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Showing posts from 2008

Lost and found: Confessions of a sweeping soul

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Why is it that one always has to lose one thing in order to find another? Is it synonymous of the saying “you win some, you lose some’? Or is it the fact that in order to gain something one must realize the significance of loss and wonder if it turns out to be insignificant after all.

I cannot help but ponder about these thoughts that usually find their entry into my cognitive space as the year begins to gradually bid farewell to its beloved folks. Reminiscence is often a key thing for an individual just like an annual report of an organization.

2008 started out with a bang as January 1st had a breaking dawn on the sandy beaches of Goa. The sight of the glistening sand by the rays of the sun for some reason gave me a ray of hope that ’08 would indeed turn out to be a new year in more than one way. It signified hope, change and enthralling discoveries that would make me gape in wonderment. Nevertheless it did but not without the usual bumpy roller coaster ride that one undergoes, this y…

The caretaker cats

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=1377199d-179b-4580-86f7-177e346c14c4 It’s not every time that one gets to read a piece in the newspaper that jolts them out of their sleepy Sunday syndrome. Especially for animal lovers and those gestures by the fauna clan that could even put humans to shame. It was the title ‘Cats keep toddler alive’ that made me read the passage intently. It reminds one of the popular Disney productions ‘The Jungle Book’ where the sound of a wailing baby instantly stops a snooty panther on his tracks. Paternal instincts take over as the basket is gently gripped by the big cat as he leaves the lost one to the care of the wolves pack which bring him up as their own cub.
A similar scenario took place in Argentina, where a one year old baby boy was tended to by a gang of wild cats near a canal. It was a surprised police officer who managed to get past the fiercely protective cats and take the infant to the hospital immediately. The d…

The missing slice of the cheese

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c6c17a45-eb87-4f6d-aeab-baf249485979 It was her first day at work. Nervousness and excitement both surged into her otherwise confident persona seemingly battling for their upmanship within her. Wanting to do well like any other career-oriented woman; she prepared herself for a rather long day ahead. She finally reached the elite building which was soon to become her second home away from home. Many seem to be spend longer hours at work than at their residence anyway. And if she needs to climb up the competitive ladder, competence needs to be on a high alert. Even if it meant leaving your domestic side dormant for a while.

Approaching the top floor, she took a deep breath and entered the plush interiors of her work place. After a brief meeting with her superior, she was given an orientation for a while. Her team consisted of about 7 members whom she had to coordinate and work with. Her mind took note of the fact of …

Sand dunes in the wild

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-By Swetha Amit
http://domain-b.com/goodlife/Travel/jaisalmer_20081202.html


We had heard a lot about the land of camels and sand dunes and this created an enchanting vision of Jaisalmer.

When we reached Jaisalmer, the view was breathtaking as sand dunes unfolded before us almost like a live encounter with the tales of the Arabian Nights.
Situated in the heart of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer has its own share of sightseeing spots.
Not to be outdone with its counterpart regions in Rajasthan, the Havelis, fort and Gadi Sagar Lake add charm to this sandstone city. Added to which, the story behind every monument made it even more intriguing. Starting with the first glimpse of the famous lake, o ur journey began from a learning experience and ended with an adventurous streak.
Lake and boat rides
The glistening waters of Gadi Sagar Lake in the morning gave it a mystic look. A chirpy narration by the locals gave us knowledge of it not only being a popular tourist attraction but also the only source of …

A tribute

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=7d7bf6f7-d92e-4545-8a0e-087b071e7328 The last two days and three nights have a continuous ordeal of nightmare. Terrorists unknown in number were lurking about in the most unexpected of locales holding hostages to ransom. It was convicted as another 9/11 only this time it actually ended up being a 28/11. Residents have been waking up to gun shots, heavy firing in the vicinity. It made many wonder if Mumbai will ever see daylight again.

Fear, panic and tension rose in the air. The city which usually bounces back from the tragedy the next day was brought to a stand still. The bustling area of Colaba which is usually vivacious turned into a war zone with commandos and choppers indulging in reinforcement to eliminate the miscreants. The three operations at Oberoi, Nariman house and Taj intensified. Exchanges with the enemy and loud bombings send shivers down the spine around those watching it on television and live. It w…

The Dark Night

-Written By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=ff0a7c0f-c2cb-40b9-81cd-39e566092d6b It was the usual routine towards the end of a rather long day that brought us to the gym tonight. Little did we realize that an unexpected jolt of news would completely cast a dark shadow on the entire spirited city of Mumbai within a span of five hours? It seemed like a night that would never see daylight with the severe recurring attacks of masked faces.

