Archive for February, 2014

You have to witness it every 5 years to understand what I am talking about. It seems all the ingredients of a comic thriller are whipped up to give birth to the plot of Lok Sabha elections in India. And, as expected, the year 2014 is also gearing up for some major amusing incidents before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections this year. In fact, we have already been the bystanders of some of the strange things so far.


If Salman Khan flew kites with Narendra Modi to give an indication that Muslims are no more wary to Gujrat CM, then Anna Hazare ditched his old companion Kejriwal and joined hands with Mamta didi instead.

If Kiran Bedi allied with BJP and distanced herself from Anna and Kejriwal both, then our very own Disco Dancer has become Mamta didi’s MP.

If Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned as the CM of Andhra Pradesh on the context of fragmentation of Andhra by congress, then the bejewelled Bappi da is singing the tunes of BJP.

If Amma has decided to release the killers of ex Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, then Sharad Pawar calls Narendra Modi a mass murderer.

If Tarun Tejpal-after getting rotten in Jail for more than 80 days in the alleged molestation case-claims that he is being made a scapegoat by BJP, then Ashok Singhal(VHP leader) says that every Hindu must produce at least 5 kids to keep the Hindutva alive.

If Sushil Shindey (Home Minister) threatens to “crush” electronic media and later turns a volte-face saying that he meant social media, then Salman Khurshid referred Narendra Modi as “impotent”.

In the coming weeks, we are going to see more of this blame-game, vodka fuelled quotes and extravaganza by them with an intention to appear as our ideal prime ministerial candidate. Amidst all this chaos, the common man keeps thinking that no matter whoever wins the game of power, at least give me an opportunity to blossom. Welcome to the wonderland of Indian Politics 2014. And as they say- The show much Go On 😉



Who would have thought that a person who was denied a job by the social networking giant Facebook 4 years ago would someday join hands with it to trade his brain child Whats App for $19 Billion?  Yes, I am talking about Brian Acton. The tech world in this week was flooded with the news of Facebook buying Whats App, but more than the acquisition I was more fascinated with a tale that is less known and probably less discussed. Brian Acton, one of the founders of Whats App, was once rejected for a job from Facebook after he left as a software engineer from Yahoo. I came across this tweet of his that was posted by him way back in 2009.


He was also rejected by Twitter during the same time. After this rejection, he was not disheartened or heartbroken rather he teamed up with another Yahoo employee, Jan Koum, to give birth to Whats App, a name that has today become the synonym of cloud-based messaging. Once the deal is closed, Acton will have around 20% stake in the company, which means he will have a net worth of $3 billion. I am sure the journey from being rejected by a firm to being one of the stake owners in the same company must not be a cakewalk. However, what is noteworthy here is the undying passion that perpetuated within him in spite of all the denunciations.

Apart from being a phenomenal motivation story, it also served as a memento of some of my past experiences. While studying Biotechnology in graduation, I suffered many setbacks-rights from frequent taunting of teachers to struggling to get passing marks. I was brushed aside as a ‘good for nothing’ student. I still remember one of the teachers telling me “Roll No. 4 You are not going to do anything in life. Likhwa lo mere se”! The regular humiliation during theory and practical classes made me bunk classes. And the worst part was that I used to disguise my mortification under the cover of a bold, carefree attitude, which of course irked my teachers and parents more. I don’t blame them because even I was puzzled about what exactly I wanted to do in life.

Nevertheless, in the final year, with the assistance of some loyal friends, my sleep-deprived eyes finally saw the mark sheet that I passed with decent percentage. Finally, I realized that I was not meant to cut rodents or perform blood tests in clinical labs. I did my Masters in Journalism and Mass communication and performed pretty well in all semesters. In fact, I topped two semesters out of the four semesters. But, the real struggle was yet to commence. Recession had hit and I was unable to fetch a respectable job for myself. My dad started reminding me day and night that my decision to do Journalism was an illogical one. I distanced myself from everything in life and started looking desperately for a job until I found one in 2010. Although it was a start up company, it at least gave me a platform to showcase my skills and talent. But, blame it on my young blood or happy-go-lucky approach to life, I was still quite confused with my career choice. My designation was that of a writer and I used to write well, but somehow I did not find it enjoyable either.

