Crazy world... insane thoughts
It's like the title says...


Monday, January 30, 2017
If life was a Hollywood film... the action would be intense,
It's actually closer to Bollywood... with the same people and the same stories.

Giving up on real life opportunities to create the iconic twists, the hallmark of great cinema and it's storytellers. If every story had the same ending, how would one imagine the what-ifs of life?

Some stories come out best when they start with an ending. It makes for more poignant stories when you deal with certain characters. There is an element of drama on an unfulfilled love story or unrequited love too.

The mundane is never enough for some of us. The happily ever after is an ending from the fairytales of the brothers Grimm.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015
There’s that feeling sometimes that committing my thoughts to the written word would lessen their value in the real world of my mind. Conversely if I fail to do so, they remain in an irksome mood and that results in a far more conflicted head.

I’ve never believed that I would write great literature. But there’s a flow of thoughts here that sometimes begs expression. I am scared of writing about this dream. Yet to leave her in my heart and mind alone, keeps them in  little pieces.

My eyes are clouded with sleep having had a sleepless Sunday night to catch that early morning flight to work. Why is it that what I crave most in life, a feeling of loving someone completely eludes me ? Is it that I love myself too much? I want to be loved as most people I know. But I want to love someone more than I love myself. I want to love her more than the boundaries of love itself. I want to give myself up for her. To see her smile and hold that instant forever. And that smile gives me happiness, immeasurable. 

To be honest, that’s one of the reasons I took up wedding photography. I’ve always been in love with life and sometimes I needed more than that. 
A dreamy eyed young lady with stars in her eyes and a hope in her smile. It’s true that I’ve always wanted to exhibit beauty in my images. The beauty comes from within the bride. It also comes in small measure from my thoughts as I look through the viewfinder. I imagine her as the woman of my dreams. In that instant I know how I’d want her to look. That want, and her beauty transform the image from a simple bridal image to a lot more. The bride loves the images, her husband likes it too. My little dream love. 

There have been moments when I’ve been in love with one or the other bride. This is not love as the traditional dictionary implication. It’s just that some have closer to being the dream than others. The dream that was Rome. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was this dream. I’ve borrowed from here and there, mostly life’s little and big experiences. Beauty is a small aspect of love. Intelligence is more appealing. A zest for life is most important. She has to be life itself. 

One thing I know for sure, never compromise on what you want in life. Adjust where necessary, but don’t compromise. That’ll leave you with a bitter aftertaste and you’ll feel like a loser. I’ve adjusted with one aspect of life. It doesn’t mean that i’ve accepted this adjustment permanently. It only means that I’ll wait my time. Chasing boyhood dreams into adulthood may have modified the dream somewhat, but the basic essence remains unchanged. The sum of all my life’s experiences shapes this dream every morning. There will come that moment when you will be in front of me and I’ll know for sure that the dream is real.

At this juncture, I’ve lived most of my life. I know that for a fact. But it’s not going downhill anytime soon. I plan to keep going uphill till the day I give it up completely. Life and I have had this relationship where we’ve taken each other on - head on. I win some and she the other. We’ve never really had a draw. I’ve made some mistakes in this journey. No point in quantifying the big and small of it. But there are no regrets. Some of those, I would gladly repeat. Just to prove a point that times change, people don’t.
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3 bad words

Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Inferiority, Superiority, Equality - big words from the English dictionary.

Inferiority is about being less than something/someone - WE ABHOR IT.

Superiority is a feeling that we're better than the rest - GIVES A TEMPORARY HIGH.

Equality is a MYTH.

We'd like (at least most of us would) to believe that we're born equal in the eyes of god. I disagree.
He never meant for us to be equal, not in this day and age at least. May be around the time that Ada and eve were around. But not now.

Hindus believe in Karma and how it is a bitch cos' it come around to bite you again and again.
Yes - karma can be a blessing or a bitch - depending on how you handle it. And it comes back in full measure.

