ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Posts Tagged ‘mumbai

Free Land to Hema Malini for Dance Academy: Public Service. Really!

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hema.jpgRecently the issue of free plot (almost) allotted to Hema Malini was in news. That she was a BJP MP, made things murkier. That the plot was in plush area of Mumbai made the deal sweet. Sometimes I wonder why these people want freebies. Then the realization, who doesn’t like freebies? Would I not like to get a free piece of land, if I can bend the system to my advantage?

The mere explanation we get is that these artists have earned it by their hard work. In this case, she will build a Dance Academy. Earlier there was a case of acting school of Subhash Ghai with same reasons. Ok fine, I can understand Govt must promote such endeavors but at what cost?

Will Hema Malini teach there for free? Has she given in writing that students won’t be charged? Of course not. Is Subhash Ghai not charging fees? Of Course not. This issue is age old. Most of the private schools are given land almost for free across India. They promise to take certain percentage of Economic Weaker students for free every year. But we all know what they do. Rich parents don’t want their wards to sit with poor people. Hence to maintain status, schools grease some palms and voila! No more poor students.

Apart from AAP Govt in Delhi, I haven’t seen any other state taking steps to see that EWS get through and that these people keep their word.

I have an admission to make. I have standing serious issues with Hema Malini. She is MP from a constituency of Mathura, which is next to my hometown Agra. I for one know that she has done nothing for Mathura. She got elected on back of Modi wave. She hardly spends any time in Mathura. Now I know why. She is busy grabbing land in Mumbai. It takes a lot of time lobbying anyways.

Thanks to RTI such people are getting exposed. Otherwise all these years, they grabbed land and no one knew. I am just venting out. Nothing else I can do. Hopefully things will change. But I suspect not.

Written by arpitgarg

April 23, 2016 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Political

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ISL: Tough For Football to survive in India

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Hero_Indian_Super_LeagueThis weekend I went to ISL Football match between Mumbai and Goa. I have witnessed a good number of IPL cricket matches at DY Patil Stadium in the past; hence the place was not new to me. The atmosphere was starkly different from IPL. Easy parking, no traffic jam and hassle free entry. The entry was made free for everyone by the time the match started.

The point that I want to discuss is why football is not popular in India and why it is difficult to get people interested to come to stadium. Let’s contrast it with cricket. The earliest memories of cricket we have are playing in the backyard with siblings, friends. How we remember stopping near a ground where people happened to be playing cricket; soaking in any and every bit of action. We have been brought up viewing/playing cricket on ground. Out visual impulses are used to watching cricket; basically we are able to make out what is happening in stadium and hence enjoy it.

Football is different. The earliest memories of football are seeing on TV. The high octane clashes in European countries. Also only people who got used to good football were people who had cable TV connection. We didn’t grow up seeing football in stadium. Hence it becomes difficult for us to comprehend it on ground. For those who have seen cricket in stadium would understand what I am talking about. Experience is totally different from TV. Majority of us won’t enjoy football in stadium for that very reason. We started up with football in TV and that’s what we understand.

The major issue is lack of quality. Substandard quality of players in ISL makes the watch painful. After watching EPL, CL on TV, it’s not possible to enjoy ISL matches. Imagine watching Zimbabwe/Afghanistan cricket match in stadium. Would you enjoy it? ISL is not even that. It’s as bad as a cricket match between Division C/D countries.

All the interest in ISL is due to the owners Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly etc. These were people who invested here as they lost out on IPL teams earlier. Their interest was to own a sports team rather than Football. Football is not the selling point yet. And going by the weekend Mumbai vs Goa match, where people were more engulfed in selfies, food than football, it’s hard to see the interest growing.

Written by arpitgarg

October 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Mumbai to J&K: Fantastic Irony of Goondaism

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ironyShiv Sena activists roughed up and smeared ink on a person for organizing book launch of a Pakistani in Mumbai. Whole of BJP Govt took a high moral ground terming it uncivilized and uncouth behavior and no way to protest. During the same time BJP MLA’s roughed up an independent MLA inside J&K assembly for organizing beef party. A touch of irony is not lost here.

It pains me that a party I believed in is playing two faced. How can they shame what happened in Mumbai and glorify what happened in J&K? Just how can they?

