Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Gandhi haven...


Gandhi.

The word inspires.

As I walk into Sabarmati Ashram, the cool air greets me with the aroma of damp soil, the fragrance of first rains that make you want to close your eyes and feel each raindrop as it splashes onto your skin. The maali(gardener) watering the plants nearby nods at me and smiles a half-smile revealing teeth yellowed with years of chewing paan. I walk on into the gallery that depict the hard self-restricted path of dharma that was set by Lord Rama and adhered by the Father of our Nation.
As I walk through the glass panels filled with images of pre-independence India, of the trials of Gandhi, I am transported back to the yesteryears, my vision a soft yellow sepia. I faintly hear the tens of thousands of people, men in white khadi kurtas and dhotis, women in white sarees, slowly proceeding through the lanes of a forlorn city, singing "Ae mere watan ke logo..."
A single tear rolls down my cheek as emotion fills me up. They say knowledge is power. How true that is...each little bit of information that I read filled me up with the lost emotions of patriotism and love...love for what, I do not know...my country, my family, maybe the little pup wagging it's tail at me at the end of the corridor. I do not know. But love it is. A sudden thought flashes before my eyes of how thankful I was to have what I have, and of all those who sacrificed their livelihood, their lives, because of whom I can now stand here as what I am...

I stroll on the damp grass, sandals in one hand, the other in my pocket, lost in thought when I reach a small clearing which was the prayer ground. Each morning, the residents of the ashram would gather here, in front of the Mahatma's quarters and fold hands in prayer, palms pressed against each other as the strong yet mellow voice of Gandhi resonated all over the ashram. I stand here, eyes shut and realise that the vibes of the achhoots(untouchables) and other residents chanting as one could still be felt here, faint but it's there nonetheless. A half hour in the gardens of the ashram and I leave, lost in thought and a muddle of emotions in me, with a silent promise that I shall be back to this haven from yesteryears that has kept all the feelings, all it's roots held close to it's bosom, never forgetting, never letting forget, yet retaining it's sense of safety and compassion.
As I sit on the front seat of my car, I switch on the radio, lean back and shut my eyes, slowly transported back to the fight for independence as the music of "Ae mere pyaare watan..." drifts softly from the speakers...and then it all fades to black as I slowly drift off to sleep...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Earth is calling...

 Happy Earth day!


Really now? What's so happy about Earth Day? The fact that we're making so much progress that we forget how much grey we're building up and how much green is lost in that process? The fact that right now, in the time that I take to write this blogpost, and entire species, somewhere on this planet just became extinct? The fact that Dubai saw hailstorms, the entire Eastern hemisphere disappeared under the embrace of a gargantuan tsunami? Or the fact that each day we breathe in more toxins than Mother Earth has ever breathed since she was born?
We paint a bleak picture my friends.

Happy Earth Day! Here are some stats:

1. Experts say that exposure to pollution causes 40 percent of deaths annually.(from worstpolluted.org)

2. There exist populations around the globe with blood lead levels ranging from 50 -100 μg/dL, up to 10 times the WHO reference levels for protection against neurological damage. This decreases IQ levels for every 10 points increase in blood lead level. And they say people are becoming stupid. Why people from third world countries appear smarter than the developed ones? Coz you're polluting a lot fucking more!

3. The IUCN-World Conservation Union, the planet's largest conservation network, produces a "Red List" of threatened species. In 2007, the list contained 16,306 animals and plants in danger of extinction; there were 16,118 species on the 2006 list.(from History.com)
Two hundred friggin species in ONE year! That's just unreal!
I'll tell you what. What happens if mankind gets attacked by a more powerful species? Probably the world will pool together all it's nuclear WMDs and blow the fucking shit out of those aliens, right?
Imagine what the animals feel like.

Earthday.org boasts of a whopping 31,466,123 green acts or pledges as of this moment. That's great. But where do all those actions go once the "hype" of Earth day or World Environment day pipes down? Sure, there are some millions of people who do their own bit to save the earth, and after all, little drops of water maketh the mightiest of oceans; but what happens when that ocean itself starts going dry because of global warming? Or maybe just overflows back onto you?
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
How many of us remember watching Captain Planet on Cartoon Network? The eco-friendly superhero who fights bad guys who loot and plunder the environment. Wonder why they stopped that show! We need a Captain Planet now more than ever. Heck, we need the League of Captain Planets to stop what's going down globally right now.
We paint a bleak picture my friends.

Happy Earth day!

Not all is lost though. Even with the seemingly wanton destruction and mass murder-ish situation that our poor Mother Earth is facing, she has a glimmer of hope. Earthday.org outlines a few Do's and Don'ts to do our tiny bit, mere mortals as we are, so that it really does make a slight difference, locally if not globally. You can pledge for each action on their site as well, but make sure you fulfil your pledge faithfully rather than simply join the bandwagon.

1. Make children to habituate that planting trees will save our earth. Educate the people to use solar power.
2. Recycle, I won't waste, and try to be as efficient as possible.
3. We will shop at the local farmers market, using our own bags, and eat as many locally sourced meals as possible for the entire year.
4. Ride a bike
5. Reduce the electricity usage in general life.

Dear bloggers and readers, you're probably the most socially aware of all communities online because of the wide and varied spread of blogs. You must have been a part of, or at least known about environmental causes last year as well. So I ask you, and ask yourself, how many of these did you do this past year? Regularly.

It's not too late. It's never too late because the Earth is our Mother. She will always make exceptions for us to improve because we are her children. But even a mother has a threshold of pain and suffering. Let us not make her suffer anymore, for if we do, she will punish us. And then, the picture, let alone be bleak, will cease to exist.

