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Blogger: Arvind Passey
What is more offensive and derogatory – a name that is spoken with some affection though sometimes with ignorance wrapped around, or the Shiv Sena asking Biharis, workers from UP and Gujarati businessmen to leave their ‘amchi Mumbai’? Or people in J&K, the NE, and a few other regions calling you ‘Indian’ when you go to these places as tourists? Or the Government in the Centre giving step-motherly treatment to governments in the States and UTs that are under the rule of some other political party? Or the LG of Delhi saying he is the government in Delhi? Or contest losers on twitter calling me ‘buddha’ and asking me to leave some contest winnings for them? Or words like ‘bo... Read more
clicks 260 View   Vote 0 Like   6:27am 27 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Revolution is not a one time event… Yes, we’re somewhere between the future and the past. We are no longer madly in love with democracy and yet we do not know what else to adopt or where to go. Democracy has been here for years and trumpeted its case against other known forms of governing rather well… and this is why these other forms have slowly shrivelled and some have died. The people in the countries where these other forms of government exist seem to be either too afraid or have failed to grasp the futility of what they are following. Communism, socialism, monarchy, anarchy, and feudalism have all had their day and the sun has either set on these forms or the darkness isn’t ... Read more
clicks 150 View   Vote 0 Like   5:47am 27 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Wayanad_map About ‘travelling’, Ibn Battuta reportedly said that ‘it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’ I guess this is true of every place on earth… and I can vouch for this as I have travelled to many places both within and outside India and have been building my treasure of stories slowly and steadily. Let me share a secret here… I sometimes search the internet and let my mind dream of all the stories that I could find in a place that I have not visited yet. One such place that I have been dreaming about for quite a while now is Wayanad in Kerala. This is one district that has been attracting people for its outdoor charms, endearing wildlife, aw... Read more
clicks 180 View   Vote 0 Like   9:51am 24 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
The frog, they say, Leaps all the way And all the time. What if he’s sleepy today? We see a sleeping frog and say What happened to your leaping way? ‘Tired?’ I ask ‘Tired?’ he says, ‘No, I’m wired today!’ I hear him with some dismay I see him go the techno way I know I’ll miss the frog That leaped all the way, all the day! . . . The frog on a smartphone is a wired frog . . . Arvind Passey 22 July 2015 ... Read more
clicks 198 View   Vote 0 Like   3:47am 22 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
I’ve heard the language of wildlife many times and I have seen so many of these wonderful species converse with nature. I can tell you it is spellbinding. The hours spent at Dudhwa, Ranthambore and Shivpuri are probably the best hours that I have spent anywhere because they have taken me to a position that would have not been possible after merely reading a book. Yes, books are vital because they are the only source that tell me about my ecosystem… they tell me how to look at and identify plants and trees, reptiles and birds, mammals and all that is there in the wild. Books are great references… but you need to go out and experience wildlife to fall in love with it. Even a day with the... Read more
clicks 133 View   Vote 0 Like   12:06pm 20 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
No, the relationship between a child and an adult isn’t a game of drawing and erasing lines. Nor does it do us any good to go ahead and start reading between the lines or giving it a complex meaning or an abstract interpretation. Yet, this is precisely what buddies do – at any age. My son and I have grown through the years as buddies and I have watched this happen umpteen times in so many other homes as well. You will be off the mark if you think it was always my son who was being taught… even I had a lot of learning every time. And this continues even now when Pushkin, my son, is in his late twenties and married. There is no end to a life that loves being interactive, instructive, par... Read more
clicks 150 View   Vote 0 Like   6:23pm 19 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Who are the chosen ones? #TheChosenOnes #TataNano ‘You’re the chosen one’, said their mail and I was suitably thrilled, happy, and began looking forward to this trip to the Tata Nano factory in Sanand, near Ahmedabad. Well, the journalist in me was, let me admit here, excited… for reasons that are obvious to anyone. I wanted to see for myself the relationship between a car manufacturing unit and the environment and how it has been interacting with the local people. If they lived up to their reputation then it is Gujarat that is the real chosen one, the people of Sanand who are the real chosen ones… and I guess all of us in one way or the other as one good thing anywhere affects eac... Read more
