Archive for June, 2009

Don’t sob when you’re a snob!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 June 30th, 2009 Aabhas Sharma

The other day I went to one of my relative’s place for dinner and we sat down to watch an old DVD of a Simon and Garfunkel concert. Listening to their music made me wonder, when was the last time a modern day rock/pop band came up and had a cult following. And when I say modern day, I mean in the last 15 years or so. I scratched my head, thought over and over and couldn’t come up with  — forget many — even one band which created a mass hysteria amongst music lovers.

In fact, the only few names which I could come up were Green Day, Coldplay, and to stretch the list, I had to include Linkin Park in it as well. At this point, I must tell you that when it comes to music, I am very snobbish. In fact, music is the only form of entertainment, where snob value is the highest amongst people. You will rarely hear someone say “Oh, I can’t watch a SRK movie” or “All Yash Raj Movies are trash”. But when it comes to music, people have erected these mental barriers around themselves, which doesn’t allow them to go beyond the genres which they like. Like a friend of mine the other day said, “I just can’t listen to the likes of Rihanna”. Of course, it’s music, so personal tastes do vary from genre to genre among people.

In my case, I genuinely hate the Hip Hop genre and to a certain extent rap (Eminem is the only exception). Most of the artists sound the same, they have some of the most ridiculous names (what sort of a name is Three 6 Mafia for a band?!) and the words of their songs are inexplicable to say the least.

My wife is the exact opposite of me when it comes to music. Though she rarely allows me to use her iPod, when I do manage to lay my hands on it, I find all genres of music on it. From Bob Dylan to Black Eyed Peas. From Frank Sinatra to Freddie Mercury. From Pink Floyd to Pussycat Dolls. She knows what’s the “in-thing” and knows the songs of artists whose names even I can’t even pronounce. For instance, Soulja Boy, who is apparently a rap artist!. It’s something I really admire, she is always open to listening to new music and gives it an honest chance and then forms an opinion.

This other friend of mine, who like me is still stuck up on the music of 70’s and 80’s, says that its not because the new artists haven’t been that great. It’s just that when we were in college the likes of Pink Floyd, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Nirvana left an inedible mark on our minds. Even in college, there used to be these two groups. One who were always high on music and other “stuff” who preferred the likes of Cobain and Gilmour and the other who’s dose of music had the then contemporary music of Ricky Martin and Michael Learns to Rock.

But even then, Pink Floyd was never the “in-thing”. At least when I was growing up, the likes Backstreet Boys, Boyzone and the million other boy bands were a rage. Girls loved them, guys didn’t like them but listened to them as they weren’t all that bad, while some — as is the case with any genre — trashed them like anything. The point being even they had a fan following. These days, I guess it’s too much about one-song wonders band/artists. People like their songs but soon are forgotten.

So when last week Michael Jackson died, me and wife were having this conversation about how no artist/band in the last few years have managed to dominate the charts over a period of time. She said don’t crib as it’s your fault only. “Who’s asked you to listen to the same songs and artists over and over again?”. But I love them, was my immediate reposte. She agreed that there have been no new rock bands in the last decade or so to have a cult following. But added “Just because your snob value is so high, doesn’t mean good music hasn’t been created post the 80’s”. True, I guess, we can’t sob, sob…when we are so snob, snob!

It’s Saina (not Sania)…

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 June 23rd, 2009 Joydeep Ghosh

Disclaimer: Yes, I agree that Sania Mirza has done wonders for Indian Women’s Tennis.
But the comparison ends there.

