Immigration Check Anyone??


I attended a pre-departure session today for international students heading to Australia & NZ, as I'm heading there (oz that is) for my undergrad in a few wks.…
‘Twas an informative session, basically telling us what to expect when we reach there…but some things that were mentioned were totally unexpected, and totally hilarious…read on…

For starters, the Aussie & NZ authorities seem to be paranoid about people bringing stuff into their country! They’re especially quite strict on bringing foodstuffs, but they let is pass as long as one declares to customs that he or she is carrying it…Well one Indian family just landed into Melbourne, and were carrying a small quantity of food. They declared it all, and were allowed to pass without any hassles. Before landing, on the flight, they were given apples along with the regular on-flight meal. One of them didn't wanna eat it there and then, so she put it in her handbag. Now when her baggage went through security clearance, she was hauled up and asked to pay a fine. Why? Thats cause she didn't declare the apple as part of the food!!! Can you imagine?? One apple?? And she was asked to pay a $200 fine!!! (thats bout INR 7000!!). I’m told that she hasn't eaten that apple till date, and has preserved it, and who can blame her??? Its worth $200!!!!

Another equally crazy incident was when another dude heading into Auckland was carrying a tabla with him (for all you global ‘uneducated’ readers, its a musical instrument). He was also hauled up at customs for not declaring the tabla!! Now I was just wondering what harm could a mere tabla possibly do?? It was explained to him that as it was a wooden instrument, it could carry termites. Now don’t tell me that with all the terrorists running loose, the Kiwi’s are actually afraid of Indian termites?? Sheesh… They confiscated it, charged him a $350 fine, and returned it to him after a week, and that too broken! And pray just what did they do with it for a week?? They fumigated it to kill and ‘supposedly dangerous’ termites that ‘could’ be there….Heavens, have mercy!

I’ll be carrying my guitars when I go, and if they dare fumigate it or do something funny like that, I'll make sure to ruin their happiness for a long long time…..

Glory Days..


It all started way back when I was in the 7th grade, I guess I was 12yrs old then, when my friend, Arjun asked my if I was wanted to join a coaching camp in Badminton (Baddy as we called it!). I was really doing nothing much at that time, so I said, “Sure, why not??”. It was to be a 5day week affair, getting coached for two hours a day. But both me and my friend got so hooked on to the game, that we even continued coaching after the camp was over. We were then joined by another friend of ours, Akshay, and we three would make sure that none of us missed our training daily. Our coach, Pradeep sir, was a real good player, and an even better person. He made the game more fun to play, at least for me….
Well to be honest, out of us three, I was the worst player. Akshay was an excellent sports person, and Arjun had a good temperament for the game. I tried my level best to match them, and we always had friendly rivalry amongst us, both of them constantly challenging me to beat them in a game and though I did match Arjun in plenty of games, I could never beat Akshay. But the day that I’d never forget is when Akshay and I teamed up and took on rival schools from across the district. We came runner’s up in that event, and for me that was truly something. But soon after that, a few weeks later my dad changed his job, and we moved up north to Calcutta. I did continue baddy for over an year, but then the school timings were not kind enough to let me play on a regular basis. That was in 2002.

Well life went on, until today when I was passing by a local club, I saw few people volleying the shuttle. I stood and watched for sometime, and then I asked if I could maybe hit a short or two. I took the racquet, and hit a couple of shorts, missing most tho. I didn’t realize how time flew by, and soon I was playing game after game and winning each one!!! The thrill of the racquet in the hand again was just amazing. I called Akshay in for a game too (who had also incidentally moved to Calcutta), and it was just like the old days…It was back to the old challenge of beating him in a game, but I still couldn’t manage it! But nevertheless, the feeling of it all was exhilarating…

Now as I write this, I sit with an aching back, inflamated thighs and blistered feet. I guess thats the consequence of stretching yourself too much after almost 4 years!! Anyhow…records are meant to be broken, and I’m scheduled another game with Akshay sometime soon…maybe it’ll be my day…;-).



Originally uploaded by AlmaZ.
Its that time of the year again…People making new year resolutions which they would probably forget a week later….straining themselves to believe that the new year will bring about a fresh start, while deep inside they know that it’s back to boring ‘ol work on Monday!!

So what is in store this new year? Another war? Another natural calamity? Few more millions losing their lives?? Or some lucky chap making his first big break and earning in millions?? Its a tough call…

I was reading sometime back in a popular magazine, that this period right now is the best time for us to be alive, and the world is indeed not going to the dogs!! (That is, of course, barring terrorism, drug addiction, AIDS, inequality of wealth etc…etc…) This is because we have better tolerance towards different races, no ‘World War III’, and abolition of slavery. It is true, we have actually bettered ourselves down the years, and the face of society is changing. But to ignore the madness that surrounds is is just being plain arrogant. To say that we have become worse is being pessimistic, and that we’ve become better is being bullish. What we need to be is realistic, and say that some things have indeed got a lot better, but we’re still some miles off course from total equilibrium of stability….

Any ho…Have a happy new year…..

Rock Muzik...


Rock muzik....debataly the world's most popular form of muzik has certainly come a long way down the years....
I wanted to write somethin on this cuz the other day when I sat down wit my guitar strummin some tunes, it struck me that rock muzik of the 60's and 70's is distinctly different from what it is today, and could actually be classified into two different genres...

Take a classic example of two popular rock artists from the two ages....on one side of the ring we have the eternal king of rock and roll, 'Elvis Presley'...and on the other end we have leading rockers of the 2000's...'The Rasmus'. If one actually listens to their muzik (both the artists) would agree with me that the real definition of 'Rock' has been lost somewhere down the decades.
The 'ol King had a distinct style with his heavy voice modulations and steady riffs on the accoustic, while The Rasmus seems more intent on bringing their guitar leads and solos on the platform and give the lyrics a second standing...

But the majority of bands who are still going strong right from the 70's till today have learned to adapt to the changing taste of the audience over the years and have created a niche fan following for themselves...take Bon Jovi...Rolling Stones...U2...all still going strong...
But now yet another metamorphis has taken place bringing out a new sound called 'Alternative Rock' maintains the 'Rock' sound of the 90's...but it has been toned down a bit and the songs have a definite 'blues & soul' feel to them....a leading band in this category would be 'Coldplay'...and this genre is sure to stick around for a long time...

But the sad part is that unlike the 70's where bands were legends, today's bands come and go. We dont (and possibly will never) have another Led Zepplin or Dire Straits...or the classic rock kings, 'The Beatles'.... But I guess one can never predict what could turn out tomorrow...

So will rock n roll last in the future or will it be turned into a completely different sound altogether????


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