clicks 155 View   Vote 0 Like   3:22pm 13 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
To eat less is not necessarily the right way to all the benefits that can be linked to a balanced and healthy diet. I mean, there are the diet experts who talk about controlling your weight, improving the psychological state of your mind, having adequate energy to see you through the day, having the power to fight illnesses and diseases, and then justifiably saying, ‘I will now probably live longer!’ But then all this diet-tech talk takes all the glam out of food, doesn’t it? One starts hallucinating about having a starved carrot and some sniggering lettuce leaves on the plate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. An intense session on diet makes me feel as if I have snipers spread all aro... Read more
clicks 153 View   Vote 0 Like   9:20am 10 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
‘Jordan is Power’ is what this hand-made artwork from Rainbow street in Amman seems to say A sampling of the fridge magnets that one can find in Jordan ‘Hustle-bustle’ has a hyphen… my wild guess is that this hyphen is like a hammock for peace to be there and chill! Almost like Jordan. Jordan is surrounded by countries with unrest that is almost genetic and right in the middle of the Middle East is this small country where peace reigns. ‘Small country, is it?’ you just might ask. Well, I was going from Delhi to Amman, the Capital of Jordan, and so I was going from the NCT (National Capital Region) with a population of around 25 million to a country that is n... Read more
clicks 136 View   Vote 0 Like   6:43pm 9 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
2015_06_07_BusinessInsider_Everyone’s worried about subsidy   Oh yes, we’re all worried about our LPG subsidy. Will the government’s ad blitz finally convince us all to give it up or will our will to hold on to small benefits be the ultimate victor? When I asked Specky, my wife, she smiled and replied, ‘The important question is if giving up our LPG subsidy entitles us to brag about our sacrifice on Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media platforms?’ Well, her perception isn’t entirely wrong, considering that even our PM loves to upload loads of selfies that seem to give him a positive projection. Life is all about projections indeed. Look at our politicians. T... Read more
clicks 152 View   Vote 0 Like   12:22pm 9 Jul 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Yes, your decisions are quite literally in your hands in these times when the smartphone and smart apps are poised to drown the past dominance of gadgets like the laptops and desktops. I personally feel rather joyous to find someone stand right there in the middle of a thousand people, swipe out his smartphone, and connect to his innermost desires through what we euphemistically call apps. ‘This is the future I had been waiting for,’ I murmur as I see more and more of us get on the app-bandwagon. Yes, the apps are getting smarter but then it is because we want the power to decide even as we move. This is truer for travel and fashion… and well, probably applicable for other things as we... Read more
clicks 292 View   Vote 0 Like   9:04am 5 May 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Rejections don’t bother me. Review of ‘The other end of the corridor’ by Sujata Rajpal     Man. Woman. Man and woman. Man vs Woman. Relationships. Perceptions of relationships. Marriage. These are issues that were there in the past and are hotly debated even in our times. If I were asked to review ‘The other end of the corridor’ written by Sujata Rajpal in one paragraph, this would be it. I’d simply add that the crux isn’t in what has been written but is quite literally stuffed between the lines. Any reader who is either unaware of the way things happen in India or who is insensitive to gender issues will pause every once in a few lines and think hard. The book shows ... Read more
clicks 155 View   Vote 0 Like   4:46pm 30 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Discussing politics fills us with enthusiasm… and so this is all that we can hear in buses, on kerbsides, in shops and offices, in homes, on the television, on radio, in colleges, and I sometimes suspect, even in the mushy conversations of lovers in some park. But there is another truth that must accompany this first one and that is about the disordered way we go about making conclusions and summaries that are related to politics. As a result we go about living our excitedly politics-imbued lives without even realizing that we suffer from multiple factual miscarriages. Therefore, when I held ‘Mandate: Will of the people’ by Vir Sanghvi in my hands, I muttered, ‘Can political truth re... Read more
