!!


  19. Anand Khare Says:


    :D.I know that the katha is out of the context.Just came across it on Paul Colho’s(alchemist fame) blog and found that it is very similar to satyanarayan katha where the original katha is missing (i hope u marked it).Just thought of sharing with all the spiritual people on this blog.


  20. Anand Khare Says:


    It is unbelievable that she is Shreya Ghoshal sharing stage with music veterans like SPB and Illyaraja.not that she doesn’t deserve it.Among all ladies wrapped in Nallis Kanjivarams, it was difficult to imagine Shreya there.

    Thanks anyways.


    Hamdicapps are always differently able Madam.

  21. Saw AB’s KBC episode today after almost a week. Reminded me of a verse from his father’s famous allegory, Madhushala:

    Bane pujari premi saaki
    Ganga jal pawan haala
    Rahe pherata avirat gati se
    Madhu ke pyaalo ki maala
    … … … ‘Aur liye ja, aur piye ja’
    … … … Issi mantra ka jaap kare
    … … … … … Mayn shiv ki pratima bann bainthun,
    … … … … … Mandir ho yeh madhushaala |

    The KBC set is the madhushaala and AB occupies it like Shiva’s image in the temple asking every participant to have more, take more!

  22. Sharmila,

    Daily trivia:

    Executive poaching is quite common in the Oil & Gas industry. I got one more offer yesterday, promising 3 and a hlaf times my present take-home.

    My stock answer to that is “No, thanks. I have no reason to make more money.”

    Incidently the location was challenging. Libya.

    In the next few years the politics of North Africa is going to see the rise of another anti-american power like Iraq and Iran.

    Libya is the next Venezuela in the making. 5 years ago, the explorers found a fortune of Oil & Gas reserves that could last the world for 4 decades.

    The production has begun in earnest and the growth curve is almost vertical because all the technology required is on-call and cheap.

    Miss Poacher was asking me to take on an assignment on the edge of the Sahara. I declined politely. I have seen so much sand in the last 19 years that I can survive on Mars without water now!

    She must come up with better deals for those like me who live on budgets. If I know her persistence, I am sure she will.

    • Sharmila,

      Clip from my chat with Miss Poacher:

      MP: R, BP is enforcing green technology in Libya. You will benefit from that. It’s the latest in the market.

      Reader: Why is BP interested in green technology? Green is the color of the American dollar!

      MP: Hee hee! At least they like to show they are enviro savvy.

      R: I know. The English people tried to save the Tigers for 30 years.

      MP: Really? I didn’t know that. Where?

      R: In Sri Lanka. They were providing arms to the Tigers through the IRA and the Mossad.

      MP: Which Tigers?

      R: Tamil Tigers, don’t you know?

      MP: What is a Tamil Tiger?

      R: Tigers who speak Tamil.

      MP: Tigers speak?

      R: Yes, in Asia they do.

      MP: You are kidding!

      R: Why don’t you visit India once? You’ll find out yourself.

      MP: Oh, yes! Thats my dream! I am saving money for a visit to India.

      And the discussion drifted to India and it’s heritage…

      • again you have done this,no one can beat you in this sphere ,validating your point through dialogues,terifffic to say the least.hope i can learn many things from you on this space.I always wanted to know about the vedas,upnishads,and other old scriptures,but,never got time.probably some day when i will be free from struggles to stand up on my own feet,i will get the time to read those scriptures..

      • Saurabh,

        That’s a great thought. There are very few these days who are willing to read the scriptures.

        If you are anywhere in Bangalore, there is a shop named, “Vedanta Bookstall” in the lane next to Uma theatre in Chamraj Peth. All the books are available there.

        If you are in Pune, there is a similar outlet in Appa Balwant Chowk in Deccan.

        Almost all the books with translations are available from Arya Samaj outlets in Bangalore and Coimbatore/ Palghat.

        Every major city and town has at least one publisher’s office. There are not many retailers as these are not FMCG!!