Let’s look into the similarities of both incidents. The junior party in the coalition (Shiv Sena in Mumbai and BJP in J&K), fighting for supremacy, resorted to such cheap gimmicks. It is evident that such acts are not done due to ideology or good of public at heart. They are done for instant publicity hoping to gain public support.

I feel public these days have become more aware than our leaders feel. In the digital age we are not confined to local incidents. The hypocrisy and dual behavior cannot be kept hidden anymore. It’s time for BJP to take stock and rectify, lest they too are in the stupor of arrogance which led to demise of Congress.

Written by arpitgarg

October 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Political

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Murud Beach: Unchartered Heaven

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I have had a chance to spend a couple of days at Murud Beach, near Mumbai. It was a weekend well spent.

It is around 4.5 hrs from Mumbai by road. Though there is a break journey ferry-bus route too. We reached around 11 in the morning and checked in ‘The Nest Bamboo House’. The resort is on the beach and has cottages only. The place made an instant impression on me and I was all in. We had breakfast, lunch, dinner on the beach itself and it was quite good.

beach view

Comparison with Goa would be unfair. Murud is a unique experience in itself. No hullabaloo, no rush. Virgin Beaches to explore. We eat Veg and there were ample options available. The resort I mentioned is one of the best place available on the beach.

There are lots and lots of coconut trees in the resort compound (which is just elevated extension of the beach) and ample hammocks to lie down and relax. Thats exactly what I did. Took a novel and forgot the world.

hotel compound20150207_182844-EFFECTS (1)20150207_181807

Unique thing is that water recedes as the day progresses. By late afternoon, more and more beach becomes visible and water recedes good 100mts. Unique nature of sand, makes horse riding on the beach feasible. You will find paragliding, four wheeled bikes, carts, horse ride, water activities also on the beach.

It is still not fully commercialized and gives you feel of Goa of the old. Highly recommended if you want to relax with family.

Written by arpitgarg

February 17, 2015 at 9:54 am

Posted in Travelog

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Sachin’s Jersey No. 10

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I have seen re-runs of last moments of Mumbai Test a dozen times already. Sachin’s farewell speech, weeping stadium, lap of honor, Sachin taking pitch’s blessing. It has all been a bit surreal. Unfortunately like million others, I couldn’t procure the tickets to the stadium, and I am sure it will haunt me for lifetime.

What is it that takes Sachin head and shoulders above the rest? Why we say that there can be no other Sachin? Well it originates from being a one man army. Before Sachin, Indians just watched cricket. With the advent of Sachin, Indians watched cricket to win. Sachin’s popularity stems from knocks like Sandstorm, Chennai Test, Hero Cup last over and innumerable others. Sachin had already earned eternal space even before 2000’s.

Yes, it was the 90’s that made Sachin God. When the inept teammates used to abjectly surrender, Sachin was there to steer through to win. When major players around him were selling matches, Sachin was the one who took it upon himself to see India won. 2000’s was when India started reaping benefits of what Tendulkar sowed. A generation of cricketers came who has seen Sachin’s bravery and was modeled upon him. Since 2000 there have been many who did match Sachin but were all “after the fact”. None had the originality, charisma or longevity of Sachin.

Legends are born out of adversity. But for 17/5, would Kapil Dev’s knock be the same? But for fixing scandal and all time low for Indian cricket, would Ganguly’s captaincy be equally revered? But for knack of losing finals, would Dhoni’s calmness that won us number of series, be so much talked about?

Since balance needs to be maintained. Sometimes I think, But for inept teammates of 90’s, would Sachin be the same? I think, 10 on Sachin’s jersey stood for the 10 teammates whom Sachin had to carry on his back to take India to victory.

Written by arpitgarg

November 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara: The Dialoguebaazi

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I saw Once upon a Time in Mumabi Dobara recently. Unlike the reviews I have been hearing, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was indeed what a movie should be, A Fantasy. The Dialoguebaazi, Song, Dance and what not. After a long time I was able to recite dialogues after the movie ended. Dil Chahta Hai, though an awesome movie, was the final nail in the dialogues of the old. OUATIMD, brought it all back.

Peene ki capacity, Jeene ki strength, Account ka balance aur Naam ka kahuf…kabhi bhi kam nahin hona chahiye. (Capacity to drink, Strength to live, Bank balance and Fear of the name…should never become less). Seems a bit over the top, but it was exactly what I liked. A loveable yet a dreaded gangster.