clicks 158 View   Vote 0 Like   9:55am 27 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Most of the time my body lets me believe that life is a thriller and I am like a detective going from here and there in search of all sorts of culprits. Yes, sometimes it is an overdose of harmful sugars and sometimes it is because of a salt invasion. As a result it is the body that is always getting ill and needs the intervention of medicines and some relevant lifestyle changes. I have a feeling that if the body was asked to hold a conversation, it would go somewhat like this…  ‘So what do you like to do most?’ ‘Some exercise and some rest. I like to be between here and there,’ the body would reply. ‘Well, what sort of food do you like?’ ‘The body would say, ‘Ah! A bit of... Read more
clicks 162 View   Vote 0 Like   5:56pm 26 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
General V K Singh launching his ‘presstitute’ attack A few of them seek to regale you for a fee and give you what you desire to see, hear or read. Others just want to accompany you on sensual trips of exploration all over the world. They have the power to reduce every upheaval of excited turmoil into exclamations, sighs, and groans. ‘Read between the lines,’ they say and you do that with pleasure. Your relationship with them is almost non-committal and without the baggage of heart-wrenching emotions. ‘Give’ and ‘Take’ are the only two words that are forever enshrined in the relationship that I speak of. Which reminds me… do you even know who or what I am talking abo... Read more
clicks 143 View   Vote 0 Like   1:43pm 23 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
We live in times when reason, everyone says, is what guides intuition… but we know the sort of outcome a high degree of objectivity can result in. ‘Let the heart decide what it wants,’ I say, ‘the heart knows much more than the brain can ever conclude.’ I hear a lot of readers saying, ‘I don’t believe this. We live in an age of reason. Reason is what gives us a reason for every decision.’ All I can say is tell you the story of LAXMAN RAO, to start with… the seller of tea in Delhi. No, he doesn’t do this with the aim of leading some political party at some time in the future. Laxman Rao is a novelist too. He came from Maharashtra, settled in Delhi and made tea-making his l... Read more
clicks 151 View   Vote 0 Like   6:15am 23 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Pink candies in a thriller. Review of ‘Catching the Departed’ * ‘She put her hands around him and looked into his eyes. Andy’s instincts took over. He kissed the pink candies gently at first and then passionately as she played on. Her lips had a tremble of submission in them which gave him greater pleasure and he…’ Now that I have your attention, let me just say that ‘Catching the Departed’ is not about pink candies and Kulpreet Yadav isn’t the sort of detective thriller writer stuffing his book with sensually titillating paragraphs. So what sort of a writer is he? Well, I can tell you what his book is not… the book isn’t anything like one of the thriller movies that Bo... Read more
clicks 158 View   Vote 0 Like   9:07am 21 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
You’re obviously intrigued by the title. I’ll let you know the secret of the title but only later on in this article. What matters more is to know how to walk in the world of image mysteries or walk out of a world of image drudgery. ‘How to walk in or walk out?’ asked Specky, my wife, waited for a few moments and added, ‘my first impulse was to respond by mentioning feet. But I know you don’t mean feet. Is it shoes?’ I must say it is hard to beat a woman’s intuitive abilities when it comes to guessing anything that is even remotely connected to style statements. I nodded an agreement and told her that shoes make all the difference to a man’s personality. ‘Oh! I thought yo... Read more
clicks 152 View   Vote 0 Like   5:56am 21 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
I don’t need binoculars to listen to the sort of music that makes the heart go dib-dabba-dab-dab or wishy-washy-mishy-mashy or something just as romantic and real as this. What I mean is that I would not want to be too far away from the singer or the musician and obviously music that resonates with our heart-beat. There is the music that the big channels promote, that lifts the singers on to stages that are high in the sky and we need to pay to listen to them… not that this music isn’t good enough or that this music isn’t always affordable enough… just that this music isn’t really all the music that exists in the world. Yes, you can tap your feet and gyrate as much as you want to... Read more