  23. Sharmila,

    Office trivia.

    THis entry is to test if my coompany’s new policy is working. If this goes through then it is.

    The IT desk in my office has got a policy approved by the excom that the SMS router shall be opened to specific web sites on a written request. All other sites will remain closed.

    I have given the list of sites that I must access from my station. http://Sharmilasays.wordpress.com is one of them.

    If you are reading this then all izz well…


    Moral of the story: It’s never easy to enjoy free stuff…

  24. Will be back shortly, need to show myself to the Doctor..a bit unwell..

  25. Sharmila,

    I hope the doctor recovers soon.


    Here is a Mirza Ghalib (for a change from Sahir):

    Aa ki meri jaan mein qaraar nahin hai
    Taaqat-e-bedaad-e-intazaar nahin hai

    … … … Come, for I can’t keep the peace anymore
    … … … I don’t have the strength for unjust waiting

    Dete hain jannat hayat-e-dahar ke badale
    Nashaa ba-andaazaa-e-khumaar nahin hai

    … … … They offer a heaven in exchange for a life on earth
    … … … The delirium doesn’t match the style of the euphoria

    Hum se abas hai guman-e-ranjish-e-khaatir
    Khaak mein ushshaq ki gubaar nahin hai

    … … … Indifference to me is out of distrust and animosity
    … … … My well-wisher’s earth has no sand storms or dust

    Tu ne qasam maykashi ki khaai hai ‘Ghalib’
    Teri qasam ka kuchh aitabaar nahin hai

    … … … You pledge in the name of alcohol, “Ghalib”
    … … … Your resolve cannot be quite relied on

    Mirza Ghalib

  26. Sharmila

    Hope you found Munnabhai MBBS…

  27. Sharmila,

    Jokes aside. Hope its nothing serious.

  28. Sharmila,

    Get well soon. Here’s a song to pick you up!

  29. Be well, Sharmila! We miss you.

  30. Sharmila and EF,

    Good Morning. This is getting serious. Where are you?

    Does anyone here know anything?

    You can at least leave a line once in a day.

  31. Sharmila and EF,

    Since there is nothing to write about today, I will take this opportunity to say something to myself.

    You certainly do not have to acknowledge what you understand or don’t. I am simply content with the joy of feeling what I am able to feel.

    Have you read Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs? Presume you have. Who hasn’t?

    Among all other signs she is most accurate about Aquarians.

    Aquarians are so charged with emotional energy that they are able to withstand a lot more ‘storms-in-a-tea-cup’ than say Pisceans, Arians, Cancerians or Librans. Certainly more than cusps like me in any case.

    My dad was a stinging Scorpio, eldest brother was a brooding Libran, elder brother was a passionate aquarian, sister was a raging arian, mother was an arian too and I am a piscean-arian cusp. Eldest sister-in-law was a green-hand cancerian, her father was a bull-headed taurus, her mother was a feminist capricorn, her brother was a balled-dancing sagittarius. The second sister-in-law was a hand-washing virgo. My brother-in-law was a lazy leo.

    My girl-friend – the one I wanted to marry – was a placid piscean. My ex-wife was a double-edged gemini.

    I don’t subject my beliefs to astrology but it gives a good universal set of characteristics.

    Notice that I speak of all my family in the past tense.

    I don’t have a clue who is alive and who is dead, except my parents who have expired. I am all by myself since April 2003.

    There was a time before 2003, when I was always counting the money in my pockets and in the bank. I spent a lot time working out the NPV and NAV of my assets and keeping a tab on my wealth.

    Then one fine morning I woke up completely broke. Rather woke-up is wrong. I didn’t sleep at all for several days and nights. I was as broke as a piece of clay thrown over the edge – financially, physically, mentally and emotionally.

    The only thing that I had was Philosophy – my beliefs that kept my head on my shoulders.

    I sold everything that belonged to me except a back-pack, a pair of clothes and my shoes. The money was enough to buy me a ticket out of my relationships, out of the house, out of the city and out of the country.