So how the hell can we be born equal if we're governed by our past life karma. We can offset some of it in this lifetime - but not all.
And so I humbly submit that we're not equal. Not all of us. We're just different.

The key word is DIFFERENT.
We gotta love each other for being different. Let's not classify everything in black and white. That would be bland and banal. Now let's enjoy the colours of the rainbow - let's revel in the colours of life.

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Tweeting with the Bengali Foodie

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So here I am - interviewing @_soumyasree_ on the bong food forum that she administers. Twitter ensures that the answers are short and tasty

The forum is located at 
Quick question on your food forum. What's the inspiration?
The demanding pallate of @csougata

One more quickie. What's the ultimate objective?
Not to let the traditional bengali recipes (and others if I can manage to fish out) get lost after our mothers & aunts retire. But there's a language drawback. Since I started it just as note to self, some recipes are in bengali. Of course. Just needs some time and patience. But I do it impromptu if someone asks for a particular recipe
Where do you plan to go with it in the near future ?
To organise it properly first. And to translate the recipes in bangla to english for wider comprehension
That's a great idea. Any plans for crowdsourcing of recipes?
As you might have noticed BiteByByte is a forum and Not a Blog. As such member participation has been key since inception

So what is the most discussed recipe on the blog? The one that people couldn't get enough of.
Meat and fish recipes generally get more attention.

I know bengalis prefer those meats. But there are some great vegan dishes out there. Any plans on promoting the veg palate?
Very much. More since my mom has turned vegetarian. Also, contrary to general belief, Bong kitchen offers variety of veg dishes

Any special dishes that you reccommend?
Veg #Recipe. Lentil Fritters in Spicy Sauce (Daal er Borar Jhaal)
That reads yummy. Trust it will taste even better.
Thanks. If anyone is interested to try it, I shall be happy to translate the recipe from Bangla to English.
But no forum works without some good administration. That's a known fact.
I agree. And also I have not approached it professionally ever. So it's a little scattered. And I admit that.
I would be happy if someone joins the administrative team to help. But never ask since there's no incentive involved.
Have you considered offline interactions with folks who've contributed on the forum? Something different and interactive.
Have interacted on Facebook Orkut. But since they are scattered across the globe, it's difficult to plan a meet.
Just reached office. Talk to ya in a bit
Sure. Have a nice day. And thanks again.
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Metro times

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
What's playing on the mind standing the 75 minute ride home is a collection of myriad musings.
What's with the weird looks they keep throwing my way? But then it isn't about me - not just about me. People are always looking around and something just fixes their gaze this ways. Must be the shine off the top of my baldness.

The metro journey makes for a good workout of the powers of observation. Not intended in a lecherous manner, though I wouldn't put that past me if the subject was deserving.
Case in question: people sitting and staring hard at the bum in from of them. I wonder why they do that. Are they looking to pull something out of the back facing ass or wishing theirs was as tight?

Mostly there is a lot of silence. People must talk, but the music blaring into my ears keeps me safe. I base my readings entirely on eyesight and body language.

Why does a woman in a knee length skirt merit such a large group of men around her? Move over guys, I want some NSP too. NSP- Nainsook prapti for the uninitiated is the term used to describe a feast for the eyes. Men will be boys and not vice versa.

I hate these jerks who are always looking for others to adjust. If the metro seating is for 7, I see no reason for 8 to be forcibly adjusted. So I refuse to adjust or if the guy next to me moves over, I refuse to budge and ensure that no.8 sirs at the edge, all set to fall over

Another quick observation today. Sitting next to the reserved ladies seat in the morning metro. The guy next to me got up when the pretty ones arrived. Now, instead of sitting there they asked me to shift into the ladies seat. I promptly refused having on an earlier occasion been hoodwinked into vacating that seat 5 mins later by another lady. She gave me a dirty look and she wasn't so pretty any more.

That's it for now. More metro musings as we encounter them.