It was the voice of a frantic man reporting an appalling incident of having witnessed a shooting outside Leopold’s in Colaba Causeway that made many sit up and take notice of. The instant reaction of logging on to the news channels followed hoping for more insights on this bizarre occurrence. The initial reports of it being a fiasco between two warring gangs led to a casual dismissal as just one of those incidents when a couple of more atrocities were announced. Before anyone could say ‘Jack Robinson’, a couple of blast…

Retaining the child in you

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=4b62d035-eb38-474d-bbf5-53f379069c1a
It was the sight of a child not more than 9 years of age consoling his mother that brought me to a screeching halt equaling to that of a car slamming its breaks on seeing an aged pedestrian. As I drew closer to this rather unusual sight I learnt that she had lost her purse containing a lump sum amount of money which symbolized her pined up hopes for the future. “Don’t worry mom. Everything lost will come back in some form or the other. Life is like that.”

The calm expression on the little boy’s face was one that imprinted in my mind as I cruised through the busy streets of Mumbai. There was none of the expected innocence and the vitality that one would expect from those who haven’t even reached the brink of adolescence. And yet words spoken could have put a so called ‘grown up’ to shame who would have normally reacted in nothing less than a hyperactive manner. My mind flashed ba…

‘Fashion’: Amour with glamour

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-by Swetha Amit

http://content.msn.co.in/msncontribute/story.aspx?PageID=5f1d25c2-22c4-419b-aea6-2a9dee9ecd69

When one thinks of glamour and glitz, words like superficiality, fame and wealth instantly come to their minds. Envious of their status, the fashion fraternity are often dismissed as frivolous beings whose lives seem to be easy and plush on the surface. Little does one realize that a mere walk on the ramp leads to different and unique walks of life? It delves deep into the human psyche of these beauties emphasizing the saying that “There’s more than what meets the eye”. Madhur Bhandarkar’s Fashion showcases the other side of this glittering world where dismissal feelings are replaced with stunning reactions leaving a lingering impact on the viewers.

The film cruises through the eyes of its protagonist whose narration embarks her journey as an aspirant model from a small town into the big bad world. Meghna Mathur (Priyanka Chopra) breaks all the conventional barriers and arrives …

Distorted perceptions

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=b8956114-761f-4cc1-904a-2167430f42cc She came out of the library with books stacked in her arms and glasses firmly perched on her dainty nose. A roar of laughter from a noisy group drew closer as she self consciously walked down the passage. Straightening her Kurtha, she strolled past the popular crowd whom she knew would pass a scornful look at this ‘oversized’ bop. A silence followed as they seem to stare at her and even heard a faint whisper about a ‘bookworm’ and a drab. Scuttling away, she buried herself into a pile of fiction gaining solace in the interesting characters of the literary world. As she glanced at herself in the mirror nearby, a plump girl with not a bad looking expressive face looked back at her inquisitively. Was being on the heavy side a crime? Everywhere she went, it was all she heard. The constant jibes at her physical appearance, the drone of ‘how not to binge’, etc etc.

She was hardly spoke…

Bearing the sole brunt

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=b2a32d9b-b302-4718-9ea5-a0228f1dcdaa He rushed through his project work that day. It was an evening he had been waiting for ages quite eagerly. The invitation had reached his parents a couple of weeks ago stating his cousin’s wedding on his paternal side. How long ago it seemed. He recollected those memorable days of playing in the huge garden indulging in notorious pranks that were inimitable of kids. A decade almost had gone by and things somewhere down the line didn’t depict cordiality. Certain issues which had cropped up had led his family to the brink of estrangement from the rest. Too young to understand the intensity of such problems, he had hoped things would die down as each went their own way. Never did he see his cousins, uncles, aunts or grandparents since that tension filled afternoon. For some vague reason, his parents seemed to avoid this ‘tender’ topic whenever he tried to broach it with a firm stre…

Ahead of times

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=5ed0ded7-b76f-4aa5-8387-d8156569203e “It’s been six years”, she said to herself. It seemed just like yesterday when they were engulfed in merriment and mindless leg pulling. A bunch of youngsters were on the brink of adulthood and were yet to face the harsh real world. Everything was so oblivious back then apart from their notorious group. She could still recollect the last day of College where solemn vows were made never to lose track/touch with one another. A few tears were even shed. Each traced a different path for herself and the journey of life resumed from a bed of roses to encountering a few thorns.

So much had happened in those six years that followed as she almost felt her teen self being a stranger to her. Little did she realize that a move to a different city would actually bring out a facet of her persona which ceased to have existed without her knowledge? Was it suppressed all these years due to being …

Night without dark spells

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=290dc3fd-511e-4ff7-9378-a8d171a4962d It was the sight of the swirling Ghagras and electrifying lights as we entered the stadium at 8:00 pm. The drum beats geared to lead us into a foot tapping fiesta. It almost seemed like the celebration of the onset of spring with the lively singing of Falguni Pathak on stage and the merriment of brilliant smiles worn on the faces.

Standing amidst the sea of jubilance, we keenly observed the unmistakable enthusiasm portrayed by all. Feeling rather lost initially, we were trying to find our feet literally amongst the graceful dancers, foot tapping to the tunes of Garba/Dandiya. As we finally got into the groove of an eclectic group, our spirits soared high as we swayed along. The two hours of elation seemed to remove the toxics of evil elements residing in our souls as our soles were in rapid action. Every inch of stress and anxiety dissolved like sugar into a hot cup of tea.

