Friday, June 27, 2008


I'm afraid of silence.
This silence, piercing through my mind, your soul.
This inherent desire to fill this void around me with my voice.
As these sounds reverberate, this silence grows.
Ponder over this, don't fight it,
As my thoughts wander, this silence grips.
Give it a chance, hearing is believing
As you shut out your ears, this silence grins

Sam n' Sushi

Tackling the Inflation bit of it……..

Ending a 10 month streak, the Federal Bank decided on the 25th that it would no longer reduce the interest rates, thereby indicating a shift of concern to inflation. For the past many months the US economy has not only been facing inflationary pressures but also threats to its growth. While the former may be attributed to the surging energy prices across the world, the latter is due to bursting of the housing bubble and the credit crunch. In an attempt to keep the economy afloat, the Fed started reducing the interest rate since last September, slashing it from 5.25% to a record low of 2%. By lowering the interest, the Fed wanted to encourage borrowing in the economy and thus increase spending, thereby preventing the economy from going into a possible phase of recession. So till now, the Fed diverted a majority of its efforts in strengthening the economy, rather than checking inflation. However, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and Fed chairman – Bernanke, felt that the interest rates were low enough to keep the economy going and inflation posed to be a larger risk now.

So the FOMC justified their action of refraining from reducing the rates by stating “Although downside risks to growth remain, they appear to have diminished somewhat, and the upside risks to inflation and inflation expectations have increased.” This statement certainly gave the market a sense of confidence as the US stock market indices closed on a positive note after that.

If the Fed wanted to check inflation any further, then it would have to reduce the money supply in the economy by raising interest rates and consequently, try to control the aggregate demand in the market by curbing expenditure. But then again, this would also raise unemployment. So it seems as if the Fed is caught between a rock and a hard place. Despite numerous attempts by the Fed, the unemployment rate shows no signs of slowing down; neither do the crude oil or the commodity prices. Even the housing sector seems bleak. It seems as if the Fed has a long way to go before it can see the silver lining on this black cloud.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My name is.........

Slovak: Volám sa Samar.

czech: Mé jméno je Samar.

deutsch: Mein Name ist Samar.

My Name is Samar.

espaňol: Mi nombre es Samar.

Mera naam Samar hai.

Palamau Pink Panthers

My dearest Chainpur ke Champions/ Chattarpur ke Chokre,

Its the 19th today..shit the 19th!!!...oke Devika its still the 18th for you but still....i cant believe its been almost a month since we were in Jharkhand.....
A month ago (according to my diary)......we were riding on motorbikes across deserted country in the middle of a hailstorm....
Okay as stupid and senti as it may sound....i am going to risk saying it...i miss you guys. I miss talking to Aman and giggling with Devika, I miss Samar and his stupid jokes. I miss everything about our life in Palamau, I miss the work we did, the people we met..I miss all of that.
Because that life no matter how hard, how challenging and difficult it may have been has meant more to me than anything I can think of in a really really long time. I may still be the same person but I know something is different. I have scarcely felt this passionate about something and it felt good to be associated with something that vaguely resembled a cause in my life.
This is a lot of random rambling on and on but somehow I feel like the only people who can really understand me are you guys....because you went through the same thing. Whether it affected you more or less or differently...I don't know...but it doesnt matter.
I feel like a bit of a stranger in this life. It didnt help that in a matter of 3 days after returning from Allahabad I jumped on a plane to Indonesia....and here iam in Jakarta, where I have boundless luxury and filthy rich people all around me. I cant relate to any of them. Coz now if you have seen that life....i just dont know how you'r supposed to shut your eyes and walk away from all of that.

Last month I think no matter what we might have achieved, we atleast gave people the hope that there was something could change. I don't know how many were convinced but Iam sure that atleast some where.
And now I keep wondering what happens to that hope? Do we ever get to see any results out of all that work or will it just go to waste?....I can't help but and iam almost scared to think about what would happen if somehow things went wrong.

I just wanted to write. These are things that have bothered me for a long time and I can't help but wonder. Please write to me and tell me how your lives have been. Aman do try and avoid the completely "spastic" tone that you have adopted on facebook. I miss the slightly more "normal" Aman who couldnt keep his hands off his beard when he spoke!. menon i miss you more than I can say. i don't know how you get so comfortable and close to someone in a matter of three weeks..but you, gorgeous are the exception to the rule!!...
And finally Samar!! have annoyed me to no end with your countless nakhras...but still I think you'r smart and really funny and I do miss you!!....