One fine day, my CEO called me and told me that, “Indrani, you still have to find your calling in life. May be you are good at something else. Find out what is that”! I found that statement very callous and inconsiderate at that moment. I was annoyed to the extent that I refrained from interacting with him in future. However, I started questioning myself where my life was headed, and all I could see was a blank space. This can be considered as the ‘make or break’ point for anyone’s life.

Though I have relatively limited knowledge and experience, this is the only point where I can imagine myself and Brian Acton standing together and staring at life. If you are failing or getting rejected today, never let the passion die a slow death inside you. Never cease following your dreams as success comes to only to those who keep growing and reinventing themselves each day. And when that happens you not just get success and respect, but also end up inspiring generations. If not anything else, during the phase of adversity and denials, look at life as an adventure and stay focussed. In case of Brian Acton, it took some time but ultimately his buoyancy paid off. No one likes listening to a sob story; that is why, no matter what situation you are in to, get up, wear a smile and fight against all the odds.

I am not sure how much I have achieved so far, but I can see a different spark in my dad’s eyes when he talks about me or shows my articles or official praise letters to anyone. Recently, he hugged me and told me that he is very proud of me and waiting to be acknowledged as “Indrani’s Baba”. That was it. I didn’t need anything else. I wish I could talk to my first CEO somehow and tell him that ‘Yes Sir, I have found my calling in life. Its writing and I can’t do anything else in life. I will keep writing till the end of life.’ And I know I have just started my journey now………….. 🙂

Countless thanks to Brian Acton for showing us a path of optimism amid the darkness of failure.


There is a common link between life and travelling- both take you to unknown territories that are waiting to get explored by you.  Normally our lives are always propelled with extremities; there is nothing today that can be expected to encounter at a normal civilized pace.  Demanding jobs, psycho bosses, taxing work hours, tempestuous traffic and weekend socializing does not leave you with much energy/inclination to THINK. Even your Saturdays and Sundays are spent in bank works or getting your geyser fixed. After slogging day and night 24*7 you undeniably need an annual or quarterly break to get out of the daily chaos and restore the spark inside you.

Many of us don’t harbour a travelling streak as we keep on looking for a reason to set out on a journey. The fact is, there is not always a reason to do things that make you happy and connect to your genesis.  Your walk to your glass walled cabin carrying a satchel every day. Your boss appreciates you and counts on you because you are good at work. But, I feel, you need to give an equal playing ground to every need. From where do you think there will be an instigation of unique, creative ideas in your mind if it is stagnant for a very long time? No matter how much you are pleased with life, ups and downs are part of our journey. The stress of unmet expectations can take a toll on your overall well-being. The daily struggle and worrying not only bog us down but also fail to get us any tangible result.  Why do we strive to earn more? Just for saving money when we fall ill in the old age or for buying four wheelers? No! We earn because we desire to lead a happy and comfortable life. The time in which we are living now will never come back (unless a Time Machine is discovered in the near future).

Travelling helps to channelize your energy and understand your aspiration in a calm and composed comportment.  Once you go to a new place, the initial apprehension transforms into cajoling your inner self wherein you discover new things about nature, your companions and most importantly about your soul. You strike a conversation with yourself and invigorate your mind to dig deeper and think.  Ever since I started working, I always make it a point to plan an annual vacation with my family/friends. It significantly eliminates my phobia and turns my weakness into strength. Furthermore, it brings me closer to my loved ones, which is otherwise not possible in my hectic schedule.  Being in the profession of writing, my constant challenge is to better myself with every passing day, and that is only possible when I stop watching and start observing.