I have a rather bad habit. Before going to sleep, I watch news. Sometimes, it’s a business channel (yuck to many), but mostly normal tamasha on news channels.
Yesterday, there was real tamasha. Some channels went quite gaga over Saina Nehwal’s super series win and Sania Mirza’s first round win in Wimbledon.
And while I am quite fine with the hoopla around Mirza, I am quite surprised with the lack of bandwidth for Nehwal.
In the last few years, Nehwal has consistently done well. Yet, for one tournament she was hassled for a visa (she rightly said that a cricketer wouldn’t have faced any hassles).
In fact, in this T-20 nonsense, I wonder if anyone even knew that Nehwal was quietly winning match-after-match.
In comparison, Mirza has to win one single match to be in the headlines. While I believe that Mirza has done wonders for Indian Women’s Tennis, but it’s simply as an ambassador. As a player, she has a long way to go.
At the age of 18-19, she had promise. At 22-23, she is still someone with promise. In singles, she hasn’t been in the quarter-finals of any of the Grand Slams.
But I guess tennis has more glamour than badminton. Everyone remembers Anna Kournikova…some, perhaps, even more than Chris Evert or Bille Jean King.
And someone may even argue that tennis is a more inclusive sport. Badminton is, after all, mostly an Asian sport. And the top ten have a lot of Chinese players and sometimes, a few Danish players.
For an Indian to break into the league is mighty impressive. If Nehwal’s coach is to be believed, she will be ranked sixth in the world after the recent win – in tennis, only
Ramanathan Krishnan was seeded fourth in the 1961 Wimbledon…
Sadly, talent and performance seldom gets reflected in television or newspaper coverage. Glamour, it would seem, works wonders.

Beyond Reach

Saturday, June 20th, 2009 June 20th, 2009 Praveen Bose

I often end up tearing my hair in frustration when I am reading something or find something to read online and I am ‘told’ to pay up to continue reading. While it makes perfect economic and business sense for the content provider, I am left wondering if the world is flat only for some people, and not all.

I may be stretching things too far when I try to extend the concept of the flat world to accessing the content on the world wide web. But, the affordability factor cannot be ignored. This must have been because many an article I wanted to read had to be paid in dollars or pounds when I earned in the humble rupees.

Five dollars may not be too much for an American or a Canadian, or many a European to read an article. But, for me, $5 is nearly Rs 250. It’s not a price I can afford to pay for a single article. It is what I may pay for a novel.
I had thought the future would be brighter for those who love to surf the Net for information and knowledge, when more and more content from magazines and newspapers were being made available for free.

But, costing pressures of the content providers i.e. magazines and journals is catching up it seems with free-riders like me. Despite all those cost-benefit analyses of free content online, I seemed to throw logic out of the window when surfing the world wide web looking for information or to read. This, when I am always trying to spread the ‘gyan’ on why we pay how much we pay for whay we use.

In social sense and commercial sense the world is indeed flat. A schoolmate, on his way to work in Toronto pings me to ask how I am doing while I am at work or am winding up my work for the day. Now I can ping him when he is on his way to work to enquire how a common friend was doing in Naples, while an ex-colleague pings me from Hong Kong to ask if my job is safe.

Wish the world would become flat in the sense of affordability too.

Train of thought

Thursday, June 18th, 2009 June 18th, 2009 Pablo ChaterjiPablo Chaterji

When I first began life as a travel writer six years ago, things were a bit different. I don’t mean this in the sense that the actual travelling part was any different – no, the sense of excitement and, indeed, uncertainty, is still the same. What I’m referring to are the nitty-grittys and the logistics involved, chiefly to do with my budget and my means of transport. When I did trips out of Bombay, of course, I would normally jump straight into the nearest available car and point it towards my destination. Travelling in other parts of the country, however, usually meant getting to a major hub, such as Delhi or Madras or Calcutta, picking up a car there and then driving off. All of this still holds true, of course, but in the days of smaller budgets, getting to these hubs meant a fairly long journey by train.
Preparing for one of these journeys was an event in itself. The Indian Railways website wasn’t especially reliable, so trying to book a ticket on it was an effort fraught with the danger of credit card double-charging and so forth. Also, since trains almost always ran full, there was no guarantee of actually getting a ticket, even if I tried to book one well in advance; last minute tickets were laughably out of the question. Given these circumstances, I relied on the mysterious ‘Ashok bhai’, travel agent non-pareil, to work his magic. I never met the man (all contact was over the phone) but his reach obviously extended deep into the bowels of the railway mechanism – only he could conjure tickets out of thin air, albeit for an additional consideration.
Ticket finally in hand, I’d prepare myself for the journey ahead. A Bombay-Calcutta leg, for example, meant at least 30 hours in a train, so that meant fortifying myself with enough snacks, music and reading material to last the trip, not to mention basic bedding (I can’t deal with the stuff handed out by the railways) and toilet paper –  although one glance at the average loo in a train usually guaranteed instant constipation. Arriving at the station, there’d be a definite sense of anticipation – would the train be on time? Would my travelling companions be amiable or borderline-nutters? The only way to find out was to actually get on.
I normally specified an upper berth, so that I could climb up there and be undisturbed if I so wished, and also because I could put my bag right next to me instead of under the bottom seat (I’m paranoid like that). Thus would begin a journey full of sights, sounds, tastes and smells – kids waving cheerfully at the train, bullocks in passing fields, ascetics meditating by the riverside, fellow passengers singing and playing boisterous card games, the train’s horn piercing the air, spicy samosas and dal-vadas, wood-smoke from villages and, if I was unlucky enough to be thus situated, the powerful aromas from the toilets. Arriving at my destination, I’d be dead tired and covered with a fine layer of dirt, usually necessitating a very long shower and a day’s rest – but there was a sense of satisfaction at having survived in one piece.
These days, it’s all become much more flexible. I have a somewhat larger budget, cut-price airlines have grown in number and tickets can be had literally a few hours before my desired time of departure. Flying also means I can spend that much more time on the road, rather than on a train, which in turn gives me greater leeway when I come up with an itinerary. It must be said that I’ve also become lazier; if I can get somewhere in two hours rather than 24, I’ll go with two hours any day, all things being equal. Still, I can’t help feeling sometimes that flying is rather impersonal, sterile even. Sitting in a metal tube for a couple of hours doesn’t give you the sort of sensory experience that a train does, and I miss that experience every now and again.