As the…

‘Ramchand Pakistani’: Borders on sensitivity

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c517cd50-9090-4f32-8080-aa977e76beb7
Sometimes an innocent stray can cause one to pay a heavy price leaving them stranded on crossroads between life and death. Often we are told about not crossing our limits in several instances. Yet many do either deliberately or unknowingly not realizing at what cost the consequences come hurling at us like furious paced winds of a sandstorm.

Little did the lad realize that his sulky stance of strolling far from home would result him and his father being imprisoned for six years. Were they used as mere pawns for the occurrence of terror at the warring borders? Or was it the case of their ‘untouchable’ selves that led to their shabby treatment?

Ramchand Pakistani is a film that narrates a story of one such Dalit family and the subtle appalling conditions that they are faced with.

Amidst the terrains on the border in Pakistan resides the 7 year old Ramchand (Syed Fazal Hussain) with …

Atrocities at the Zoo

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=c9a9149a-8d0b-4175-8c32-87f978f11356

It was the image of a petrified leopard on the front page of the Mumbai mirror edition that jolted me out of my sleepy Saturday morning mode. As I frantically tossed over the page to read the story behind it, my feelings were that of disgust, horror and outrage. It almost seemed like a storm brewing out of a teacup literally as my cup of tea almost got knocked over in distress.

The lack of ‘civic’ sense exhibited by the so called ‘civilians’ at the Byculla Zoo seemed to spell atrocity all over. It was shocking to read their appalling treatment towards animals which were chain bound. Adults were found screaming into the lion’s cage to harass the big cats. And another man was caught pounding on the glass of the snake’s abode. Pelting stones and flashing beams with torches: they portrayed nothing but a shame to the civilization altogether

Apparently the zoo authorities reported this…

The other side of the coin

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-By Swetha Amit
http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=6ab0313b-ea1e-4d7a-a67e-f13eb6188f4e
The newly wed couple stood on stage lost in their own world of bliss with occasional greetings to the flurry of visitors. She was clad in a beautiful light pink sari which spelt ethnicity all over with its fine mirror and chamki works. The groom stood next to her with his suave gentlemanly attire of a dark suit that complemented the bride’s soft get up. Admiring their ‘happy to be with one another’ stance I stood in the rather long queue eager to offer my heartfelt wishes to the lovely couple.

Standing in line with my husband, we were reminiscing about the similar ‘wedding daze’ we were in, a couple of years ago. Amidst our conversation were the occasional smiles that flew across the room at familiar faces. All the while we couldn’t help but overhear a rather booming voice that was right behind us. The tone spelt ‘critics’ all over as the lady went on chattering away. Little did …

‘Love in the Time of Cholera’: Surreal

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-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=d5c9b517-d415-403f-a282-7b8a26f7bca8 Some diseases are a temporary block to ones course of life which act as heavy flakes of snow amidst the mountain passes disrupting an enthusiastic traveler. There are others which shatter ones life killing each living moment reducing them to nothing but ashes and dust eventually. While there are some which propel one to live with it till the end with a veil of remaining unaffected. Yet their ‘soul’ stirring moment occurs only when their purpose is fulfilled ultimately irrespective of the minutes/years that tick away.

Love in the time of cholera which is based on the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a love triangular story intertwined between three interesting characters. What may seem like just another romance drama depicts several connotations and meanings in depth conveyed in a poignant manner.

The film begins with the accidental death of the aged Doctor Juvenal Urbino (Benjam…

Stirring

Received this from a friend...
A very touching tale...narrates how much can be taken in just a fraction of a second.:(
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I was walking around in a Local Store doing shopping, when I saw a Cashier talking to a boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old. The Cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll. Then the little boy turned to me and asked, ''Aunty, are you sure I don't have enough money?''
I counted his cash and replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy the doll, my dear.'' The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.
Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. 'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much. I wanted to Gift her for her BIRTHDAY.I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.' His eyes were so sad while saying this. …

A little concern can save many lives...

-By Swetha Amit http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=303968a1-daad-4a62-bc48-b777f9d209d6 It was like any other Friday evening as I cruised along the streets of Mumbai. The traffic needless to ask seemed chaotic depicting the bumper to bumper scenario. It was my usual visit to the abode of the almighty which was is regular weekly routine. Listening to the FM radio and looking out at the twilight streaked zone, everything seemed as normal as ever. However it was that moment’s lapse of head turn that left me with a sinking feeling as it made me ponder and wonder innumerable times like never before.
The appalling sight of a bleeding cat wriggling with immense pain made me freeze in horror in my car seat. Being few yards away in the midst of bustling traffic and crowd, I could see a few faces with solemn expressions staring at the animal battling desperately for its life. It was apparently knocked off by a lorry as it tried to whiz across the lane only to be met with cro…