One of my unfulfilled dreams is to get ticket booked to a random place, meet new people and learn about their life; if required make notes about every destination just like a student. Provided you are adult enough to take care of yourself, there is a different fun altogether in sleeping on a railway station, asking for lifts, roaming carefree, hearing your inner calling and immersing yourself completely in the ambience.  It will stir many new things within you, sometimes peculiar, but mostly joyful. Oh by the way, while I am writing this article, I am going through ‘make my trip’ to plan my next vacation with two of my close friends to GOA!!! 🙂

I was chatting with a friend who was sounding very low in comparison to normal days. I asked her upfront that what is wrong with her.

“Nothing yaa. My boyfriend fought with me again yesterday. We had a fight and he ridiculed me in front of everyone. Finally he blocked me.” She replied.

“But, last week on Valentine’s you went for a holiday with him and everything seemed perfect. I even saw all your pictures. What happened? He definitely didn’t seem this kind.” I got little worried.

She continued, “ Ya we did go, but it’s a regular story. He operates according to his mood. Forget it. It is his nature. I will be fine. Don’t worry.” Although she said don’t worry, I was more anxious about the façade we see in everyday life.

Well, it’s sad but the valentine week is over. In short, the only week when millions of people express love to each other is over. The million dollar question is-what to do now? Nothing! No one is going to ask you for at least couple of months what you are going to gift your partner. So it’s fine. You can ignore her, ridicule her, doubt her, cheat her and even call her a whore.

Don’t you think the time of unconditional romance and love is evaporating? Not that there are no exceptions, but mostly days like Valentine’s Day have just been reduced to a week of flaunting your ‘relationship’ and gifts in front of the whole world, and after which you quietly slip into a routine mode. Ask yourself whether you are actually in love or just in a relationship!

Love is now more of a need wherein you prepare a checklist of eligibility criterion before looking for someone, and once someone qualifies all the criteria’s the situation takes a romantic spin. Even though love should be a matter of serendipity, mostly you meet someone at a pub and start with an initial look test to see whether she is hot, have curves, have a dimple, etc. Once it is done, you start looking for other factors. When you try to customize someone before entering a companionship you are unknowingly signing up a catalogue of terms and conditions. You ensure that there are more plus points to meet your expectations. As soon as the agreement of relationship is signed by both the parties, both of them attain a right to avail all the conveniences provided through this association.


You will do all the things that are required to pose a picture perfect couple image in front of the whole world and one day suddenly you will realize your partner is either possessive, immature or boring –-the most common terms to bid adieu to someone–and it has got nothing substantial to offer. Finally everything falls flat like a house of cards! Now you become single again and try to work on the flaws you had in your previous affair in order to impress someone else. You will meet another girl at a party; her cute face and modern intellect will arouse many elements inside you, and congratulations you are in Love again.

This will commence the same old pattern-checklist, gifts, Facebook updates, Valentine’s Day and then BREAK UP!! Over the years, certainly, we have re-defined many things and have started deeming a mere relationship as being in Love. This is why I asked in the beginning are you in a relationship or love?  You must be wondering what exactly goes wrong every time! The answer is the CHECKLIST kept with you before signing up for an association. It just talks about the pros and cons and nothing else; emotions and matters of heart take a backseat.  You can compare modern relationships to a coin; we only see the best side in the initial days and once it gets flipped we realize what kind of person we have landed up with or vice versa.  But then what is the solution to this? Break up and move on with someone else?


This time don’t follow the same vicious cycle of falling in and out of love. Instead try to understand what you are looking for –love or a relationship.  Don’t get involved with someone just for your Facebook album or profile picture because life definitely goes beyond that.  Help yourself become a loving and dedicated partner. Even if you are single for a while, don’t worry; wait for the one who inspires you to be a better person and most importantly inspires you to be in love unconditionally in place of being in a string of failed Facebook picture-induced companionships.  Because love is not about just Valentine’s Day, a Facebook album or about checklists that a person can serve you with; it is about staying together even when odds are stacked against you.