    I have never gone back.

    Today, after almost 8 years, I look at myself during mirror-breaks and smile.

    I do not know how much money I have. The wallet is full of plastic cards. I do not know the exact value of the assets I own. I don’t count like I used to earlier.

    There are no nominees on any of my legal papers, neither property nor bank accounts. If I die now, the wealth will belong to whoever is the custodian at the moment.

    I sought this unattached state consciously and I intend to preserve it to the end.

    I am equal to many physical and emotional situations today. I feel them, but I don’t own them.

    A parent is always eager to listen to his child’s justifications. That’s a given. What the parent probably does not consider is that once he dies, the child has no one to justify anything to anyone.

    In real life there are no winners and losers. Whatever is, just is.

    What might have been does not deserve a thought. What is and can be, is certainly worth it.

    Time is running out. Damn time always runs out.

    Take a break.

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • dont you feel lonely,living alone.i also live alone,but god,sometimes i feel terribly lonely and sad.but like you i find solace and happiness in music and ofcourse parents are just a phonecall away.and you are spot on when you say time always runs out.in may ‘IIM-CAT’ was 6 months away now there are only 15 days left,these months have passed away in a jiffy…and now when i am typing these words time is running out and after 15 days it will run out..

  32. It’s a Friday, weekly off. The bakery is closed. Can anyone tell me where I can buy some bread? Theres no yeast to make it at home!

    See? I like to be a seed, not an egg!!!

  33. What’s happening, Reader? Please answer your phone.

  34. So sad and desolate. Why?

  35. You love music.

  36. Perhaps that is right in a way. I like to re-visit places that I have been before. I never say goodbye in that sense.

    Like Mehdi Hassan sings:

    Ranjish hi sahi, dil hi dukhane ke liye aa…
    Aa phir se mujhe chod ke jaane ke liye aa

    … … … Be it sadness, come to cause pain my heart
    … … … Come back, if only to leave me again and go

    This is the whole ghazal…

  37. This reply won’t go where I want it, so it’ll be at the end:

    No trade-off.

    There is only trade if someone buys and I don’t buy this one.

    • You are very spontaneous in your expressions when you reject something. That’s a trade-off too. Some people are spontaneous when they express their approvals.

      There is a picture poster in my boss’ office that says, “Everyone makes me happy. Some when they come in, some when they go out”

      So, there is always a trade-off, whether one decides to buy or not.

  38. Let go. Think about it some other time. Tomorrow is another day.

  39. Sharmila,

    This is where I get off the train. Hope to hear from you soon.

    Till then may the music play on….

  40. Aishwarya Says:

    Hi Sharmila,

    How are you? Hope to see you online soon…



  41. Aishwarya Says:

    One of my favorite ads and one that I feel goes with Mr. Nandy’s words, “…so many languages we spoke and understood, so many ways we talked to each other…”

    Love the endline – “Bolne ke liye kisi bhasha ki zaroorat nahin hoti.”

  42. Anand Khare Says:

    I wish Sharmila a speedy recovery.Get well soon Madam.See Dr Aishwarya if needed.

    Her long absence always signals a new post.This time it may be on sick Indian health services.:). Alteratively it may be on corruption in adarsh housing society in Mumbai.(Currently on news channels after Arundhati’s nonstop ad for two days)

    Reader’s story qualifies for a very intense dramatic movie.


  43. Anand,

    All narratives qualify for the stage when many events are compressed into 90-120 minutes of rapid eye movements. On a blog the time is just about 30 seconds or 200 – 500 words!

    Take the biopics of Lenin and Gandhi for example (incidently both were played in 90 minutes by Ben Knigsley on the silver screen)

    Lenin spent more than half his life writing and organising his revolution from Europe.

    And in Gandhi’s case, between 1920 and 1948 there were just 5 events that captured the historian’s attention. Gandhi spent most of his time in the jail or in house arrest.

