Monday, September 23, 2013

Quite a dhadkan!

I was at a watch store sometime back in the quaint town I live in. As, this was not a metro city, I decided to take my chances and ask the big question "Do you keep HMT watches?" The elderly gentleman on the other side of the counter gave me a side long glance and smiled. "Woh to bahut pehle ati thi", he said adding "I have several other brands, why don't you try those?" This conversation almost made me giveup any thoughts of being able to buy a mechanical hand winding watch of HMT make.

Actually, HMT and I go back a long way. I remember when as a child I often used to put my dad's HMT Sona close to my ears and felt elated listening the the constant and rythmatic tic-tic-tic of the watch. It was probably my the closest encounter I could get with a machine as a child, I suppose, and perhaps that is why I enjoyed it so much. Very aptly had HMT put a tagline to its watches - "desh ki dhadkkan"!There also is a history to this watch. It was gifted to my dad by my late grandfather when my dad completed his matriculation. My mom allowed me to use the watch for some time when I also got its worn down leather strap replaced with a more trendy but cheap plastic strap. I suppose, my mother soon realised the value of the watch and quietly got the watch 'underground' much beyond my reach. The watch continues to be in service with its original gold polish quite intact.

Now, coming back to my conversation with the watch dealer in my town, I did the customary googling to figure out a HMT showroom in NCR. To my surprise there was one in CP and one in Jhandewalan. I tried reaching the showroom on the numbers given on the HMT watch division website but couldn't get through. And then, Ebay came to my rescue. A quick search on Ebay threw up dozens of links where used and new HMT watches were being sold. There was the HMT Pilot with the bold black dial and an HMT Janta with Hindi numerals. There were trendier watches with coloured dials too! While I was mulling on which watch to buy, my eyes caught fancy of a rather simple watch. It was the most ordinary watch you could ever own. Off-white dial se in a gold plated round body with brown leather strap. No date, no chrono, nothing! So what was it that got me hooked? Well, it was the name. Quite surprisingly, this model of HMT was called HMT Sudeep! Man! I had to have this watch, at any price! I know I paid higher than the marked price of the watch to source it, but then how often is it that your watch is your namesake? And this is how I got the desh ki dhadkan on my wrist bearing my name in golden letters on its simple round dial!

Quite sadly there are no takers of HMT watches anymore in India. India's desi watch company is dying. While there are a gazillion forums where foreign collectors are discussing HMT watches and sourcing them from whatever channels are available, Indians have turned a deaf ear to the desh ki dhadkan. 

Is this a pun on the current plight of this nation, I wonder. Whatever it is I hope the dhadkan of HMT and of this nation goes on for a zillion years... or at least till the time the warranty on my watch is valid!!

HMT Sudeep

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Remembering Pearl

At times I start living in the past.
Sitting on my sofa at this late hour my mind has wandered back to the age of Khatta Meetha. To the age of the romance of the ever-so-old Ashok Kumar and the effervescent Peral Padamsee.
Pearl! What a beautiful name she had...
I must have been a kid when I saw that movie and the image of the doting plum Parsi mother continues to be as fresh.
I guess it is her name. Pearl. A gem!
She has that sweet and mystic aura around her.
That round face with a million mega-watt smile framed within her bob-cut hair is too sweet a memory to be forgotten.
Her anglicized Hindi further added to her charm. And so did the poise with which she walked on screen in those ah-so-Parsi midis and tunics.
Ah Mrs. Padamsee.. I wish you were alive today and we could have seen more of you on the silver screen!
I guess it is your name, Pearl, that immortalises you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shit Happens!

It was the first Saturday after I had got my new car. A shining metallic red curvaceous vehicle! Me and wifey had gone for a movie. The punch line of the title read "Shit happens".
As could have been expected of me, all through the stairs to the third floor of the complex, I just could not take my eyes off my new darling. After all, it was standing out in the open, right next to the two wheeler parking.
As soon as the movie got over, I just could not wait to check if the world in the parking lot had not taken tumultuous turns. And there it was, it all its sheen. I heaved a sigh of relief.
With wifey giving out directions, I reversed the car successfully and was on the road. The weather was nice. FM was playing some nice music and the ride was smooth till we reached one of the narrow lanes. And as luck would have it SHIT HAPPENED. Some smart Alec in a swift desire passed by scrapping my new love!
Its been three days now and I just cannot take my mind off the incident.
I've made plans to get it repainted and also get a Teflon coating on it for that extra shine.
Whether that happens or not is a different question.....but I can definitely say that it is not a very good feeling at the moment!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Ba-Ba Ramdev have you any shame.. no sir no sir I only want fame

The Great Indian Tamasha continues to amuse the World.
And this time it features Baba Ramdev.

It seems Ramdev (sorry Mr. Baba, you don't get my regards) was fed up of crunching his stomach and holding his breath and decided to take plunge in politics. As is one Anna Hazare was not enough for this nation, we suddenly had another 'satyagrahi' sitting in a multi-crore shamiyana preaching his disciples to to fight corruption. And did they even know what inflation or black money menat? Ramdev himself admitted that 99% didn't. Such shamlessness!

But our administration was not to be fooled by the 'sanyasi satyagrahi'. With Diggi asking some very pertinent questions doubting the intentions of Baba, things turned sour for Ramdev when his 'shanti shivir' was 'attacked' by police forcing baba to flee and bringing an abrupt and violent end to the satyagraha

Media is abuzz.And so is the opposition.