When Aam Aadmi Party won 28 assembly seats on December 8 last year it was considered a remarkable achievement. Media and common man addressed Arvind Kejriwal as the game-changer in Indian politics. While the whole nation was in the grip of exhilaration, nobody could have imagined that it was just a script for soap opera or, as the writer Chetan Bhagat puts it, an “item dance” by the AAP members. The entire episode of the AAP party can even put the creativity of Ekta Kapoor to shame. The first twist in the plot came when Somnath Bharti conducted that infamous foray in Khirki Extension and Kejriwal-unlike his aam aadmi image- brought everything to halt in the capital just to defend his lumbering minister. This is when the Indian media and common man gained cautiousness and started questioning what was really happening. Is this what they were looking for?

Kejriwal and his party kept assuring the common man that it is the corrupt rival party that is doing all this to question their credibility, and soon their ‘honest’ efforts will be recognized by everyone. But, I guess, the damage was already done. The personalized soap opera of our capital was yet to witness another senseless twist. (Even Ekta Kapoor doesn’t introduce twists so frequently in her serials) Last week Kejriwal tried his best to force the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to file a FIR against Moily and Mukesh Ambani regarding alleged gas price hike. He was trying to do this in the absence of both-an evidence and jurisdictional authority. This act of Kejriwal may alarm the international business community who would feel it is better not to engage with an obsessive anarchist.


The exceptional victory of AAP in Delhi elections was a sign that people wanted change and it is certainly going to happen in the coming years. But Kejriwal’s political inexperience clipped the wings of the common man. Instead of showing modesty and learning the basics of administration, the people of Delhi, and the entire country for that matter, witnessed an egotistical demeanour. The final nail in the coffin (or the climax of the opera) was the resignation given by Kejriwal. The 49 days of political life of AAP showed just their reluctance to learn, reluctance to abide the rules, reluctance to respect democracy, and reluctance to be patient. Seriously Mr. Kejriwal you could have done so much for the common people who propelled you to power with a hope that you will bring a “change” to their lives. A little more patience and maturity was the only thing you needed if you actually wanted to do something. I am sure you have strong political ambitions, but in the process you affected the capital significantly. The issue of racist remarks and death of Nido Tania was brushed aside because of frequent hysterical twists and turns brought in your script. Truly, just like a TV serial, your party’s logic got suspended as quickly as possible.

“You know, white is my favourite colour. I just love wearing anything that is white in colour.”

“Yes, same with me yaar. I was going to say the same thing.”

“But, last time you said if there is one colour that defines you its pink.”

“Arey ha! But I love white also. I feel good when the color of my top is white.”

“ok. I find peach colour amazing too.”

“Yes of course. Nothing can replace peach. I have my wardrobe full of peach.”

With this you feel like banging your head on the wall. How many of you face similar “original” conversations in daily life? The statistics for political, commercial, educational and economical issues are tangible, but the government still has to find ways to monitor such copy cat females who will nod head at everything they are told, and trust me inki condition sach me serious hai! They will listen to blow by blow account of an incident/attire/philosophical talks/experience from someone and then present them to others as their own opinion. To my luck, I have encountered quite a few of this category, but the one whose so called “ingenuity” still haunts me is B. Let’s just address her as B because it is better not to make her condition more serious by naming her on public platform. I met her around a year back(as I had no other option because she was my colleague). At first, I thought she was very sweet and generous with her comments n compliments. Gradually, I realized she is sugar coated with everyone. Three days after my joining the office we were having a Shah Rukh Khan related conversation in the office cab while coming back from office.

“I am a diehard Shah Rukh Khan fan, but I am not partial when it comes to the kind of movies he is doing nowadays. I didn’t like Ra.One and Don 2 and I can scream from the rooftop about it.” I participated in the conversation.

“Ya I agree to you Indrani”. B supported me during this time.

Some other guys in the cab kept on adding their views until we reached our respective destinations.

I realized that something is wrong with this female when the next day- during lunch -some management people joined us in the pantry and this time she started her favourite movie star topic. She looked at our HR and said –

“I am a diehard Shah Rukh Khan fan, but I am not partial. I mean if he does bad work I can scream from roof top.”