Our Mother is calling to you. You have the power, you are capable, it's up to you.
Do you hear?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thinking outside the Puri!



Before I get to my blogpost, how many of you like Paani Puri?

Everyone, right? Right?

Right.

So how'd you like to wear Paani Puri? That's right! There's a spanking new clothing line of custom designed tees called Paani Puri! Beat that! When I first heard of this, I thought it would be like any other t-shirt brand like Tantra or Urban Yoga. How wrong I was! It's not just that. Rather it's not even that! Paani Puri solely aims at bringing true art into T-shirts. They're T-shirts with a concept, a single goal of making sure that each t-shirt you wear is unique, striking, yet connected, and it features our favourite chaat of all times!
Nahi samjhe? Each T-shirt has a Paani puri somewhere in it!
Superb designs and a great concept.
If  you haven't already, check out their teaser video to get an idea of how creative and whacky(read: stark raving mad hehe) these guys truly are.



Okay, promotiongiri ho gaya, now on to my main point :P

They launched on Tuesday, April 22nd, which was yesterday.. The SOBO Store, Chowpatty saw an entire wall laid out with Paani Puri T-shirts in a splendid display of pop art and colour. With memorable symbolisms of Batman's Joker and Pink Floyd's Dark side of the moon incorporated into their designs, the tees really stood out in the crowd. Even their packaging is unique with a custom comic-strip feel telling the real story of how Paani Puri came to be. And yaar, itni jaldi hai toh go check out their website right now and read the story there. To top it all(and ladies, this one's for you!),  Imran Khan, who's a good friend of Rish came with fiancée Avantika and had some chuckle time and chilled out interviews with NDTV. I got intro'd, clicked some pics of him :D although I'd liked to have one clicked with him for all my lady friends :P He's a really nice guy :)






The day went by quickly. SOBO had a few other designers strutting their stuff in the store as well and it turned out to be quite an event with Paani Puri getting more than it's share of admiration with the designers themselves showering some appreciative critique on the designs and showing interest in them. A successful launch to say the least!
I don't think words do justice to art, and neither does procrastination and writing some long and boring descriptions. So, here are the photos!!!


    

  





While these may be the formal parts of the day, don't think we didn't have some fun as well! Behind the scenes, there was quite a bit of madness going on :P



For the full set of photos including some of the candid moments with the guests, check out the Facebook page of Paani Puri. 

Enjoy! And remember, 
Think outside the puri!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Worst movies to sell a product!

AAAAAAAAAaaaaahhh!!

I won't say I'm back. I'll just start typing as fast as I can!

Utsav at Illegal Briefs (yea the chaddi chor types Briefs) said the latest Youngistaan Ka Wow ads starring Gamemaster Gogo...erm....Sanjay Butt and Ranbir Ka-poor trying to score off IPL. How many of you guys believe that? Raise your hands.
One...two...three...ah crap! All of you...
Here's a list of my top three movies that practically survived on their sponsorships since they had horrendous scripts and equally bad acting to follow them up. I mean reall REALLY bad acting. Have you tried watching two men talk inside a glass doored cabin? Lip sync them with a Lady Gaga music video and that's about what you get from these movies. With lots of guns, leather and other shit that's supposed to be uber sexy.
So, here goes!

1. Evolution




Oh.My.God! I mean really OMG! It's probably been ages since I've seen a movie that I laughed so hard at! Two college professors, one hormonal female scientist and a firefighter cadet fight an alien organism that tries to take over the world. Should be interesting right? Right. Apparently the only thing this alien thingie is allergic to is Head and Shoulders(wtf ?!). So they fill a firetruck with H&S, shove it down the giant alien's humongous arse-hole and fill it's insides with shampoo, thereby defeating it and saving the world from total domination. Ignoring the fact that it's plain stupid, one and a half hours of watching the movie ends it with:
"For smooth and silky hair, use Head and Shoulders!"
Ha! for advertising a product! :D


2. Mission Istanbul


A promising journalist gets posted to Istanbul to cover a controversial news piece about terrorism. Aided by a turkish commando and catwoman, he battles the good fight. Pan camera at a parking lot. Our two heroes and one feline heroine are style-maarofying, waiting for something to happen when lots of big muscular guys from the Istanbuli akhadas appear out of nowhere like a new level of Prince of Persia. Our journalist friend almost shat in his pants at the thought of fighting these thugs when Lady Huntresswali goes to her jeep, opens the boot and pulls out an icebox.
"Tumhe darr lag raha hai? Lo Mountain Dew piyo. Kyonki Dar ke aage jeet hai!" (wtf! pt.2!!)
As soon as all three have done a bottoms up of their cans of Dew, they go "I am The One!" on all twenty thugs sending them flying into the air.
After the movie I was convinced Mountain Dew would drive Red Bull and Viagra both off the market!


3. Blade Trinity


Okay, she's hot. SO WHAT? Apart from wearing hopelessly tight leather pants(okay, I like that bit too..), Abigail, the third member of the Blade team has the unusually weird habit of creating a custom iTunes playlist for every time she goes vampire hunting. I mean seriously! her iPod must have seen more action than her in the movie. Apart from being fucking senseless in having loud music blaring in your ears when you're fighting blood-thirsty undead people, how does she even know when her friends are in danger? For all we know, in her mind it's all, "BIFF! POW! WHACK! You are my sunshine, my only sunshine... WHAM! SNICK! WHOOSH! .....you make me happy, when skies are grey... KABOOM!"
Apple must have been mighty pleased with all the action their iPod saw.


Now, let me know yours!