Dalits and mainstream media

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009 June 17th, 2009 Aditi PhadnisAditi Phadnis

Why do problems of Dalits get such little exposure in mainstream media? How should this be addressed? Do modern newsrooms need Dalit representation - maybe in the form of reservations - to make them voice Dalit concerns?

This was the issue debated in a day-long seminar on Dalits and the Media. There were no highfalutin names present here, just ordinary reporters who are known to have an interest in Dalit issues.

Ravish Kumar from NDTV was cogent, blunt and interesting. “I have a problem with the Dalit middle class. Why do they constantly want to be someone else?” he asked. “They change their names, never take anyone home, never talk about themselves…” But must a Dalit always feel a Dalit to be noticed? He answered his own question: he was invited to a Dalit home and when the teenaged girls showed him their room, the walls were decorated not with pictures of Babasaheb Ambedkar but Shahrukh Khan.

A Dalit government servant, who invited him to have dinner at the Marriott, told him that his other colleagues would not break bread with him even in a hotel. The government servant told Kumar, “To such Dalits I say: use humour. Ask these people, OK, you won’t come to my house, but at least come to a hotel. How much will you run from us? How long?”

Kumar said it was impossible to divorce Dalits from the violence that seemed to follow them. But occasionally there were good news stories that were a joy to do: He recalled the Dalit settlement in Ahmedabad where, the only thing dividing a Dalit seth and a rich upper caste Patel was caste. They were happy to do business with each other, they handled volumes worth crores of rupee every day but the Dalit was never allowed to visit Patel’s home. The Dalit seth lived in an opulent house in the Dalit quarter of Ahmedabad - which is wealthy from all accounts - but never went to his partner’s resident. “I told Patel I will give you untold riches. You live in the dalit locality, next to your partner for a year. He spat at the camera,” Kumar said.

So how will Dalits and svarna society come to be at peace with each other? There were many questions about the public perception of Dalits. “Hindu festivals like teej get so much publicity in the newspapers. But Babasaheb’s birthday doesn’t get a single line,” said one dalit from the audience. “Why?”

A suggestion was that possibly until the Dalits were physically accommodated in newsrooms, newspapers would continue to ignore issues they considered important. Ramkumar, a journalist working in Saharanpur, UP, explained how in that city, every newspaper had a Muslim reporter to translate and understand the implications of the fatwas that neighbouring Deoband issued. Like that, maybe to understand Dalit issues, it was important to have representation from the community.

But is that really right - that only a Dalit reporter is capable of understanding the pain of being a Dalit? Hard to say. Recasting a newsroom along caste lines could have a profound implication for newsgathering and bringing out newspapers.

But underlying this, there is another question: of the relationship between Dalits and power. There are many, who consider that despite being a Dalit leader, Mayawati is not really a Dalit because she has changed her mindset, is mimicking the oppressors. So is being a Dalit a mindset?