I almost choked during that time. I forgot about the Dal Makhani in my lunch and just kept staring at her for a minute. She continued to eat as if nothing happened. Should I was not practicing anger management, I would have immersed her face in the makhani by now! One girl who was also present in the cab that day was gaping at me and trying to control her grin. The kind of lengths she went to remember and replicate each and every opinion of mine was epic in its own way. However, I chose to ignore this incident as getting into cat fight does not suit my tomboyish personality.

In the following weeks, I observed that she got “inspired” with my top/shirt patterns and colours and wore whatever she saw me wearing the previous day. It was as if god had whispered in her ears that do whatever Indrani does. It was getting nauseating with every passing day, but I was still trying to keep my cool as educated people are not supposed to get into altercations on minor issues.  Wait, aren’t our political leaders in parliaments educated too? Anyway, let’s not deviate not from our topic.

Some days later, she came to me asked “Hey Indrani, which company watch are you wearing? It’s very nice.”

“It’s Casio. I always wear metal strap watch as it suits my personality. The leather or synthetic strap is definitely not for me.” I replied her with a cunning smile and controlled my urge to use the metal strap to lacerate her cheeks.

My blood pressure level reached an entirely new place of zenith when I saw her wearing a metal strap watch the next week and moving her hands in the best possible ways to flaunt her new watch. I am not sure whether it was of the same brand but it certainly looked a replica of my watch. My God!  this girl not only steals my thoughts but is also trying to steal my total personality- I thought to myself. That same day I heard her telling a girl that how she only prefers wearing metal strap watch as it is more close to her individuality. That was it! I thought of discussing this topic with a colleague but then I thought it would seem so self-indulgent of me because no one really pays any heed to such anomalies. Her whats app and Facebook pictures were clicked in the same manner as my profile pictures were. I thought I was losing my mind.


Unfortunately, I and B were in the same team and so I had to interact with her on a daily basis. She even started speaking specific words that I used in official emails or chats. It was like someone was lifting words from my mind’s dictionary. I was feeling helpless with every passing day, but was forced to put up a brave front. I was confident of my strong personality and knew nothing can break me easily, but you tell me isn’t it irksome to see a girl behaving as a mirror image of you?

One day I thought of testing her in order to confirm whether all this was intentional or coincidental. Not that I had doubt regarding her psychological condition, but it was just to quench my intellectual mind that was asking for rational evidence. During an official chat with her, I deliberately started a tête-à-tête regarding life, movies, music and many more things. While chatting, I used some so called modern words like yaar, f*** and sh** in order to sound cool in front of her. At first she was unable to cope up with my speed and was replying in her normal sugary mode, but suddenly even she started using those words. In the evening, I saw her addressing some of the girls as yaar.

It was a victory in itself.  My rational side of brain asking for evidence was now sure that this girl is as constant as pie(mathematical value 22/7). Nothing will ever change in her life ever. I smirked and laughed at myself that how I was getting worried for a girl who has no personality of her own. She just repeats the opinions of everyone-not just me. There is no comparison between me and her then why the hell do I need to infuriate with the entry of such incorrigible people! At least I should feel proud that I am influential and strong enough to be emulated by someone.

I did nothing. I just came to office the next day and changed my official id’s status as “A good personality is within. It can never be copied or borrowed from anyone. Trying to be someone else is complete abuse of oneself.” With this, I guess, I summed up what I wanted to tell her and to every other person who fail to identify their true personality and get lost in the process of trying to be popular by imitating others. Instead of feeling zoned out I started avoiding her as much as I could. Finally she got my point and didn’t cross my path after that.

Last month she resigned from our organization reasoning that she lacked an amicable work environment here. Wish I could tell her that people would be interested to talk to her the day she would be a unique person instead of being the person you are talking to! After all, no one likes talking to mirror on a daily basis. I hope B and people similar to her will recover from their serious condition someday- at least they can try to.

