Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A rainy wintry day!

New Delhi, Capital city of a Cacophony called India. Circa 2004, on a cold damp day

The chill is unsettling and touches you in a hundred different place. It leavers you quiet & cold. I feel beautiful in winters. Earlier today, I walked in the drizzle. Such lovely globs of rain fell, all over. I gazed in the open skies. It was overcast & tenderly angry. The rain splashed against my pug nose and ran down my neck. Nature is never unjust. A small street- dog was drenched to the bone, so was an old beggar. Blue drops of rain, so they appeared, danced atop a Mercedes' car as I made my way past a flyover. The drops danced & swayed to a blue tune. People around me looked subdued and hurrying for their homes, to a hot mug of coffee, or a hot hug , perhaps.

The feeling of cosiness in simply surreal about winters. Your long for some heat. A fireplace or a heat blower to warm your spunks. Many a butts are centrally heated in the wilderness of this metropolis. The less privileged huddle on promenades, palms facing the bright fire emanating from a used oil can, stuffed with a little wood, some dry twigs and lots of attempts. Bonfires! Once lit, these crude fires burn for hours -- in gusts & thunder. There is a meaning to this chaos.

A harried sparrow seemed lost in the downpour. A bad, cold world , so full of hatred & a poor little bird.

Summer may bloom the land with flowers & fruits but winter carries romance in its lap. Nature never gets any closer. Rains, winds, lightning & clouds -- the blend doesn't get any better. For every shudder, a warm ring hovers about the soul and for each clatter, some excited hands rub in tandem. Lots of peanuts & butter popcorn.

I'm in my element in this season. Born in relatively cooler climes, I reckon, it comes naturally is me . I can reflect & think, clearer.

The soft rain continued to fall. The world around me went on with its usual pace. Lights, restaurants, new year preparations. A billion resolutions. I walked on.

Here feel we but the
penalty of Adam
the seasons'
difference, as
the icy fang
and churlish chiding
of the winter's wind,
which , when it
bites and blows
upon my body.
Even till I shrink with
cold, I smile & say,
'This is no flattery'.

William Shakespeare
As U like it

Sameer Bhat

Friday, October 29, 2004


In the land of a million gods, celebrating the greatest festival that this land knows of !

Some joys spill love loads
on a love lorn world
Touch us in ways unknown
to rekindle our soul

When lights, glows & wicks
Lap the lands , over

Moments which one wished
stay on for ever
Endless stars and sparkles,
dazzle in the night sky
Big bangs rent the air
to million eager claps

Sweets and smiles
Winding lines to the mall
It is Diwali time folks
the entire nation is
on a ball

Sameer Bhat

Monday, September 20, 2004

A cool-look sel
Pic Sam

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Pic Sam

Friday, September 17, 2004

Saturday, August 07, 2004

When I am dead

When I am dead, my dearest
sing no sad songs for me
As my souls flees away
dig no crosses for me
When I am lowered, my dearest
hold no hands for me
As my echoes wear out
read no praises for me
When the lights go off, my dearest
lit no candles for me
As my casket shows no more
drop no tears for me
When the gusts go strong, my dearest
breathe no gasps for me
As my being blurs away
leave no sighs for me
When the spring breaks again, my dearest
Watch me in the cowslips, by my grave

Sameer Bhat

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Elections 2004

A surprise results bring back Congress to power and stuns a complacent BJP

Congress 220. BJP 189. Politics is a dicey business. No one could have foreseen this outcome. No TV or newspaper exit poll came close. The election results of 2004 in India, surprised all and sundry. As it stunned the joyous BJP and astonished a weary Congress, proving all pollsters horribly wrong, India awoke to a pleasant surprise. The temple-squadders lay badly crushed under the full steam bull dozer of a resurgent Congress with Sonia Gandhi firmly in the drivers seat and a jolly Laloo shouting 'Peep' from the conductors pew. An even pleased comrade Surjeet, the grand old Marxist, worked the red flag from atop the juggernaut. Little birds chripped along the tracks. Kapil sibal, roared in the TV studios occassionaly grinning at the enfeebled BJP also rans.

Congress is at the cusp of history. Ready to mingle with the communists to form the next government. I was a trifle surprised at the rather unexpected results but amused nonetheless. I never believed the India Shining crap. Inspite of the government cronies cheering from the pages of newspapers informing us that the GDP growth rate is phenomenal, unprecedented. That shops are overflowing with consumer goods, government storehouses are overflowing with grain. As a fact just outside this circle of feel-good, the past five years have seen the most violent increase in rural-urban income inequalities since independence. Farmers steeped in debt are committing suicide in hundreds, 40% of the rural population in India has the same foodgrain absorption level as sub-Saharan Arica, and 47% of Indian children under three suffer from malnutrition.

Then there was that dreaded POTA under which you cannot get bail unless you can prove that you are innocent - of a crime that you have not been formally charged with. It would be naive to imagine that Pota is being "misused". It is being used for precisely the reasons it was enacted. This year in the UN, 181 countries voted for increased protection of human rights. Even the US voted in favor. India abstained.