Why should we charge Sonia Gandhi with perpetrating a regency but excuse Mayawati from the charge of being undemocratic? There is a significant Dalit vanguard that is critical of the way Mayawati functions. Why is it so shy of coming out and saying so in the open?

Erring on the side of political correctness is the worst thing a reporter can do - because this means he wants to be seen as good but stops telling the truth which is what reporters are supposed to do. What do you think?

Kick in my stomach…

Sunday, June 14th, 2009 June 14th, 2009 Praveen Bose

Shezan, which had been my saviour for the last five years (especially when it rained cats and dogs), is now under threat of ditching me. The restaurant, which has stood there for well over a decade, is now in danger of passing into history.

Being not more than just a hop, skip and a jump away, Shezan was a blessing for many of us in desperate times. But, it is the fickle-minded and illogical real estate market that is strangulating it now. Notwithstanding the economic slowdown, the landlord wants the restaurant operator to pay double the rent he is paying now. “Pay up… or vacate” is the ultimatum for him. (The restauranter was a contemporary of mine in college).

Every other day, there are news reports that speaks of rents crashing or correcting. But, the landlord thinks otherwise. He is sure of getting a much better or much bigger tenant. He seems to be preparing for the take-off, of the economy. He wants to keep the space vacant and grab the best deal that will come along.

This is not a one-off case. All landlords seem to be taking this view unless, of course, the tenant is in a position to “arm-twist” the landlord into accepting your arguments.

My friend is in a fix. But, he is not ready to vacate. The landlord is trying to figure out more ways than one to squeeze him out of the building. He has banned parking for the customers of the restaurant.

In fact it has been a double whammy.Takeaways and home deliveries or office deliveries were a major source of income. But, while the number of orders have not fallen much, the average revenue per order has plunged … that is over 50%.

He has had to raise the prices of his dishes. Thanks to the increase in the input costs… not to mention the energy costs. With fewer people visiting the restaurant to spend some ‘quality time’, he is not exactly laughing his way to bank.

But, the real estate fundas, if there exist any, it seems, may drown him sooner or later.

The landlord only needs to look to the left and right of the building to see what is happening. The building to the right of his has two tenants while he had four just a couple of months ago. The much building to the other side was vacated months ago and remains vacant with no signs of a tenant coming.

Meanwhile, I am keeping my fingers crossed about the fate of Shezan. I am too lazy to walk half a km to grab a bite, and that is point.

Smokestacks are hot

Thursday, June 11th, 2009 June 11th, 2009 Rrishi Raote

Surveying the local skyline, such as it is, from atop my favourite local pedestrian railway bridge, one thing is clear: smokestacks are hot.

Looking southeast towards the Yamuna, I can see a variety of official buildings: the University Grants Commission (UGC), the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the police headquarters and its neighbour the CPWD building, the DDA’s Vikas Minar, the Engineers India building, a slice of the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, the glass-box office building Metro added to its Pragati Maidan station, Indraprastha Power Station, and so on.

Not one is a pleasure to behold, from the childish, blocky INSA to the ridiculous olive-green PHQ (crowned with a fuzz of antennae like some giant bread fungus) and the scabrous DDA tower. Yuck.

But in the interstices of all this urban blight are a few pure and soaring forms which lighten the heart and thrill the eye. They are: smokestacks and electricity pylons.

In the evening each chimney wears a crown of diabolical slow-blinking red lights, and its head trails a long smoky mane. If the gray tresses tumble away towards the east you know that the wind is blowing in from Rajasthan and it’s going to stay hot tonight. If the heavy curls trace westward, however, you can hope that the Uttaranchali breeze will trim the temperature and ease your sleep — and indeed, the air will already be cooler upon your face.

Meanwhile, behind DDA and Metro the pylons lift their patient shoulders and march away towards East Delhi. Their burden originates from the Coruscant-like jumble of shiny metal and tubing that is IP power station, which stands out against the gray of atmosphere and building and the dusty green of treetops.

Given the opportunity to produce important and long-lasting public buildings in the ITO region — one of the civic cores of Delhi — every one of these architects (PWD or private) has instead made a monster. Unwittingly, these foolish buildings embody the flaws rather than the best purposes of their institutional residents, and make those flaws permanent.

But mere engineers, obeying mainly the rules of utility and rationality, have created functional artifacts which achieve nobility in every element.