PS: A quick update on the skirted lady - she actually stopped and talked to me as we de-boarded at Huda city centre. She had a query on the iPad which I was able to verbally resolve.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I did not come running to you for the wedding shoot assignment.  In fact I did not even know about you.

You came to me at what is technically the last minute - 1 month prior to the wedding.

You give me references of friends who are dear to me and so I was flexible in more ways than One.

Yes - I believed you and did not take any advance.. as a matter of faith - one human to another.

You did not keep in touch and when I followed up - all seemed to be well.

So when you get someone else to call me up a week before the shoot and tell me it's off - we hired someone else cos' your shoestring was too much for us - pardon me for NOT smiling. I'm sure you had your limitations - but that's really none of my business. I helped out when you asked me to to mitigate some of that as well.

So I am upset that you couldn't be woman enough to call me. Why get a man to do what women do best?

Now when I cancel the tickets - the voice on the sms tells me we can do a one day shoot. ha!

If I was not who I am - I'd have taken you up on it.

But then - me being me - just did what I'm good at - and wished you the very best of luck with the wedding.

Call it arrogance if you may. I'd rather take my loss than do a shoot that's forced upon someone by feelings of guilt and negativity. It just won't be the same. I take my photography, passion as it is, quite seriously and to heart. Just for my sake - I will remember this.

I'm not going to name you and badmouth the whole system. Lord knows there are some good people out there.  I've been lucky to meet them mostly.

.... and then again - life is a boomerang.

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The piano man

Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Sitting bored in the mall when we could be shopping for her gift. The lady is on an official call, so I'm sitting by the wayside observing the man in the centre of the atrium. He's playing a piano. Hence the name - piano man

He's playing a melody oblivious to the sea of humanity around him. No mean task as it is. His tunes run a plethora of melody with no fixed agenda as it is. He looks around hoping someone would make a request - but the crowd treats him like they would an invisible entity. There's pain in the back of his mind and heart. Nothing hurts an artiste more than invisibility. He never knew he'd end up like this playing the walking melody to thousands. His music had always been planned on the good graces of melody with people singing in chorus.
That things did not go as planned, well no surprise there. Circumstance might have been fortuitous had he been willing to bend over. Ever the true blooded artiste, he'd chosen the path less traveled.

Now the wait for the next fork in the road.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
The wheel weaves as the wheel wills. We are part of this great pattern that stretches from the moment of creation till coherence dies out. And then some more.
Not a profound thought emanating from the depths of my mind. But true, all the same.

We are threads winding one over the other, some thicker than the rest. There are those amongst us who claim to make their own destiny changing the lives of the ones around us. Some of us bind others around our thread knowingly or not making us the centre of that small universe for awhile. A microcosm of the universe at large. Some of us have experiences on human interaction that logic fails to explain. A passing face, a familiar exchange of words, and then sometimes, just a look. Some threads that were unwound a while ago come back to be bound stronger than the past. What the butterfly effect does is alter a part of that weave of the pattern.

I get this gut feeling many a time that I'm in the presence of people who are going to impact my life, now or later. Its just a feeling that comes and goes at it's choosing. Sometimes I'm able to identify the person indicated, mostly not. Some would say I read too much - but I've learned not to ignore Mr.Gut Feeling. Better safe than sorry later, I say.

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Pension Rations

Wednesday, May 11, 2011
The very real danger in pension investments is a gross miscalculation of requirements at the time of retirement. Thus you may actually end up investing less expecting returns which may be improbable at the time.
True, soothsaying ability would be helpful to see how things would be 20 years down the line. But that's limited to god himself.
It can be correctly expected that the buying power of the rupee will decline with the passage of time.

So we're stuck with a couple of problems here.
- The old may be getting older - but they're living it and increasing the cost on us.
- Also, the nuclear families in the current era reflect smaller family sizes. So a family of 2 kids supports an elder sample size of 4-6.
- Another trend is the lowering of the retirement age - call it the creative calling. So my 40+ years old banker retiring from active service joins the burden that we bear. He might have the investments to back his retirement. But he's moved from an active contributor to someone who is a pure consumer.
I haven't even started talking about government healthcare benefits.... That would require more learned discussion.