    Both the movies were as dramatic as the people wanted. Heroes are in fiction and history; there are no heroes in real life.

    People usually want to read only the milestones. The drive in between the milestones is pretty monotonous. The destination and the route are decided even before the journey starts. How a person drives on the way only decides the condition in which he reaches.

    Those who complete a journey intact are normally those who are not blinded by emotions while on the wheel.

    The engaging part in a journey is in recognising and recollecting the milestones on the way! Many people who miss their own in their lives enjoy others’ as pure fiction.

    To put it in a nutshell, when there is a personal opinion that I wish to make on Sharmila’s blog I usually bank on personal narratives. That is my investment in making the point. Nothing more.

    And surely neither necessary nor important.

  44. Sharmila, Anand, Aishwarya, Lakshmi, Shubha, Renate, MonaLisa, Saurabh, Ninad, Muraliraja and all of Sharmila’s EF,

    Am I hallucinating or is this the end of this blog?

    Does any one know what has happened to Sharmila?

  45. She must be busy mate …till then enjoy this joke, i almost fell down from the sofa laughing when i heard this.

    What is Rajnikant’s email address it seems …


  46. Dear all.

    Thank you for your concern. Nope, this is not the end of the blog thankfully. I am a lot better today. Caught the viral fever, was put in emergency, was on IV and got back to home sweet home today. Waiting to get out of BLR now. Please bear with me while I read all your comments and will surely write a new post. No complaints about the medical services, thankfully.

    • Aishwarya Says:

      Hey Sharmila,

      Happy to note that you are back home and in the loving care of your mom. I’m sure you’ll feel as good as new in no time.

      Tc and love,


    • Sharmila,

      I am sorry I was not in touch with you and the EF here for the past few days. It has been a hectic week for me. I hope you are alright now. These viral fevers cause a lot of malaise and weakness. Take care!


  47. Anand Khare Says:

    Happy that Sharmila is back.It is great to know that Indian doctors treated her perfectly at par with HK (not chinese)/Australian standards. We can have more stuff for brain storming soon.

    Fully agree with Reader’s opinion on real life and fiction. For me, it will take time to identify milestones of my life. I hope I would get many.Perhaps it will be good past time in upcoming Diwali holidays.I shall be travelling to New Delhi and other places to be with my parents,brothers and cousins.Wife gonna face some disciplined times in ‘Sasural’.I am ready to pay the prize.


  48. Anand Khare Says:

    Bat karani kabhee itni mushkil tto na thee,


  49. Sharmila,

    Good to see you back and almost recovered. Take care.

  50. Sharmila,
    Missed the news of your sickness on first place…my sincere apology for that…Good to know that you are OK now. Hospitals are scary places…glad to know you weren’t scared.
    Take care.

  51. @sharmila
    thanks for wishing me good luck…and thank god all is well.One friend of mine caught malaria today,i am scared as hell and after seeing the mosqitos cant help but remember the famous nana patekar dialogue.also this preparation for cat has messed up my mind,while writing anything i have to take extra care for grammatical mistakes..because this is supposed to be most diciest part in cat.its really amazing what you think is innocuous,not pertinent enough comes to hount you in some or other ways..

  52. Sharmila,

    Welcome back.

    You know, there is a railway station called ‘Hutagi’ in North Karnataka, just a few kilometers down South of Sholapur which is the last railway station of Maharshtra.

    It was the night of 19th March 1967. I was a few days away from my 3rd birthday. Mother and myself were travelling to a place called Bijapur.

    We were sitting in the ladies waiting room of the Hutagi railway station.

    I strayed out to the platform and stood watching a steam engine shunting a wagon of a goods train.

    The engine was coming backwards pushing the large wagon. The engine stopped just outside the edge of the platform and the wagon rolled on by itself. It rammed with a bang into another stationary wagon.

    I ran into the waiting room. Mother was reading something. I lay my head quietly on her lap and tried to close my eyes.

    She sensed something wrong and asked me if I was alright.

