Musings after a long time…

Posted: October 31, 2005 in Uncategorized

It’s been a while since I blogged here. And at least as far as I am concerned, I can see that once the routine stops, it’s very hard to get back to it. Earlier I would blog every now and then, and I managed to keep doing it. This time around, each time that I thought of blogging, I kept putting it off. So the biggest achievement I see about this posting is that “I am back”!

There’s just so much to write, so in keeping with the name of my blog, this one is going to be some genuinely random musings.

Like I think I spooked my good fortune of an ‘under control commute’ to work. There are these few friends whose pet peeve is the infrastructure in India, or rather the lack of it. And I had been defending India with thoughts like “things are happening, even though they are happening slower than what one would wish”. And I used to give the example of how my own commute time has not changed much in the last 6-7 years, inspite of increasing traffic, more people, etc. Well, I spooked my good luck. In recent times, my commute time has truly gone up, on an average basis. From a usual 35-40 minutes average, I am now averaging between 50-60 minutes. The terrible post-monsoon roads in Mumbai, and the consumer boom with more vehicles on the road, seems to be hitting in now, and hurting me, big time.

Diwali is around the corner, but I don’t see serious signs of the festival in Mumbai at least. Seems like an average shopping season at the stores, and the usual suspects of consumer electronics and real estate developers shouting out their advertisements. But beyond that, nothing major so far, in terms of a build up to the festival. Have not heard big time firecrackers, or seen throngs of crowds at the malls, or a true taste of lights and hanging lamps (kandeels) in people’s houses. It is a low key Diwali? Money cannot be the reason because I am sure that people have a lot more disposable income in their hands. Are we having too many things on our hands to worry about Diwali as much? I wonder..

Speaking of many things on mind, I have heard from more than a few friends about how the hardest thing for them, is to get their children to sit and concentrate on studies. And we are talking about class X students. With the choice that everyone has in life today, is that the reason that one thing cannot captivate a mind for too long? Concentration is harder and harder now?

Which also connects me to my Rotary Club and the ponderings about why attendance at meetings is poor and participation in activities is reducing, when in earlier times, it was not so. And I think back to the time when I started with my Rotary membership. At that time, Rotary gave me a forum to meet new people and make new friends. And post-college, there were not many other places that I could go to achieve that objective. It was that ‘third place’ beyond work and home. And today, Rotary is one amongst the many diversions that I have beyond work and home. Thanks to online networking, there are 3-4 networks that I belong to. Thanks to the same connectivity, my college alumni has been revived to an extent and is active now, and the school one is also in the process of happening. All of a sudden, there are so many people that I can be in touch with, whom I can meet if I want to, whom I can interact with. And Rotary has to find space in this congestion and suffers sometimes, on account of that.

And Rotary then, is just a symbolism of the increasing complexity of life and the demands it puts on you. And it requires a huge will and self control to cut out waste in one’s life and put order into it, giving priority to the ‘right’ things! Easier said than done..

There are a couple of huge debates going on with very strong opinions on both sides, in both debates. One is about Saurav Ganguly’s exclusion from the Indian team and whether it’s all over for him as far as his place in the Indian team goes, etc. There are diehard fans of his, who swear by him, and who are aghast at the idea of his not being in the team. Some have suggested that he should be given a carte blanche entry into the team and he should go, only when he wants to do it, himself. Because of his past, his experience, his runs etc. I am on the other side of the debate and find it so strange to read such strong sentiments. I see these as blind idol worshipping. Where is his form? Where is his fitness? Where is his attitude? A slow and struggling century against Zimbabwe, is not enough. And as regards domestic cricket, in every match there are a few hundreds being scored, so why make so much out of his one hundred. If he has to be back, he has to really win his place back in the side. But then that is what I think, a logical way to look at things, while there are other fans of his, who obviously think otherwise. For now, we are winning!

The other big debate in about India’s nomination for the Oscar awards. They have put Paheli up there, at the cost of a classic like Black, and also many other good movies. I have cried myself hoarse deriding Paheli. A cinematographer and fashion designer’s delight, but nothing beyond that. A story that could have been told in 1 hour, but which was stretched to a full length feature film. A stupid end to the film. Lack of character development, beyond the two main ones. Lack of any sub-plots, etc. My own feeling about the film was the an art film director like Amol Palekar got overwhelmed with the budget and stars that he got at his disposal, for this film. And ended up making a hash of it. Even if a director is good, give him budgets that he can handle and not beyond, would be my learning from Paheli. And yet Paheli is the nominee for the Oscars.

As against that, a film like Black, is not nominated. A film that was made of international standards. Excellent in all respects, in terms of film making, it would have had a genuine chance of winning. But there are people who feel that it was copied from “The Miracle Worker” and therefore, it was a mere copy, and should not be recommended. Again, I am shocked at the strong stand that several people have taken against Black. Irrespective of the fact that it was inspired by Helen Keller’s story and hence the comparison to The Miracle Worker, it was a hard movie to make, and the finished product that we saw on screen was outstanding in all respects. How can you belittle the film by trying to say that ‘it was a mere copy’??

Much as I am astounded by the logic of the “opposite parties” in both these debates, it only drives home that point to me, that there are all sorts of people to make this world, and that there can be different perspectives to a point, howsoever convinced you may be, that yours is such a straightforward, correct and only valid point!

Hope to keep writing more regularly now.
Signing off, for the moment..

– Sanjay Mehta

  1. ajoy says:

    It takes a bit of commitment to blog regularly.
    Ive been through the same phase.
    So hang in there.

  2. RPM says:

    Welcome back. I was just about to remove your site’s feed from my list of bookmarks, thinking that you are not going to write anymore 🙂

    One thing I would recommend strongly is that you turn ‘word verification’ on in your comments section (go to settings and look for word verification under comments). That will slow down the spam comments…

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