Saturday, February 25, 2012

Childhood pics of Salman, Aamir, Amitabh & other Bollywood stars

                              [Caption: Sonakshi Sinha with her father Shatrughan Sinha]

When we talk of the most beautiful actress of the B-town, our mind immediately goes to someone like Aishwarya Rai. When we look for the most kissable actress alive, we are instantly reminded of the suave rosy lips of Katrina Kaif. When we search for some leggy girls, Deepika Padukone and Shilpa Shetty strike our hearts and Madhuri Dixit rules the country when it’s about the most killer smile.
But, have you ever thought of our Bollywood actresses as anything other than the glam dolls or power-packed performers? Though, the industry houses a number of good-looking actors ranging from the hunky strong-bodied ones to the chocolaty boyish guys, have you ever laid your eyes on your favourite stars when they were merely toddlers? Gals are going to swoon and drool as this special list features some of the best looking things the world has ever seen. We present you your favourite Bollywood celebrities the way they looked when they were still in their nappies or half-pants.

Shahrukh Khan:
It’s really hard to think of SRK as anything other than the romantic heart throb that he is today. But if you just take a time turner and go back by a few decades, you will be amazed to find that the same effervescent, witty and action-packed superhero was a little child with a cute, curious mind. The twinkle and mischief in those little eyes can be seen till today. And this childhood pic of his proves that King Khan was always a proud flaunter of a terrific hairstyle. Yes, his height may have increased over the years but even as a scampering kid running hither & thither, Shahrukh seemed to suggest, “Mujhko ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, naamumkin hai.

Amitabh Bachchan:
It may be impossible to believe that our ‘Big B’ was once a little B. Born in the pre-independence era, Amitabh’s childhood pictures have a lot to do with traditional Indian attire and posing as a freedom fighter. Perhaps, it is the fighting spirit of the child Amitabh that surfaced years later when the ‘Shehenshah’ fought his way out of a deadly accident that occurred during the shooting of ‘Coolie.’ Mr. Bachchan looks extremely cute & endearing in his childhood pic.

Aishwarya Rai:
Aishwarya Rai is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most beautiful women to grace the Earth. In the prime of her youth, she looked ethereally beautiful but her colourful personality was there to be seen even during her earlier years. As a child, she was an epitome of grace & √©lan though, one must admit, that she wasn’t as stunning as she later turned out to be. Her chirpy, pretty face was well complemented with a tinge of baby chubbiness and with short hair, she, sometimes, even filled the description of a tomboy. Time only magnified this subtle prettiness into a captivating look that brought her the Miss World pageant in 1994.

Salman Khan:
Ah, the bad boy of Bollywood was always an impish type and more so during his hay days. His childhood pic highlights his outgoing personality, an ever-smiling face and a rich mane of hair. Of course, the body was not as chiseled as it would become in forthcoming years but the naughty twinkle in the eye is ubiquitous. The actor has, over the years, muscled his way into the mid 40s adding weight, height and six packs (losing his rich mane of hair, albeit) but that glint in the eye has stayed on. Our big bad boy just refuses to grow up. The 46-year old Salman is not a day older than his 10-year self! And, we just love both sides of the coin……

Imran Khan:
Imran may be a married man now but really there is no remarkable difference in his looks. He still retains his boyish, chocolaty looks that make him the delight of his female followers. As a child, he was merely shorter and lighter on weight (though there’s no remarkable difference on that count, too).

Ranbir Kapoor:
Ranbir, as a child, possessed that regal, royal face that he inherited from his Kapoor clan. He was extremely cute, no doubt about that. But apart from that, he looked extremely smart & intelligent as well; a far cry from the shy kids of his generation. Those inherent looks are simply unmissable when it comes to Ranbir Kapoor’s young days.We wonder how many girlfriends he had as a kid! Katrina, are you reading this?

Sonam Kapoor:
Sonam Kapoor was a tall girl and actually had a very amicable personality. It’s a completely wrong notion that she was an ‘ugly duckling’. Instead, she was pretty and graceful. I are sure, she must have wooed several male kids of her colony! Right, folks?

Katrina Kaif:
During her childhood days, our ‘Chikni Chameli’ was really a Barbie doll. She was enticingly cute and sugary sweet. She went on to develop a murderous look and an hour-glass figure but even as a child, she had killer looks. Yes, she was that sweet!

Aamir Khan:
Even as a child, Aamir was a perfectionist. Just look at his face tilted perfectly at an angle of 27 degrees by the neck; just look at that perfectly timed smile and just look at that perfect poise! Even during childhood, he was good before the cameras! Now, what a screen presence!

Deepika Padukone:
Deepika may be elegant and lady-like today, but she was frothy & feisty as a child. Her neatly done hair swayed in the breeze and that dimpled smile added to the cuteness.