Where the big institutional buildings confuse, alienate and disorient, the smokestacks and pylons sharpen the mind by making sense, and the eye by being simple yet iconic in form. Gone is the 1920s-60s notion of buildings as sculptural elements in a rational landscape, which at least produced visually arresting and intellectually provocative results.

Think of big, concrete structures like Chanakya cinema, the STC building, the NDMC tower, and many more which, even if they are not beautiful, are like the smokestack or pylon in that they have a distinct form that is related to their practical or propaganda purpose and does not aim to disguise it. Now, on the other hand, most architects seem to forget the big picture and just give us agglomerations of small units, in which the whole never rises above its parts.

I think this “architecture by numbers” leaves us consumer-citizens oppressed and stunned by all the untended, infernal variety. That used to be what intelligent architects did in big civic projects — consciously distill and represent our civic self to ourselves. Now they do it without thinking, and the result is both sad and revealing.

Dial T20 for Tullebaazi?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 June 9th, 2009 Aabhas Sharma

I have always had an enormous amount of respect for former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan. He was a born fighter, a fantastic and courageous leader of men, and had an on field attitude which was unparalleled. He fought tooth and nail for every inch and even though he some might say that he wasn’t supremely talented, he is arguably one of the finest cricketers of all time. Why am I suddenly talking about Imran? Well, this week, I thought Imran pulled out a perfect in-swinger from his repertoire of deliveries, albeit off the field. He said that T20 cricket is more of Tullebaazi (read chance cricket) where one doesn’t need too much planning and it’s more about luck and taking chances. To be fair, he also said that he was happy that people were flocking to see so many people turning out to watch Tullebaazi.

What’s even more interesting is the fact the current Pakistan skipper Younis Khan came in for a lot of flak when he came out and said that he would be disappointed if his team gets knocked out of the T20 world cup but won’t take it too seriously as he equated T20 with “fun cricket”. Even Sachin Tendulkar in a recent interview had said that he likes T20 but it shouldn’t be played at the cost of test cricket being affected. Chris Gayle has already said something on the lines that Test cricket is boring and he prefers the more “fun” format.

Since I wasn’t around at the time One Day Internationals were introduced back in the early 70’s, I am sure that similar doubts must have been raised. Resistance to change is always very strong when it comes to cricket - both for the players as well as fans. But T20, at least to my dislike is rapidly incorporating too many changes. I read somewhere that the ICC is mulling over the concept of an ‘Eighter’. Already the concept of maidens seem to be history in the scorecard, with dot balls column replacing the good old maiden. Sixers are called maxium (prefix a brand name of your choice) before it. And strategy breaks were seen at IPL 2.0 to please the advertisers.

Although the biggest joke, and yes it was a joke only, had to be last week’s New Zealand-Scotland World Cup match which was reduced to 7-overs-a-side. Yes, 7 overs! I mean, for heaven’s sake, we all have played much longer matches in our gullys while growing up. How does a captain motivate his team for such a match? How does a batsman plan his innings? How does a bowler execute his plans for different batsman? Of course, that match could very well be a one-off and I might be reading too much into it. But seriously, the men running the show, need to understand that a fan is not devoid of cricket to such an extent, that he will watch a ridiculously shortened game! He might watch it, but deep down he will find it absolutely cringeworthy.

I, for one, definitely don’t believe that T20 would put the nail in test cricket’s coffin. As a sports fan, I am not too worried about that. What worries me most is, in fact, other factors such as lack of quality players, the current state of cricket in traditional powerhouses like Pakistan and West Indies, and most importantly, extremely flat and placid pitches all over the world.

Please give us back a bouncy Perth pitch, where batsmen actually fret before taking guard. Or the Sabina Park of old, where you knew that you were in for some serious business. If the authorities don’t wake up and do something about these things then that day won’t be far, when Tullebaazi will replace Ballebaazi!

Will we finally get a cheaper Apple?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 June 9th, 2009 Priyanka JoshiPriyanka Joshi


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Apple has just made my life a bit more difficult. I love my Apple iPhone 3G (even with all the drawbacks that I have pointed out here). But Apple’s latest upgrade is so beguiling that I want to make the switch to the new iPhone 3Gs (where S stands for speed).

