Oct 242015


My mother went to one. Between her graduation and her marriage. Before she went to study for her masters. She learned how to arrange flowers, make a salad, lay a perfect table and the rest. When they got married, my father knew how to make the dal and rice, the rasam and the rest. “i taught her to cook” he would guffaw. They would have been married 50 years this July 12th.

I think that maybe other topics should be included in a course like this – how to have a conversation, how not to snap at your spouse, how to enjoy life without it becoming bogged down by what to cook, and where to eat. I am assuming that modern day marriages are more than food and sex.

Ten years ago, I would have ranted at this ad – and it’s innate sexism. Today, i realise it is fulfilling a need. But, the need is read wrong – it should be less about cooking and make up (there are delivery places and parlours for that) – and more about trying to build a life together, that doesn’t end in bitterness and recrimination. Nice topics – for both parties – would be cooking together, reading together, viewing together, laughing together — but, unfortunately ‘togetherness’ cannot be taught

(via my brother’s FB status update)

Oct 142015

Mumbai’s changing landscape –


On July 12th this year, i moved my family from the wadala place we were renting, to Kherwadi in Bandra East – just off the highway. The rent is steeper than Wadala (but not by much) – but it is a much nicer place. The most important consideration was proximity to hospitals – and there are 4 within a 2 kilometer radius. I didn’t like Wadala (e) too much. there was something completely alienating about the area that we lived in, and it was close to no big medical facility. I wish we had moved a year earlier

The picture below is also mumbai, Bandra to be more precise – in the same axis as the sea link. There is something reassuringly solid about the fisherman, getting ready to go to work.    IMG_20150914_074008.jpg

In the 21 years that I have been back in Mumbai – i have seen the city change in front of my eyes. from the quality of roads, to the nature of architecture. From the flyovers to the metro and the mono rail. Older areas are disappearing, newer ones are coming up. there are those who mourn the passing of the old, but that is the nature of the universe – everything dies. that includes localities, and communities. But, new ones form too. We sometimes ignore that.     mumbai -sealink

Oct 062015

I have been at a loss for words.  They simply don’t flow anymore. I have anaysed it – why don’t you write, i ask myself, as an external analyst trying to solve a problem?

Do you not care about anything anymore to write about it; at , maybe you have written so much – that you  have nothing left to say;… Or maybe, you have, so far, kept a part of yourself in reserve. Locked away. Private. And, now to write – you have to bring out that you. Do you really want to reveal so much of you. And, if you do – will all defenses be stripped away leaving you vulnerable to hurt. Or maybe it is nothing that deep – maybe the fact that you have such mundane work occupying the bulk of your time – that your brain is ossified. Or maybe, you spend so much of your time with news content, that there is nothing left to say that is original or incisive. Or, maybe you don’t have time for any of those things that gave you insight – going away to the villages, filming, reading, photography, being with friends, meeting people other than media – maybe that is the problem. That you have become the frog in the well – and you are terrified that your view would be as superficial as other frogs in the well.

these are the kind of conversations i have with myself about writing. Yes, and when you start referring to yourself in the 2nd person – you know that you are in trouble.

It has been a dreadful year so far – personally. And, i have done pretty much what i have done all my life – thrown my self so much into work that the exhaustion does not leave me any time for anything else. Especially my own thoughts.

Now, i have begun to heal. And, part of that healing is expressing. Some of what i write may be maudlin and pointless, like this one. But it is cheaper than therapy 😀

I have begun gathering my life back again. it is a different life from what it was before, and i am discovering the difference

mumbai skyline 2

Jul 132014

There has been a fair amount of traffic on my twitter TL on an article that was taken down in the DNA . People have, rightly, asked for an explanation.

Fact checking, misrepresentation of facts etc all good excuses/explanation to give when u pull down an article. However, they all sound rather silly – especially given that you have published it.   Sometimes silence is better than a hastily cobbled together justification. And, everything doesn’t have to be a conspiracy theory. Nor does everything have to be high drama. Sometimes there are simpler explanations.

I could say editorial prerogative. But, that would be arrogance.  I could blame the author, but that would be cowardice. I could blame the government or my ‘bosses’ but that would be a lie. I could say i didn’t know it went up, but that would be cop out. Fact remains, I should have caught onto something that was in the piece, but I didn’t. I did exactly what I have ranted about, and outraged about for the last decade – that is in the need for speed, the desire to be first,  to put out a piece, I didn’t look at it with the attention that it deserved. We have run far more scathing pieces by the author on Mr.Shah and they are still on-line. If I pulled down this one, it was for a good reason, and that reason is not fear.

I can understand readers ire on this, and appreciate the author’s anger  – i would have felt the same way if i was in her place. If I had the time on the day to make a call and sort it out, I would have. Unfortunately, I didn’t.  I was in a very long conference, where our phones were tucked safely away in our bags. Which is also the reason why I couldn’t respond to newslaundry.

Now to something else – when other TV editors/websites write about this, they obviously suffer from selective amnesia.  they have pulled out, pulled back, changed tack on issues. Was it fear, favor or fickleness? Or all three – that made them do this? And i am not even going into other areas of breach of ethics such as the cash for votes sting, or radia tapes, I am simply looking at spiked stories, and stories that disappeared. Seriously, i can appreciate reader ire, I can’t figure the hypocrisy of other media professionals. They know exactly what they had suppressed in their entire career Am sure if you follow any good news monitoring website you will know some of what has been taken off, what they have changed tack on, and where they have spiked their own stories.

I have not responded to this on twitter as  there are no 140 character explanations for things like this. Hence, this  blog.

And finally, far as the ToI piece is concerned – cute, very cute. Must be the first time that the ToI has run a piece naming a competitor without routing it through medianet.