BJP is condemning the attack on their beloved RSS ally and the 'uncorrupt' Lallu Prasad Yadav is issuing a statement. Even Mulayam Singh Yadav is not missing the opportunity. It is time for these political bigwigs to come out from the hiding. I will not be surprised if all these 'loosers' form a coalition to contest the next National elections! The Nation would then definitely be fed to the dogs!

Media also has got some masala to talk about. Star News correspondent is worried why Ramdev is wearing a white robe as he gets off the helicopter in Dehradoon. Another news channel correspondent is asking a 'devotee' on where exactly did the police hit Ramdev. A yet another news correspondent is 'breaking news' that Ramdev was wearing woman's clothes when he was caught.

Anshan or no anshan, Ramdev definitely has achieved what he wanted - free ki footage!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I was at a chemist's shop waiting patiently for the sales person at the counter to get free.
He was busy dealing with a lady who had come to buy some 'salt solution' which the doctor had prescribed her to wash the dentures of her son. The bottle costed Rs 60 and the lady was visibly upset at spending so much for a one time wash of the dentures.
She asked the sales person if it was alright to wash the dentures in warm salted water to which he replied "arey madam aapko kahan paison ki kami hai" and without battling an eyelid the lady replied, "toh udaa dein kya?"
I couldn't help smiling.

Taking time out

I've recently joined my new employer. Well not too recently either, it's been nine months now. I am a consultant now. An average consultant spends a lot of his life travelling. His travel plans are unplanned and bizarre.
To be honest, I've been lucky and haven't been asked by my employers to explore the length and breadth of this country much.My last post was live from the side upper berth of a Ambikapur bound train. That was my first trip. This was to Chhattisgarh - the land of maoists.
My second and the most recent trip was to Chandigarh, Jammu and Simla.
I've often discussed this with my colleagues and they tell me how difficult it is to be a tourist at a place you are visiting for business. I, however disagree.
I am of the opinion that if there is a will, there is a way.
On my first trip to Chhattisgarh, I could get time do sight see the city of Raipur, explore a mall, shop Kosa silk at the local cloth market and buy souvenirs from the forest department's emporium. I would have explored the jungles of Bastar as well if I had my own conveyance!
On my second trip, which was much shorter and much more rushed, I could visit old acquaintances, have a quick lunch at the Mall road in Simla, shop Kashmiri embroidery suits and be a guest at the Western Army Command's GOC-IN-C.
Am not saying I've achieved a laudable feat. All am saying is that it is important to take time out for yourself and mix work with pleasure. Contrary to the belief of many of my colleagues, it is only after one does this, work becomes pleasure!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

No-one killed Arushi Talwar

Earlier it was Jessica and now it is Arushi.
Now that the ghost of Arushi is haunting the courts again, the media is abuzz!
I am watching Star News and a bearded anchor with oiled hair tied into a pony tail is screaming and making vehment hand gestures.

The media seems to at a loss to decide which is the largest murder mystery (who the hell is interested in knowing it!) of the country.

CBI is clueless on who killed Arushi.

I am speechless!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Live from the Indian Railways

I am on my first client visit as a "consultant". And, as a part of this client visit I am on a train to Ambikapur, a town in Surguja District of Chhattisgarh.
It has happened for the first time that I am web-enabled while being on-the-move.
What an obscure location and occassion for the inaugral post for 2011.

Though I would love to talk about the behaviourial traits being  demostrated by the employees of my client, rhe professional protocol prohibits me from doing so (I would love to discuss this off-line though). So, the next best option available to me is my co-passengers (Oh! I love 'bitching').

Seated (now asleep) in the coupe right in front of me is a political leader of sorts, a Dada Bhai. A quintessential politicial. I suppose he is an MLA, worse he could even be a MP. He is traveling with his convoy of yes-men. If you were to believe him, the country is being fed to the Dogs and a 'madhyavarti chunav' is right around the corner. The Bhartiya Janta Party, whose NDA has swept the Bihar elections, will come up with a charismatic leader (magically??) and come back in power. Man! he must have been day dreaming. Even the great Arun Jaitley isn't sure who the next leader is going to be!

My mind has now wandered to a copy of The Outlook which I bought at the Raipur railway station. It has a couple of interesting articles. Ms. Mamta Banerjee has left no stone unturned to get the mighty Indian Railways back in the red (or was it that Lalu had cooked another scam during his tenure?) and is now eyeing the West Bengal elections. Rumours are rife that didi will quit the portfolio to take charge of WB politics where Trinamul Congress supposedly has high chances of winning; but not before she has announced a yet another populist budget for her vote bank.

The Outlook also has an article on the Egypt crisis. Oh! I am loving it so much. No, it has got nothing to do with the region. It is this one person who happened to be my client at my previous employer. He was from Egypt and his reports always had a positive outlook (Oh yeah! am flaunting that I was once an 'Equity Research Analyst') on the country. Middle East needs a correction in valuation, and yes I intend a pun on 'valuation'.

And now that I've laid out the sheets and am securing my luggage, I ask one of the personnels from the client's "Theft - weft ka to koi chakkar nahin hai na" and no brownie point for guessing his reply.
He has prompltly replied,"Take your chaces".

I've packed my Puma shoes in a brown paper bag and kept them alongside my (side upper) berth; just as I've kept the rest of my luggage.

Signing Off!!