Thursday, June 20, 2024

Book Review: The Hyderabad Heist

Short Review:  

Such a gripping book!!


The author manages to take us on a journey of sleuthing with the police, without making it dry or theoretical at any point.

The entire book is unputdownable. At Just 199 pages, this is the perfect read for that evening at home.

Long Review: 
The book begins with a museum theft in 2018 in Hyderabad. This is the story of how this crime was solved by the police. 
Museum crimes are not easy to solve. So, the journey is thrilling as we share in the frustrations of the police team as they hit one dead end after another. 

The story is written very, very well. At no point does one feel overwhelmed by procedure and theory. 

At just 199 pages including the epilogue and the biosketch, this book is an easy breezy read for that evening at home. 

Go for it! 


Wednesday, June 12, 2024

On apathy and pathos /

इस तरफ अब मिट्टी पाओ 

और, थोड़ी सी और... 

हाँ, अब सम हुआ 


उस तरफ आँसू गिरा लो!  


लो, फिर से गड़बड़ हो गई! 


हर बार कहता हूँ कि आँसू 

मिट्टी से हल्के होने चाहिए। 


हर बार 

भौतिक विज्ञान के जाने किस सिद्धांत से 

दो ढुलके आँसू 

'मिट्टी पाओ' की मिट्टी से 

ज़्यादा वज़नी निकलते हैं। 

#उदासीनता और उदासी 




Let's bury the thought.. just so... 

yes... perfect! 


And of course you will 

shed a few tears, just a little bit...


Oh God! There, you've done it again! 

Earth is supposed to be 

heavier than water 

And yet 

under some new laws of physics

Your tears 

weigh heavier upon the soul 

than the burial mounds 

of apathy. 



what happened?

If I may ask, what went wrong between the two of you? 

Oh, I didn't know how to have a conversation, dress appropriately, wear makeup, meet people, keep house, cook, spend or save money, choose the right detergent for clothes or the right bread for breakfast. But basically, it was just one action of mine that used to irk him - breathing. Mainly, the continuity of it. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

the flavour i wanted

i felt like a little 

poetry tonight 

so went to the market 

to buy some. 


but there was nothing

in the flavour

that i wanted. 

they were either too sweet

or too sour

or too bitter. 

nothing 

that perfectly matched 

my longing. 


so came home 

and made some 

that felt 

just right. 


it is the same, i think, 

with happiness.



Monday, June 10, 2024

Why do we look for the minority connection?

It just occurred to me that we are always looking to be in the minority. When we are outside India, we look for other Indians. Because we want to identify with them. 

When we are in India in another state, we look for other ppl from the same region. If we are, let's say, in UP, we look for other people from Punjab or Haryana, and vice versa. If we are an Odiya in Bengal, we look for other Odiyas. 

And IF, we happen to be in our home state, we then look for "people like us" - our caste, etc. 

This urge to look for the smaller group rather than meld with the larger group - its counter intuitive, no? Yet, it's there. We feel safety in numbers but run towards the protection of an intimate group rather than the perceived power of belonging to the majority. 

Why is that? 

Any thoughts? 



Friday, June 07, 2024

Gems of X

On farmer protests: 

https://x.com/vijaygajera/status/1798732995018506738

How Indian elections were manipulated: 

https://x.com/DisinfoLab/status/1797529993964360016

https://x.com/AG_knocks/status/1798602515057148016

https://x.com/vijaygajera/status/1798672808450654234


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Film Review: Sajini Shinde ka viral video

It is very hard to keep someone glued to the screen for 1 hour and 54 minutes. If a film can do that, that itself is an achievement in the era of Distraction. 

The plot is taut. The acting is superb. The characters are well drawn out - both in the writing and in the acting. 

The editing is good, though some scenes are forwardable. 

How the story unfolds - a simple school teacher has fun at a pub and her video goes viral. The viral video has familiar consequences - the school's parents want the school to oust her, the principal is concerned about the reputation of the school, the parents are concerned about their own reputation, and the fiancé is busy getting the video deleted all over the internet.  

No one spares a thought for what the girl must be going through. 

In any other profession, a night out at the bar would be filed under "Dear Vodka, you were supposed to make me smart, witty, and irresistible. I just saw the videos of that night, and we need to talk." 

But not if it's a teacher. I am personally aware of several incidents where teachers lost their jobs for dancing at a private birthday celebration, inside the class with kids, et al. So, the film is not entirely a work of fiction. Teachers really are victimised exactly like this. But after that, the teacher, presumably, commits suicide. 

A suicide note is found, but no body. 

The entire film revolves around finding Sajini Shinde - the teacher who was fired after pressure from the parents, who left a suicide note, and then vanished. 

A good story entertains, but also teaches. 

At the end of the film. perhaps, every member of the audience should ask themselves - what if I was one of the parents? Would i defend a teacher's right to party in her personal space? 

What if I was the principal? Would i fire a staff member for the "reputation" of the institution? 

If the film helps you introspect, then it has succeeded. If not, watch it again. Then think of all the teachers who got fired. The mother who recently committed suicide. Think of everyone you have hurt behind that impermeable veil of internet anonymity and/or internet led inaccessibility. 

And if, in the rare case that you look inside your activity history and find nothing, then, smile. In genuine accomplishment.

On the internet, we all have the cloak of invisibility. If we have not used it to hurt someone, then, undoubtedly, that is the mark of a good heart. 

Monday, May 20, 2024

Aajkal

बच्चे पढ़ना नहीं चाहते। 

बच्चे बिल्कुल पढ़ना नहीं चाहते। 


पापा काम पर जाना नहीं चाहते। 

माँ खाना बनाना नहीं चाहती। 

दादी कहानी सुनाना नहीं चाहती। 

दादा पार्क ले जाना नहीं चाहते। 

नानी मिठाई बनाना नहीं चाहती। 

बुआ गोदी में बिठाना नहीं चाहती। 

चाचा झूला दिलाना नहीं चाहते। 


बच्चे पढ़ना नहीं चाहते। 

बच्चे बिल्कुल पढ़ना नहीं चाहते। 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

ਤੂ ਕਯੂਨ ਮਰੀ

 ਤੂ ਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਸੀ। 


ਪ੍ਰੀਤ 

ਜੋ ਪਾਣੀ ਵਰਗੀ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ 

ਇਸ 

ਰੇਗਿਸਤਾਨ ਜੇਹੀ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਿੱਚ 


Tu Kyun Mari 


Tu Preet Si. 


Preet 

jo paani vargi hundi hai 

Is 

Registaan jehi duniya vich 

******************** 

तुम क्यूँ मरे? 


तुम प्रेम थे 


प्रेम, 

जो पानी जैसा होता है 

एक रेगिस्तान सी दुनिया में। 

************ 

Why did you die? 


You were love. 

Love, 

which is a block of ice 

in a desert world.