You can also get rid of the seriousness of your life with the Cadbury 5 Star Facebook page

Now, it is a very common scenario. Every time a person of Indian origin acquires a prominent place in abroad we start patting our back and go into a patriotic mode. Of course it is a good thing to have moments of self-congratulations, but certainly we are oblivious of many more layers attached to it. Take the case of the current CEO of Microsoft-Satya Nadella who is an Indian by origin but left Indian long time ago. We go rah-rah about the success of ‘Indians’ who do not have Indian citizenship anymore or not even born here. In fact, the media is going berserk celebrating the recognition received by Satya Nadelle.

But, my point here is shouldn’t we be worried about the rate at which brain-drain is happening and other developed countries are becoming a magnet to our talent? Shouldn’t we indulge in a deep scrutiny that why exactly it is so desirable to go abroad and serve other countries instead of our own? In today’s globalized world we are entitled to go anywhere, but we will naturally gravitate to locations that endow us infrastructure and opportunities for advancement. In India, unfortunately, we just witness mediocrity at every phase, and thus despite having a stamping of Indian education majority of Indian brains feel they would strike gold if they get an opportunity out of India.


It is felt India can only give challenges as opposed to opportunities. Issues like reservations for Jobs and education, bad infrastructure, corrupt and incompetent system have taken the form of a behemoth.  Overcoming these obstacles is an achievement in itself-you need not think about achieving anything else.  Nepotism and favouritism is an open secret even in private sectors. Kudos to Satya Nadella for beating the odds, but one must not forget he is an American product who was recognized by them and given valuable opportunities to establish / improve his abilities.

It’s time we get a grip on exporting of CEO’s, engineers or scientists to developed countries, and push the great minds to solve our social, economic and political challenges. Although it seems a distant dream now, nothing is impossible if India gives importance to meritocracy in every field.

I don’t remember the last time I walked into an Archies gallery. With the introduction of so many superior gift centres at various malls, it certainly does not hold any logic for anyone of us now to visit an Archies gallery specifically. As we are nearing Valentine’s Day, my mind raced back to some precious old memories instinctively- the age of innocence and puerility. During my school and graduation days, there was only handful of gift shops that could match your desires and needs. Archies was the only gift shop that was symbolic of class, style and ‘koochie-kooh’ friendship and love gifts. Most importantly, it was a good source of seraphic greeting cards that could broach thousands of emotions just with one quotation. We did not have to display our emotions on Facebook or buy our beloved an expensive gadget. It was so simple, precise and yet rang a bell in our heart like no one else.


We did not have any website links to send each other, but we embraced each other with beautiful and creative Archies cards whether we had any occasion or not. I still remember I had a minor tiff with my hostel friend, and the next day I slipped a greeting card into her room that read “Friendship is a golden thread that ties us together through moments of smiles and tears.” No matter how much cliché and snappy it sounds now, at that time those words meant the world and had a Midas touch to it. She opened the door in couple of minutes and hugged me. We forgot everything as if nothing happened. No birthday party was complete without a greeting card. Due to my inability of keeping surprises, I used to roam around in college with greeting card in my bag at least ten days before the birthday of the concerned person.

The first time I gave something to my mother was a quotation coffee mug that was customized for Mother’s day. When first time someone fell in love with me, I was gifted an Archies friendship band, a heart shaped cushion and a musical greeting card- all exclusive Archies collection. When first time I started liking someone, I got a perfume and watch from Archies and expressed my feelings in the most direct words possible.  Of course whatever we do or think in those formative years nothing materializes. But, it makes you what you are today. It paints the canvas of your life with beautiful colours. And Archies is an integral part of my growing up years.

I am not sure whether teenagers today still believe in exchange of greeting cards and those thoughtful gifts, but I sincerely want to thank Archies for being associated with all the ‘Firsts’ of my life. No matter how much we try to masquerade as a responsible adult, Archies will always act as a harbinger of our puerility.