    “Train tootli” I said in Marathi. (Train broke!)

    And without further warning I began to cry. There was quite a bit of commotion. The room attendant, other passengers and my mother all started talking to me at once. Someone offered biscuits, someone brought water and mother thought I wanted to go to the toilet.

    After getting my breath back, I said again, “Train tootli”, and everyone realised the cause of my despair!

    Mother took me out and showed me the entire train, all connected and ready to move. A black hat was leaning out of one of the coaches and waving and whistling as if he was enjoying himself.

    Shortly, there was the sound of a steam engine puffing and the train rolled out of the platform. I was quite pleased that everything was alright. Peace was restored.

    Even to this day when I see a shunting yard, “Train tootli”, comes automatically to my mind.


    Something similar happened in the last two days when you went offline. “Train tootli”

    The train broke.

  53. Better to say what there is to say while there is time. Who knows what tomorrow is like…

  54. Time for my vacation retreat soon… 9 days to go…

  55. 🙂 sure..! Anything is better than desert.

  56. Gosh…! You know how hard it is to tolerate that SRK guy…!Grrrr…..were you the ‘Head’ of A Torture Chamber..!? @ Reader

  57. MonaLisa,

    “Head” of a torture chamber? Gee…

    It has always seemed to me that some girls don’t have a sense of humor.

    Let me tell you one more story. Stop me if you have heard this before.

    Summer vacations 1976.

    My sister was 7 years and I was 12 years old. Dad, being in ordnance factory, was eligible for his annual leave travel allowance.

    We went to Hardwar, Hrishikesh and Benaras for the vacation.

    One day, in Ayodhya, I was in a playful mood and I asked my sis,

    “Do you want to see Ram, Laxman and Sita?”

    She said, “Yes”

    I said slapped her right-hand forearm with three fingers. There was a red patch of the three fingers and I said, “The longer one in the middle is Ram, the forefinger mark is Laxman and the ring finger mark is Sita.”

    She screamed and went bawling to my dad.

    Dad pulled me up.

    “What happened?” he asked

    “He beat me!” She cried, “Look!”

    Frankly, the forearm was looking good and I thought Ram, Laxman, Sita were nicely visible.

    But can you expect any thanks for that?

    “I was drawing Ram, Laxman, Sita on her forearm!” I explained

    “Come here!” said Dad, “I’ll draw the whole family on your cheeks!”

    And before I knew, there were Ram, Laxman, Bharat, Shatrughan and Sita on my left cheek!

    So much for a sense of humor and sporting spirit!!!

  58. Reader,
    Thank God…! Finally you admit…..! And while you did that…..there is only one word comes to my mind….’sadist’…!
    Gosh…! you got a nerve to expect and ask for appreciation for that…!!!? Wow…! Great…! 🙂

  59. A lot depends on the range that one is capable of.

    Like music.

    The human ear can regiter more than 80 frequencies but a good singer can only do a melody out of a maximum of 14 notes.

    That’s where duets are useful.

    Here is an example:

    R. D. Burman uses two singers, one in the 2nd octave and the other in the 4th!

    • Reader,
      Tolerance is something…..Too much to ask for from others….one can set the limits only for oneself….
      I never pretend to be ‘Brave’ in such matters…

      PS :- FYI… Lately my tolerance graph ascended unbelievable/y new heights. 🙂

  60. C’mon…! Does he deserve that credit..?!!! Not at all…! Not at all…! He doesn’t deserve that credit anyway..! He might be good for something….for many…others..! not my cup of Tea.

    • If not SRK, what has raised your tolerance limit?

      Surely not Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali. They are good anyway.

  61. Hmmm…..still in deciding stage…! Not sure yet…whom shall I award that credit.

  62. Headlines at the moment:

    Owners of the Adarsh Society Flats smoked out.

    Municipal corporation cuts water supply. MMRDA revokes ownership deeds. District Collector cancels allotments.

    Learning point and reminder: There are no property rights in India. All property is owned by the chair of the DC. Amended Article 19 of the constitution rules!