Given that the whole movie is full of dialoguebaazi, the ones I liked the most are below:

1. “Agar main hero ban gaya toh meri pehchaan bura maan jayegi” (If I became a hero, my identity won’t like it). When Akshay is told that he can be a hero in life, in he wants to.

2. In chamakte huye pathar ko dekh kar auratein maaf kar deti hain, Shohaib nahi. (Women accept apologies when given diamonds, not me) Akshay is not amused when one of his men produces looted diamonds as reason for his coming late.

3. Aam admi aam ki tarah hote hain, koi unhe kha jata hai ya koi unhe choos leta hai. (Common men are like Mango, some eat them, others suck them)

4. Dafan toh sabne hona hai ek din…jeete ji dab gaya toh jeena mitti hai. (Everyone has to be buried one day…if I get buried alive (under fear), then life is useless)

5. Waah re waah, uski maa ka bharosa! (Wow! O Wow! Her mother’s trust). It’s a play of words. Bharosa if misspelt makes a choicest of expletive.

6. Pyaar mein aadmi cutting chai jaisa hota hai, na pyaas bujhti hai, na mann bharta hai. (In love, man is like a half cup of tea, neither it satisfies thirst, nor it makes us feel good)

7. Aadmi toh auraton ke hote hai…tujhe zinda chod diya toh sharafat bura maan jayegi! (Men belong to Women…if I leave you alive, good will feel bad.) When a gang member begs for his life, reminding Akshay that he is his own man.

8. Shoaib toh pyaar se pyaar bhi nahi karta! (Shoaib doesn’t even make love with love).

9. Aathana dalke do kaudi ki dhamki koi bhi de sakta hai (Anyone can put a 50 paise in a payphone, and utter a worthless threat)

Movie threatres went a step ahead. I saw the below sign at the snack counter, beneath the OUATIMD poster.
10. Popcorn nahin liya toh picture bura maan jaayegi. (If you don’t take popcorn, movie will feel bad)

Written by arpitgarg

August 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Cinema/Tele

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Back Office in the West

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Somewhere during the early ‘90s, everyone realized the immense potential of outsourcing industry. With telecom/data rates on the decline, we saw call centre, KPO, BPO, captive units grow rapidly, changing the lives of a whole generation and realizing the dreams of an entire country.

With jobs, money, prosperity; a slow cultural impregnation has also taken place. We never realized when 31st Dec became the be all and end all of cyclical culmination of celebration. We never realized when Diwali holidays became a rarity and Christmas holidays became a norm. Ladoo/Barfi gave way for Cakes; Jalebis became Donuts; Lassi became too heavy to handle and Coffee light.

All this happened in India coz the jobs coming in were from countries like US, UK etc. I wonder what would have happened if the jobs would have originated from India and Indian culture would have influenced countries around the world.

The light footprint of the world would have been dazzling, the Diwali Night. The next day of Holi, people around the world would have gone schools/colleges/office having tinges of pink/green color on their faces.

A certain person in NY would have woken to Aloo Paratha with butter for breakfast. Haldiram’s would be in place of MacD/Pizza Huts all around the globe. John would have taken his family for a Kachori/Jalebi outing and VadaPao would have been blamed for Indianisation of the west.

In a Hollywood movie Tom Cruise would have a father settled in riches of Mumbai. He would have taken the son to US to get him marry a white girl. A son hell bent on marrying some Priya from Chandigarh. How the Hollywood would have sung, “Come, it’s time to go back”. No Pankaj Udaas, but a certain Snoop Dog would have sung, “A letter from my country” and the American Diaspora would have wept the Nehru Centre.

Mr. Abe would be Shree Abe, or let’s go a step ahead, would have changed his name to Abhimanyu, just to fit in. Roger would have walked into a back office in the heart of London in Kurta Pajama and HR would have coached in how to wear a Pajama with perfect crease. There would have been Chai/Lassi/Thandai machines in the breakouts with a few Charpai thrown in to relax.

The VadaPao/Chola Bhatura joints in NY/London would be decorated with diya’s on Diwali’s eve and people would be discussing, Ram and Sita and the history. People in Italy would protest forceful conversion to Hinduism funded by RSS and would deliberate enacting anti-conversion laws.