clicks 145 View   Vote 0 Like   7:19pm 19 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
I have no idea where he came from. I mean I was never any good at geography and to know where he came from I was supposed to be adept at the geography of the universe or astronomy, as my teachers often told me. He did mention some mumbo-jumbo that sounded like somewhere in the Andromeda galaxy. I stared for a while and said, ‘Is this near CP?’ ‘No. My house is more than 2.5 million light years away,’ said the alien. The funny thing is that I met him just outside the PCI or the Press Club of India as I strolled out after an hours meeting with old friends. He looked like any other journalist and walked towards me, saying, ‘I’m an alien. I need shelter in your home for a few nights.... Read more
clicks 146 View   Vote 0 Like   6:06pm 19 Apr 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Politicians gearing up for their swearing-in, swearing fringe groups, fans swearing by their favourite technology, and Valentine’s Day spirit are coming together this year… and these combos are quite evident in Delhi. I have a feeling that Walt Whitman’s lines also converge well with so much in the air here. Camerado, I give you my hand! I give you my love, more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law: Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live? Let me admit that I am a big fan of politics that swears to wipe out corruption from the nation. Besides this, I am also a fan of technology. However, when it ... Read more
clicks 205 View   Vote 0 Like   10:26am 14 Feb 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Arise, awake… a book written by Rashmi Bansal I’ve always believed that stories are the best guide we as humans can ever opt for. So reading novels isn’t as much a crime as our parents make it to be. The truth is that we end up learning less from books and texts that try to make you cram information… and meandering through a story has the power to make even the most stubborn mind learn a few vital facts. I can see a few sceptical expressions that seem to say, ‘Can you learn history if you’re reading a novel by P G Wodehouse?’ ‘Of course, you can!’ Let me just add here that it is actually fiction and stories that are powerful enough to lead us on to investigating a point... Read more
clicks 151 View   Vote 0 Like   4:45am 13 Feb 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
A toy truck by a real Highway Made me stop and click with joy Made of wood with bright hues The seller created Highway news! Trucks, Cars, & even planes Wait for buyers in sun and rains The sellers are poor but always smile And when you buy, they wave in style! . Travel Notes: Let me add a few travel notes here. These sellers of hand-crafted trucks, tractors, planes, jeeps, and cars sit by the highway between Patiala and Chandigarh. Yes, they must be facing the hazards of being so near speeding vehicular traffic that is constantly increasing in density.  I wish I could have stopped for longer and visited the village from where these beautiful (though shoddy if you compare them to toys t... Read more
clicks 172 View   Vote 0 Like   10:53am 4 Feb 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
No subsidies and no free lunches Do not hurt anyone Freedom to pay comes with corruption in shackles Honest tackles, And something constructive done. It does not matter which symbol rules But clean minds And clean norms Are never the dreams of fools To whom cold fundamentalism comes and warms. The time for freebies is over And you cannot get away if you’re wrong So put away that beacon of sluttish power Stop asking your wallet to sing a song Encourage a clean image through an election shower! . . . The time for freebies is over . . . Arvind Passey 04 February 2015 ... Read more
clicks 146 View   Vote 0 Like   5:20am 4 Feb 2015
Blogger: Arvind Passey
Smartphones are born to run and need a power bank Well, we’ve all heard of banks being inside a smartphone… and the smartphone in the pocket. But listen, what if the battery of this smartphone goes kaput? You’ll be left sweating right in the middle of a transaction and even the water vendor on the roadside is going to smile at your plight. Let me just say that if you want to bank with your bank without going to a bank, then you need to bank on the bank that isn’t a conventional bank! Ha! Caught you here, haven’t I? Stop giving me those confused looks now… I’m not talking about banks that store your stacks of money but about banks that have the power to recharge your dead smartp... Read more
clicks 166 View   Vote 0 Like   11:31am 3 Feb 2015
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