    • DC..!? Do you mean Washington DC..!? may be some department of construction i guess…!right…?

      • DC: District Collector.

        BTW Washington DC is coming to Mumbai next weekend. 18 cargo flights and the Airforce One bringing everything from mineral water to toilet paper for a 24 hour visit of Obama.

        I am expecting him to wear an oxygen mask too.

      • yep..I know…He is..! The most honorable Guest of India on auspicious ocassion of Diwali. 🙂
        Booked entire Taj and some hundred rooms in Oberoi.

      • Okay As you say. Hail, MonaLisa…

  63. 🙂 yeh..! why not..!? After all I am the Tolerant one…! 🙂
    I can give you some too…if you like..! 🙂

    • Me? Too early. I haven’t even started yet. Go on like this and you’ll be tested far more than you can imagine!!!


      • Whoa..! Why and What for.. would I be tested..!?
        What do you mean by go on like this..!?
        Do you know..!? I am sure you know that that would be like a double edged sward. There would be fair chances for you to fail the test too… 🙂

      • Tested for tolerance.

        The more questions you ask, the more answers you get and the more dimensions that arise.

        It’s not a double edged sword, I’d say, more like a spear that goes through the subject.

        I didn’t know my tolerance was being tested. How can I fail if I don’t know of any test?

  64. You show the traits of A Dictator….”No questions…. just surrender” or you will be beheaded or my spear would puncture your heart indelibly.

    • Can I have you beheaded for calling me a dictator? If not, then I am not a dictator.

      But thanks for admitting that I am always right. That’s a compliment.


      • Whoa…whoa…whoa…! when did I say that…You are always right..!?
        And you really think you are always right..!? Duh…! Duh…!

      • Aah..! So you got all intentions to ‘Behead’
        me if You can..! 🙂
        Hehehe…may be in your dreams…! How dare you..!? 🙂

        PS: Intentions are All that count.

      • Okay As you say. Hail, MonaLisa!

  65. Sumit Goyal Says:

    hello dear friends

  66. BTW ….First & foremost thing…why would You have to Test me..!? On what ground..? secondly….Test for what kind of tolerance…!? Physical,mental,emotional…etc etc…!? There are different levels of tolerance for different things….and Abuse falls into ‘Zero Tolerance’ category.

  67. MonaLisa,

    Okay. Peace. I am away for a couple of hours.

    Bass yun gaye aur yun aaye. Aap kidhar jayiega nahin!

  68. For those who feel I am a wandering spirit…

    • Oops.. posted the Kishore song without a preamble…

      Saw an ugly bollywood scoop on Aaj Tak and was reminded of the song.

      It is about a method in the tabloid madness… like the scandalous media blitz that preceded the Commonwealth Games… it’s become a trend these days to whip-up smear campaigns to draw attention…

      • Is there a video of the program?

      • Sharmila,

        This going to sound very spooky. Trust me I had no idea when I wrote the comment on 29/10 at 1-:42 above. The one about Linda Goodman and Time is running out.

        Aaj Tak ran a scandalous speculation about AB and his family.

        Some imaginary rift between Abhishekh and Aishwarya. And AB not being happy with Aishwarya etc. All crap I am sure.

        Another clairvoyant part from my comment is that Aishwarya gave an interview today on NDTV and used my exact words, “Time is running out!”; and Abhishekh is an Aquarian, I started my comment about Linda Goodman being good about Aquarians!!!

        I know there are anti-AB camps in the industry. This must be one of their sponsorships. But AB himself gave an interview on Aaj Tak last week.

        Something just does not add up.

      • Time is running out for what though? Yes, this does not add up in the least.

      • Time is running out came in reply to a distorted appreciation. the interviewer said “You are aging gracefully” and Aishwarya wnet on about being not conscious and ended with time is running out.

        Who knows…

      • Reader,
        What campaigns..? Movie campaigns..?
        They try to attract masses with such propaganda..!? Gosh..! How low ppl can stoop for whatever reasons..!?