But I am happy to note that iPhone OS 3.0 software will be available on June 17 as a free software update via iTunes 8.2 or later for all iPhone customers. And that includes me! The iPod Touch customers will be able to purchase a software update for £5.99 (inclusive of VAT).

When do we get the new iPhone 3Gs in India?

Take a guess – the UK customers are getting the new iPhone on June 19, it’s anyone’s guess as to when India gets its iPhone 3Gs and more importantly at what cost (the basic iPhone 3G model has been down priced to $99 from $199).

Even if we are a less than lakh Apple iPhone 3G users in India, the company has sold more than 20 million iPhones in the past few years. And if the prices come down further (present pricing starts at Rs 29,000), then new users are bound to join the Apple family. Even the analysts conceded that price cut in iPhone 3G tag would make the market more challenging for rivals. A price cut on the original iPhone device to $199 from $399 in June 2008 doubled the demand. Why should that not happen now?

Why wait for iPhone 3Gs?

Having reviewed almost every phone (smartphone and PDA), I do take the liberty to attribute myself with some knowledge about smartphones and the processing speed they deliver. By far, Apple iPhone 3G has been the smoothest touchscreen I have operated and even at dodgy GPRS signals, it loads a web page comfortably. BlackBerry models, too have similar speeds but there’s a certain novelty (and also ease to scroll through pages) in browsing the web on a touchscreen.

And what’s new in 3Gs?

There’s the faster processor at the heart of the new iPhone and that’s half the battle won. It also includes new 3D graphics support in hardware – that translates to faster and more complicated 3D games on iPhone.

On the software side, the new iPhone OS 3.0 software will bring in features including — Cut, Copy and Paste; MMS; Spotlight Search to search across iPhone or within Mail, Contacts, Calendar and iPod; landscape keyboard for Mail, Messages, Notes and Safari (Apple’s browser) and the ability to capture and send audio recordings on the go with the new Voice Memo app. iPhone 3.0 software also includes a new Find My iPhone feature that works together with Apple’s MobileMe application so that you can locate your lost iPhone on a map, send a message that will appear on the screen or play a sound to help you find it even if your phone is set to silent. If you cannot find your iPhone, you can erase all data and content on your iPhone with the new Remote Wipe feature.

The iPhone 3Gs has a new 3 megapixel autofocus camera and it also allows sending photos and videos by email, MMS or you can directly post to YouTube.

It remains to be seen how Nokia, BlackBerry and off late Samsung too, will battle it out with Apple’s latest warhead.

Artist’s Life Redesigned

Friday, June 5th, 2009 June 5th, 2009 Praveen Bose

Babumon, the roommate from university who I always called “the mad guy”, called on me while in the city to organise an art exhibition on behalf of a Lalit Kala Academy. I refer to him as my guru, at least in appreciating art forms (including music, movies etc). He had taught me to appreciate Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ for instance or for that matter ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’.

How is ‘Modigliani’ pronounced, I learnt from him.

He never called himself a Cubist, but wouldn’t mind if someone else called him so.

He tried his hand at trying to infuse some aesthetic sense into someone whose sense of beauty was not up to the mark for him. He tried introducing me to Cubism and the underlying philosophies.

He didn’t think money was necessary. But thought art was all, and that sky was the roof. But now, he had learnt the wordly ways forced by circumstances. Market forces had smartened him.

He explained post-modernism and, the post-modern artists and their works. But, I could never traverse the fourth dimension — which is time. I was probably too caught up in the present to be able to enter the fourth dimension.

After his masters in fine arts, which he did just for an opportunity to work with an artist he admired, he took to farming hoping to paint in all peace and quiet in a village away from the madding crowds.

But, alas, the vagaries of the weather and the wildlife (mostly elephants) dashed his hopes. Pure economics took over. He realised, his revenues did not match his expenditure. Many a times he had to face losses. Also, the paint/pastels and canvas or paper too cost him a lot. Instead of falling into the hands of money lenders, he became a teacher.

He had a girlfriend of eight years and decided to get married. Now he was forced to step into the real world. He had to run a family and he has landed a job with Lalit Kala Academy. With that vanished his opportunities to paint.

I still get to interact with painters and other artists, he insists. But, says, he misses painting by himself because he has no time. He takes a few weeks together sometimes to complete a work.