I'm glad that we'll have no more of those stupid yatras, no more saffornization of our texts, no more interference with our top educational institutes, no more state-sponsored pogroms and riots, no more blowing of tax payers money on useless propaganda and no more wait for an eternity to hear a word from the PM.

Wish the darkness is passe'.

Sameer may 14,2004.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

A Jamshedpur detour

Of all the big business names in India TATA's is inarguably the most famous. From Tea to IT they own well over 150 companies and have a vast empire spanning an entire landscape. It is marked by more than a century of leadership, loyalty & legacy. The nerve center of TATA estates lies somewhere in a dusty town of south Bihar-- Jamshedpur to be precise.

I visited the TATA football academy in Jamshedpur this fall. The vastness of the place struck me. It smells of steel & sweat of a thousand working hands. The air holds still & almost draws you in by its aura. This township exudes work culture for ages now. The football academy has grassed side walks & trees that lead you to the stands. Early morning, I watched the boys in their maroons, a whole lot of them . They practiced in the lush greens with a hurried pace. The players were youthful, perhaps culled from all over the state, possibly employees with the TATAs . God knows All of them toiled hard at the ball, as if it were a prized possession, a king's emerald. One watched in amusement as they pulled & tugged at each other . The nets went on deep inside the morning till they perspired & wetted their shirts. All through, a middle-aged man with long flowing locks yelled & shouted at them. Coach, someone whispered. His incessant mutterings gave him an air of seniority . A long whistle. Pause followed.

Breakfast time. They retire to the 'academy mess' and instantly perch themselves on the furniture laid. Fruit juice , toasts, milk and jam. They eat but with an immaculate ease. Though tired they look vivacious. Talking rolls on entertainingly, jokes burst and pranks are Boys, I muse. The team bathes itself. A series of showers, all orderly done, makes a unique bathroom. It is an extended one, long and airy. Spick &span, it smells of new soap. The guys are all naked and enjoy their shower, all in a series, all once. A team isn't cumbered, it is free from inhibitions, I guess. A daze of freshness spills over & readies them for a hot day.

I approached and met with the academy management. They are warm and cordial .Very steady in their dealings, the officials go about their work, taking notes, planning schedules. Trophies & feathers won by the TATA team adorn the glassed racks. A pump office bearer was cleaning the panes hard. He shoos away a fly resting on one frame. They fly takes off, circles , returns & settles. The management informs me that their club is the defending champion of almost very major tournament in north India. They speak with a distinct pride that swells their chests. I can notice a commitment writ large on their faces. The feeling is learning as I leave the office. Discipline is our punch line, reads a little card on the exit. It shakes in my mind like a reed in the wind. Only if this were the tenor of our establishment, our society. Yet we cannot live our daily lives in a realm of pure ideas, I know.

I hang around the place. Everything is well managed. Each bar painted, every door numbered. Things get real in this part of the country, no doubt. I understand the reason why TATAs are fabled.

Evening session starts at half past five. The team is divided in two. Whites & yellows. I am told this fosters in - depth bounds. Many a supporters have turned up. There is howling & booing. The entire field gets electrifying. The boys run, skip, & sledge-all in the game. They side the football and toss it like a plumage. The yellows win 1-0. All hug in the end, no hard feelings, all friends. They pack their little bags. Ready for a real game, slated next week. Eager to take over. A legacy to carry forward, they translate inspiration into sheer determination. Specks or innocence mingled with the right touch of confidence.

I return with found memories of the place, the academy and the club. It sits in the corner of my mind. They win the game, I doodle!


Thursday, January 01, 2004

2 thousand 4

2004. New year came to us beautifully. In an upmarket shopping mall, in a maddening crowd of young revelers. The ambience was surreal. Guys and gals swaying to melodious tunes, confetti raining from the far heavens, crackers adorning the night skies and a lot of laughter. I havn't seen so many nice faces together for a long time. DNKY's, Nike's and Swaroski's blended in an amazing sea of party-hoppers. Bewildered cars blew horns continually struggled for parking space in vain. All on a bitterly cold winter night in a city of ten million souls. All mirthful, all ready to embrace the comming year, forgetful of the little trouble that life is!

Once inside the multiplexes, lights in may varied hues hit us, me and my pals, all over. The crowd was ecstatic. After a protract spell, we shook our legs. The girls too dropped hair. Umpteen number of coffee mugs and countless jokes. I was laughing out loud in the dying moments of 2003. As the countdown for the new year began, a thousand hearts throbbed in unison. The air reeked of a festive spirit and loud cries of joy rented it as the newborn arrived at the stroke of midnite. With aplomb.

Looking back at the last year as it limped into wilderness, I had a few thoughts, I have found and lost hopes . Got some good friends and lost a few silly beliefs . Old bonds grew fonder. Around me... An immoral war, an unjust victory. Scams, deaths and conviction. A strong economy, some just acquittals and peace initiatives. Bush, Saddam and Musharaf haunted better part of the calendar that lies in trash-bin now.

Hope the tousled, ragged images of fallen kings would be spared in the times to come. Hope the economy gallops further. Hope some sense comes to our politicians. Hope we have more of KHNH's. Hope peace basks us for an eternity . Hope love blesses us! No resolutions, only heartfelt wishes.
Welcome Crica 2004