  69. “Happy Halloween ” to All

  70. Now that abbreviation is ‘spooky’.
    If its too long for you to type…you can eat the later half and just call me Mona…or just ‘M’….if you like…@Sh…. 🙂

  71. Lol…Reader,
    Hahaha….now I am a Dictator…!? omg…! All those Dictators up in the heaver (or down in the hell) must be ROFL.. 🙂

    • As you say M’Lord.

      Shall I summon the devil in your presence, your highness?

      I’ll bring her by the tail, if you command.


      PS: The devil is feminine in my lexicon. Lucifer was an egg. Was humped and dumped on a wall. The original line was in rhyme and rhythm “All the King’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put her together again!” Wild Englishmen poetry was very earthy!

  72. This raga is for MonaLisa, Renate and all those in the US where it is dusk.

    Note: 11 notes in Aaroh and 15 notes in the aavroh. That also makes a standard “lorie’ in light music that is used to put someone to sleep. (No double meanings. Just info)

    • You are so…right Reader
      I felt so sleepy…couldn’t gare to finish it.
      Do you want me to go..?
      As such going to the Halloween party in half hr.

      • oops…’dare’ it is…not gare….lol

      • That’s an evening raga. Late night raga is more in the base. Hypnotizes one into slumber.

        Halloween party? Do you need to make-up for the party?

        Have a great time!


  73. Hmmm….! is it not You enough..!? Why summon anyone else…!? @ Reader…! 🙂

  74. yep..! couldn’t agree more on that..Reader.

    probably thats why we gather here…hehehe… 🙂

    I like ‘Devil of the Devils’ more … 😉

    In my lexicone It is faceless,genderless…all less less…
    Never know in what disguise It will appear… 🙂

    • Excuse me. I’ll back in a few minutes. Need to look at myself in the mirror.

      Devil of the Devils? Do I know who that is?

      • Did you not just look ….into the mirror..!? Reader…? 🙂

      • I looked in the mirror.

        The face was not too clear as the glow behind the head is too bright.

        “Father ko bachcha nahin baap bolta hai, my son, aur iss waqt tumhara father tumhara saamne khada hai” – Amitabh Bachchan in Amar, Akbar, Anthony!

  75. Reader,
    Nope…not at all….I am a pretty witch…hehehe

    ps: All witches are not scary…its the Devil who scares all to death. 🙂

  76. Omg…Omg…! Reader…! You saw AB in the mirror…!! 🙂 🙂
    Lol…now it shall be Devil King instead of Lion King…!???

    PS: when did you start growing beard…???

    • Na, na… AB has an Angel on his blog.. so he cannot be the Devil King…

      This is the AB I saw in the mirror.

      • wow..! he can be a good dance partner…!
        And the title for tonight will be 🙂

        “Dance with The Devil “(with an Angel)

  77. Aishwarya Says:


    Hoping that you are recuperating well.
    Eagerly awaiting a new post…one on your school days and the essay you tweeted about would be great…


  78. Sharmila,

    Please come out of the recuperating well and write a new post.

    May I suggest as subject?

    Write on the role of poetry in written literature!

  79. Sharmila,

    In the petroleum operations engineering jargon there is a measuring unit called NFA decline factor i.e. No Further Activity decline factor.

    It’s something similar to the NPA or a non-performing asset in banking.

    Any engineering facility depreciates in value and the production declines over time. The aim of the NFA factor is keep it below an acceptable benchmark.

    One way is to invest in converting a liability into an asset. Another is to invest in upgrades or what we call as de-bottlenecking.

    To put it simply, the idea is never to reach a point of No Further Activity.

    Renunciation can never be a purpose.

  80. Daily Trivia:

    During one of the Management of Change workshops, we (the facilitators) decided to keep the delegates engaged even in the 15 minute coffee breaks.