Now that we have some clarity on the nature of the beast, time we put a leash on him.

- Start saving more keeping estimations on returns on the lower end of the spectrum.
- Work longer, keeping at least 55% of estimated lifespan as working life. I'm talking about time spent earning a living, not school and college.
- Let's assume the theoretical lifespan is 80 years.
20 years - education etc
44 years - work like a man
16 years - enjoy retirement.

That's what I'm gonna do anyhow

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A life so fragile

Monday, April 11, 2011
A random thought that crossed my mind - lose a telephone exchange and you wouldn't be able to buy yourself any food. Yeah, come to think of it - no credit card, no internet and whamm!! Game over.

I love my technology - but this love has made me fragile. My personal ecosystem has become dependent on the flow of electrons to the extent that most of what I do (apart from the bodily functions) is electricity or internet dependent.

  • talk to my family / friends and stay connected to the world around me
  • check for email
  • search for help 
  • find an address
  • read the newspaper
  • buy & read books
  • buy petrol
  • cook food
  • get the wife a gift
  • take photographs
  • and the list goes on!!
The end of what we call a normal life, will come. And it never knocks before entering. 
So plan for it and strengthen your system.... that way you might just survive
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Only time will tell

Friday, April 08, 2011
It's not always the easiest of things - getting a suitable reaction from nonchalant folks that is. Anna seems to have done that with familiar ease. Call him a phenomenon or whatever is synonymous with it. He has appealed to the collective mindset and there's an outrage that makes one believe the paradigm may shift.

No doubt the nay Sayers are having a field day too. We are used to being skeptics and fear that good may one day come to pass.

The government is behaving along predictable lines and is all set to make a martyr. The question is - are they prepared to handle the consequences.

A question that only time will answer.

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The viewing angle

Wednesday, April 06, 2011
What's a few years plus or minus when you consider a lifetime as a point of measurement. However, we are trained to think in terms of the here and now rather than adopt a big picture view. It's always the planet versus the galaxy argument here.

I believe that it's vital to keep both - micro & macro vision in correct perspective when making a choice. Life is after all, a succession of choices viewed expertly in hindsight. Rearview vision is always 20/20. But we tend to go with tactical moves without demonstrating sufficient strategic intent. The successful ones tie one to the other.

So you want to be a photographer. A famous one at that, making greens by the load. It wont happen overnight unless the tooth fairy drops by and feels generous. You got to work at it. I'm in the process working 6 days on the regular job and skipping about here and there landing myself an assignment every now and then.
The first step was the toughest. I had more nervous nellies than I'd care to count.A very dear friend had me over shooting her nephews first birthday. I was too overwhelmed to ask for remuneration. She did her bit though. My only deal was that I'd shoot the images my way. Candid and natural. I got home with 485 images and was scared, still wondering if I could do justice to the post processing. Luckily, things turned out fine. Even today she sends assignments my way and still, I get Tongue tied asking for compensation.

But yeah, moving ahead of the first step, things slowed down. At first the high of the initial assignment kept me going. Then a lil despondence began to creep in as there were compliments on the photographs I posted on Facebook, but no assignments. A wait of 6 months ensued before I shot the next photograph, as a paid assignment. I questioned myself a lot in those 180 days and remained focussed on clicking for fun. It paid off in the end. Somewhere a young bride to be had seen my pics. She went out on a limb and we were on. Her Australian fiancé was a tad skeptical, but she tided over that. There's been no looking back ever since.

As a matter of principle, I take on only a couple of assignments a month. That ensures I can focus on both, the day job and my photography without being unfair to either.

I keep both the macro and micro pictures in my head all the time. Every step, no matter how small, brings me closer to my destination.

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Arjuns Tryst with the camera's Fan Box


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    traveling life's quaint paths and making my own destiny...

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