So goodbye for now fellow palamau pink panthers and be ready to face my wrath if I dont get insanely long replies to this email ASAP!!!!...

I hope your paths lead to whatever you are seeking in life. Just know along the way that you do have friend in me whose always here to lend an ear!!!

Love always,

Technicolour Dreams

When the Lumiere Brothers’ introduced Cinema to India in 1896, by releasing six silent short films in Bombay, little did they know that they opened a Pandora’s Box. A box brimming with color, drama, dance, song, action and everything you could imagine. Over the years this Cinema in a way has embodied the desires, dreams and aspirations of the common man in India. It changed the face of India and how people from across the world would perceive her. Bollywood today has become one of the most powerful cultural ambassadors of India. Incidentally, the name Bollywood is an amalgamation of Hollywood and Bombay (No prizes for guess this one!!)

From Raja Harishchandra (the first silent feature film) to Love Story 2050, Indian Cinema sure has come a long way, each era being represented by a different genre of movies. If the 1950’s had movies that tackled tough social issues with the independence struggle as the backdrop of their plots, the 1960’s witnessed lavish romantic musicals and melodrama. The 1970’s saw films based on gangsters and mafias. The 1990’s then gave way to family centric musicals and when Cinema entered the 21st Century, it metamorphosed its entire image with its high quality production and innovative story lines. But the one thing common in all these eras was the humungous mass appeal these movies generated. Bollywood can boast of being the largest film industry in the world, making over a thousand movies each year. Every day about 30 million tickets are sold, making it an industry that easily runs into billions.

The “masala” factor was something which the filmmakers never really compromised on. You could have the same story line – boy meets girl, they fall in love, the girl’s father (read villain) doesn’t approve of it. Boy defeats villain and the film is ready, with of course a tad bit of variations here and there (we can never underestimate Bollywood, can we?) You also have a number of subplots playing along the movie ending in a huge climax (Isnt that what we all love!!). The Indian movies are as spicy as its food.

But don’t be fooled! The topics and storyline may be very basic, but the colours and décor are so overwhelming that they make up for it. This entire look, by combining the “kitsch” and classical ingredients, is just what makes Indian Cinema so unique.

And how can we forget song and dance, the two elements that have become a trade mark of the film industry? Bollywood films are essentially musicals, and are expected to contain catchy music in the form of song and dance numbers woven into the script. A film's success often depends on the quality of such musical numbers. Heroes (in tight white pants with bell bottoms and tank tops) with their pelvic thrusts and actresses wearing heavy jewelry in their “ghagra cholis” running around “chane ke khet” is the first scene that comes to my mind when I think of a Bollywood dance. But, then again, that’s just me. You could go a step ahead and picture the pair dancing and gyrating in their skimpiest best with the mountains of Switzerland as their backdrop. If we had a hero (again in tight fitting white pants) playing hide and seek around trees with a heroine wearing equally gaudy clothes, we also had two roses touching to signify a kissing or love making scene. The “dhak dhak” scenes of women wearing chiffon saris in the rain, or the hippy culture in “Dum Maro Dum”, I can just go on and on with songs and scenes that defined Bollywood culture.

Bollywood is everywhere around us. From posters in barber shops and taxis to the songs playing on the FM day in and day out, it would be utterly foolish for someone to claim that they know the “true India” without truly appreciating its Cinema. The 'Real India' can only be understood by connecting to the emotions of its people and by understanding what touches their hearts, something which our cinema has managed to do over and over again. Bollywood has permeated into each and every aspect of our lives, be it the clothes we wear, the food we eat or the songs we dance to.

These movies make you cry ( “Nahin, yeh nahin ho sakta” ) your eyes out, laugh till you fall, shiver in fear ( “Kitne Aadmi the?” ), dance and make you go through a world wind of emotions before they end, always managing to leave a sense of satisfaction by the end of it. Be it the magic of the yesteryears or the fun and frolic of today, these movies have got what it takes to stir up anyone’s emotions. It’s true when they say that Bollywood isn’t just a film industry, it’s a way of life.