    The idea was to brain-storm a subject that was completely unconnected with the agenda and anyone could speak from anywhere in the hall while having his coffee and chatting with others.

    One such subject was: After satellites, computers, transmitters and decoders what next in telecoms?

    After some imaginative suggestions like telepathy, ESP etc the forum concluded that the human brain will be programmed in such a way that all artificial hardware for IT will become redundant!

    After some time of that there will be no evidence in the form of written records, electronic storage and retrieval devices.

    And once that era is also over, we’ll travel to other universes.

    Those who’ll be left behind will have to go back to deciphering the Veda and the Avesta!


  81. Happy Diwali

  82. Unable to risk a Tamil song on Deepavali. Cannot understand it. there was one with Asin titled deepavali, but when i saw the whole video it is anything but deepavali…


  83. Happy Diwali to all!

  84. Tough choice on channels.

    Sony Max playing Agnipath with original the sound track of AB. Remember AB re-recorded large part of the voice-over after the release of the film.

    Sony playing KBC diwali special with dumb actors trying hard to answer dumb questions…

  85. happy dipawali to all sharmila’s EF,may this festival of light shows us the path of righteosness,virtue,truth and honesty..

  86. Sharmila, Shubha

    Have you heard of the Navagraha sukta and stotra?

    There are two. The sukta is long and complex. The stotra written by Vyaas is simple and easy to understand.

    It is very good for peace of mind if you can understand the words. Keeps all evil influences away.

    It’s too long to type it now. I have to rush to the office and another 2011 plan meeting.

    Shall come back and do so in the evening.

    • Reader,

      Please let me know the beginning lines of the Stotra!
      I know the last shloka I think…Neelanjana Samabhasam ravi putram yamagrajam
      chhaya maartanda sambhootam namaami tam shanaishcharam. Is it the same one?

      • Shubha,

        Yes. The Shani stotra is one of the shlokas.

        Japaa kusum sankasham kashyapeyam mahadyutim |
        Tamorim sarva papaghnam pranatosmi divakaram ||

        Dadhi shankha tushaarabham kshiro daarnav sambhavam |
        Namaami shashinam somam shambhormukuta bhushanam ||

        Dharni garbha sambhutam vidyut kaanti sama prabham |
        Kumaram shakti hastam cha mangalam pranamaamyaham ||

        Priyangu kalika shyamam rupena pratimam budham |
        Soumyam soumya guno petam tam budham pranamaamyaham ||

        Devaanancha hrishinancha guru kanchan sannibham |
        Buddhi bhutam trilokesham tam namaami brihaspatim ||

        Himakund mrinalaabham daytyanaam paramam gurum |
        Sarva shankha pravaktaram bhargavam pranamaamyaham ||

        Nilaajan samaabhaasam ravi putra yamaagrajam |
        chaya martand sambhiutam tam namaami shanayshcharam ||

        Ardadha kaayam mahaviryam chandra aaditya vimardanam |
        Sinhika garbha sambhutam tam rahu pranamaayaham ||

        Palaash pushpa sankasham taraka graha mastakam |
        Raudra raudratmakam ghoram tam ketum pranamaayaham ||

        Iti vyaas mukhot geetam yah pathet susmaahita |
        Diva va yadi va ratrou vighna shaantir bhavishyati ||

        Nar naari nripanaancha bhavet duhsvapna naashanam |
        Aishwaryam Atulam teshaam aarogyam pushti vardhanam ||

        Graha nakshatrajah peedastaskar aagni samudbhavah |
        Tah sarvah prashamam yaanti vyaaso brute na sanshaya ||

        Iti shri Vyaas virachitam |
        Aaditya navagrah stotram sampurnam ||

  87. Mukund Bhalerao Says:

    Can anybody give me the e-mail address of Mr. Pritish Nandy please?


  88. News from India…

    […]Why India is not just Delhi….Pritish Nandy « Sharmila says…[…]…

  89. Tamilnadu…

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  90. mäklare liljeholmen…

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  91. Fire Lights…

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