15 March 2005: Dunno why I am thinking of Atul Kulkarni’s line in Page 3: “You have to be in the System to change the System.” Soven’s section has been changed and she is feeling a little low about it. My counsel to her: Baby, think of it as an opportunity to make new friends. Trust she will adjust soon. On a spur, keyed in birds of prey, my take on the Bollywood sexpose.

14 March 2005: Today is Soven’s first day in Class VII. Best of luck, baby. She got 85% in Class VI, and I thought that was particularly good because she mostly teaches herself.

13 March 2005: Read an interesting piece, The Two Faces of Rising China, at my absolute favourite, NYT.com. It talks about the eco-political compulsions the rising superpower of China is grappling with. Savour this from the Joseph Kahn’s remarkable piece: “Rising China has two faces. Its leaders want - arguably need - to be viewed as managing a new kind of emerging superpower, one that will not threaten neighbors or the world. Only a gentle giant can attract $60 billion in foreign investment and rack up $160 billion annual trade surpluses with the United States, the thinking goes. Yet the Communist Party has also concluded it would lose power if it cedes Taiwan. The bill introduced last Tuesday, and set for passage Monday, is just the latest attempt to prove that the party will pay any price, including a war that might well involve the United States, to preserve China's territorial integrity.” Keyed in another poem, remix. Saw Hulchul at home. Though the film is pedestrian in terms of its story, I must confess I quite enjoyed it. May be I am in the right kind of mood these days. Saw India TV’s stunning expose of the casting couch in Bollywood. The film industry is bohemian in nature and I guess these kinds of things are quite common. Good to see Rajat Sharma taking on a crusading role.

12 March 2005: Today was Ma’s cataract operation. Talked to my sister who got it done and she said that all went well. Thank God for that. In cricket, India’s mediocre bowling once again let a huge opportunity go waste and Pakistan comfortably managed to draw the first test. What a pity! Saw Page 3 at home, and I must say I was struck by the starkness of the film. Quite a powerful depiction of the shady shenanigans that make for the Page 3 culture and the vain people who populate these pages. Sad that newspapers are ‘forced’ (not too sure who forces them!) to carry such inane stuff due to the professed reason of public demand, but as Atul Kulkarni says in the film: “This is not journalism, this is entertainment.” Keyed in a poem titled cosmo query. Lemme know what you make of it.

11 March 2005: Workshop on Scenario Planning at The Ambassador hotel. Can’t say much here, except that we had a great time with good learning and lotsa brainstorming. Nice to feel a part of the team, which hopefully should take HT to the next level of its growth trajectory. On another plane, it’s an exciting time to be in India.

10 March 2005: Went to meet Ma who is staying at Ruchi’s place and to wish her the best for her cataract operation on the coming Saturday. We had a good time, with some great food and some pretty mature conversation about various nuances of human relationships.

9 March 2005: Received an email from my friend, Meeta, who is based in Atlanta. This is what she said about my poem, happy women’s day: “Allow me to congratulate you on the poem, not just because of the deft composition (did you leave out the 'e' in lissom on purpose? I also like the way you have dispensed with punctuation completely; it is reminiscent of Hopkins' sprung rhythm to me) but also because you could bring together such divergent subjects; the two women of course and subtly include a third, the man (or even a fourth maybe, men in general!) without any of it seeming like an anomaly. Diverse elements, different experiences and yet no incongruity. Bravo!” Kind words these. Another friend, Rekha, feels that everything works for the poem, except the title. What do you feel?

8 March 2005: India-Pak first test begins at Mohali. I am so very eagerly looking forward to this series. Happy Women’s Day to all my wonderful women friends.

7 March 2005: Soven is getting initiated into the WWW, and this is the mail I received from her this morning: “Dis inTeRNet sure is a cool thing! Neways, u already kno dat...Wat is wrong wid Hindustantimes.com?? I logged on yesterday & it has d same old news on it today as it had yesterday...wat is up wid dat?? Dis way if u wan 2 lose customers it sure is a good technique.... Thnx! &Take my advice...+cum home soon!! Remix is gonna rock today!!! -*Soven*
Friends, note the racy SMS lingo!

6 March 2005: Relaxing Sunday. Soven and I watched Aitraaz. Soven had bought the vcd with her pocket money and I quite enjoyed the film. Though it was no patch on Disclosure in terms of the storyline and was pathetically sketchy, it was saved by a redeeming performance by Priyanka Chopra. She is really maturing into a fine actress with a WOW screen presence and her spunk is commendable. For some unknown reason, she doesn't look as wooden or as icy as Aishwarya. Lakme Fashion House is another reality show that has got us hooked, and I do look forward to it every Saturday and Sunday. Never thought I would turn out to be a reality show freak.
I identify closely with the dreams and aspirations of the Gen Y, and may be because of this, I am enjoying this kind of stuff on the idiot box. Or may be it’s the influence of Soven!

5 March 2005: Saw the final episode of the reality show Indian Idol on Sony, and it was a nice feeling to see the Indian singing talent coming to the fore. I do feel that the Gen Y is smarter than all previous generations and the future of India is in safe hands. Also saw Deepti Naval in Freaky Chakra. Intense portrayal of a lonely middle-aged woman who finds herself in the middle of her sexual reawakening when a 19 year old PG comes into her life. I remember Deepti once called me as she was looking for a particular picture of hers, which we published on the web. She came across as a nice person. I am also keen to read her book of poems called Black Wind. Maybe I should contact her one of these days. Whaddya say?

4 March 2005: T called and it was wonderful to hear her. She is writing her dissertation on “Cyberspace and Development” and I wish her success. Wrote happy women’s day, inspired by a friend’s story in real life. She wrote back after she read the poem. “You are way too perceptive, man ”, she said.

3 March 2005: Went to a presentation by Sr.VP, Cisco, Howard Charney on “The next 20 years: the Golden Age of the Internet revolution.” Though his presentation was slick and professional, it lacked depth. I would have liked some insights on how the Internet would shape societal behaviour and human relationships, and how content would evolve over a period of time. It was an ET Knowledge Forum event at the Intercontinental hotel.

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