Restaurants would be designed so as people would be seated on the floor and waiters serving them food. World economy would be centered in Mumbai with New Delhi bombing countries in South America for their religious extremism and their getting close to develop Nuclear weapon.

I am already ROFL. The potential to explore on this topic is immense but I would excuse myself now lest I think some more and go berserk.

Written by arpitgarg

December 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Not tough but not easy

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After four and half long years in Mumbai, I decided to move to Pune. I have been with the same firm, same colleagues, same house and same city for long. Moving has been far from easy. Emotionally. Everything that we have lived for sometime becomes part of a habit. The craving is immense.

By comparision leaving home for college and leaving college for job was pretty easy. But moving to a new city now has not been. It made me wonder why. There can be a few reasons to it. The life in Mumbai has been the one that I have created for myself. Every brick in the wall chosen by me. Every color in the dream filled by me. This has been my life. But then again I might be just getting old and interia seems to be taking effect.

On the other hand movement has become a part of modern life. It’s part of survival. Better pay, better job, hope of better future. As I said, it has not been easy but not been entirely tough. Globalization helps. New office doesn’t seem like new. New place doesn’t seem like new. Offices are clones of each other. Cities are clones of each other. Same brands, same shopping places, same eating joints. It doesn’t feel entirely different.

As for me, I am well settled in a week. Got a place to stay, Got my things moved here and am good to go. Modern life has it’s poisons but the good thing is anti-dote is provided beforehand.

Written by arpitgarg

December 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

जल उठी धरती फिर

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जल उठी धरती फिर धू धू करके,
फिर हुआ स्तम्भ विस्तंभ आज,
छाती चौड़ी, अब जीता डरके,
गम में मुस्कराना, गहरा राज|

कुछ घना, कुछ गहरा, एक साया,
चहचहा उठे पंची सारे, सांझ भई,
धड़कन बढ़ी, सकुचा, दिल घबराया,
पुराने सब काल हुए, दुर्घटना नई|

कितने हँसे, कितने रोये, क्या गिनती,
मुखौटे से दिखे सब, मूक मय अवाक,
ग्रसित हैं, मुक्त करो, बस यही विनती,
कुछ न बचा, साथ गयी झूठी साख|

एक बटन दबा, एक घनघोर ध्वनी,
चिथड़े उड़े, हर ओर गिरे, सब शांत,
चीख भी उसकी, न निकली, न सुनी,
रो उठे सागर, हिंद से लेकर प्रशांत|

लाचार लगे अब, कुछ न कर पाऊँ,
शीश महल, अब नहीं बचा, चूर-चूर,
घर कब्जाया, खतरा, अब कहाँ जाऊं,
पास था साहिल, लगे अब दूर-दूर|

शैतान था वो, कुकृत्य किया जिसने,
बेबाक जिंदगी, न कभी जिए डरके,
सरफ़रोश हुआ, तृप्त-अमृत पिया उसने
जल उठी धरती जब धू धू करके|

Written by arpitgarg

July 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Blasts and News

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I shied away from news channels last night. Its rare coz I feed over breaking news. However scenes on TV during 26/11 haunted me for long. There was one more reason; I have been so used to these blasts that I knew very well what would be on news channels. Let’s guess chronologically.

t=0 Blast across the city.

t=5mins Unverified news of explosion in the city. Suspected to be cylinder explosion.

t=10mins Unverified news of series of explosions. Definitely not a cylinder explosion. 10 injured.

t=15mins According to sources, it’s a terrorist attack. Blasts across the city within minutes of each other. 2 dead, 24 injured.

t=30mins Police sources have verified that these are bombings. Blast sites have been cordoned off. Injured being taken to the hospital. 7 dead, 56 injured.

t=1hr Home minister has verified it to be a terrorist attack. Lashkar, IM hand suspected. 15 dead, 87 injured.

t=2hrs Terrorist attack probe begins. IB, Forensic team on the spot. Use of sophisticated technology detected. 25 dead, 117 injured.

t=3hrs City on red alert. India put on high alert. 15 IM suspects rounded up. Investigations on. PM realys message to the nation. 29 dead, 127 injured.

t=5hrs Celebrities vent anger on twitter/facebook. Socialites damn the Security forces. Intellectuals damn the Govt. 34 dead, 149 injured.

t=6hrs Qaidai-al-kalami-jamat takes responsibility for the blasts.

t=7hrs I write this post.

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