Hrithik Roshan:
Hrithik conquered female hearts even as a child. Even though, he had to battle his problem of stuttering, his cute, green eyes and chubby face had all the big girls going for his cheeks! Ya, you can call him the ‘Greek Baby God’.

Kareena and Karisma Kapoor:
Randhir Kapoor and Babita’s daughters were confident kids and had plentiful of baby fat. Yes, they were not the wafer-thin size-zero that they are today but had a fuller face, well-fed body and, overall, very admirable features.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

How my laptop torments me like an Indian wife

They say marriage can be a real torment especially if your wife is blessed with this annoying gift to nag. And the ability to nag is something that comes so effortlessly to the women folks! Being a man I feel handicapped, at times. And since, I am a docile and peace-loving, violence-free person (they once asked me to be the poster boy for Gandhian principles), my laptop loves to exploit me.

Yes, the same laptop, over which I had blown away my entire savings 2 years back, enjoys taking advantage of my easy-going nature. It irritates me morning, noon & night and manages to come up with new opportunities to torment me, especially, when I am sunk knee-deep in work. Being a freelance writer, I have to spend the major portion of my day glued to the internet. So, it won’t be wrong to state that I am sort-of married to my laptop (we recently celebrated our 2nd anniversary this January). And like a true, devoted Indian wife, it has taken over the holy task of nagging me with a tireless zeal & unwavering commitment.

The poor creature, being an abiotic thing, cannot yell (if you are wondering what’s ‘abiotic’, it’s time you brush up your biology) but makes up for it in the form of ‘hanging’. Daily, without fail, it hangs exactly at moments when I am running short of time or when there are a few very important tabs that are lying opened. My blood boils at such moments since I am forced to press the ‘On/Off’ button to restart the computer. Thus, I lose all my tabs, lament over the priceless lost minutes and suffer from disturbance in concentration. Having achieved its mission, my laptop, now (after ‘restart’), presents a smiling face feigning a child-like innocence.

The devastating manner in which it hangs makes it resemble an Indian wife staring unblinkingly at her husband with a sullen or furious face. Basically, all my cuss words have now been reserved by my laptop which faces my verbal wrath during its hangover time. Of course, the laptop is undaunted and undeterred by all the curses (in fact, it relishes them) and goes about its business with an increased appetite. I must confess that I am not a habitual user of those heinous cuss words (like ‘fu*k); something that used to give me immense pride in my pre-laptop days. But my lappy has successfully enlisted my name in the category of the most frequent users of these slangs (it’s a different matter that I find some of the slangs extremely de-stressing & calm-evoking in such moments of intense fury). And I am afraid that the f-word is slowly becoming my signature slang (something that threatens my Gandhian ‘posterboy’ image).

  But, on the brighter side, there are days, when my lappy spares me the agonies and lets me do my work without any glitch….. (rare moments of its friendly mood). So, that’s my story…..Me….. an earthly soul carrying the cross of the sinful technology..…
And, did I tell you that my laptop is looking for its lost sibling (the ‘Kumbh Ka Mela’ effect)? This cousin, says my lappy, is much more annoying and is, currently, unleashing itself on an unknown, helpless Indian in some remote corner of the country…….Do tell us if this ‘helpless Indian’ is you.

PS- Just like my bank balance, my blog’s popularity refuses to grow up. So, kindly be good enough to share my tragic story….And I will wish you a hanging-free life ahead. Amen!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Diary of an Alzheimer’s patient

Life is really quite unpredictable as Yuvraj Singh found out recently and as I did a few years back. So often has a person spent the happiest phase of his life only to realize that his life is shorter than he was actually banking upon. Another intriguing human tendency is that we often get into the delusion that ‘life-threatening’ diseases and accidents are things that can happen only to others and, preferably, to a high-profile celebrity or a wealthy not-so-near relative. But……

My story is not a different cry….How green was my valley till fate showed its true cards. I have been battling some severe chronic diseases for the past few years and the damage has been so severe and, unfortunately, presented itself so silently, that it’s hard to state how & where it all started. Though, there is an army of ailments t troubling my body at the moment, the most dreadful of them is Alzheimer’s disease. You may have vaguely heard of it as a silent killer that robs mind & memory but, trust me, it is the modus operandi of this lethal disease which can be really frustrating.

Firstly, Alzheimer’s loves to play hide-n-seek with you. One moment you feel quite good, cheerful & full of grey cells (your thoughts flow clearly) and within minutes, your mind just gets foggy & muddled up. Thoughts do not flow easily and words are hard to recall. I can clearly remember incidents of my childhood or the names of my old classmates & teachers. But I find it almost impossible to recall the names of some of my ‘facebook’ friends or even those of some of the newer breed of celebrities. What is most frustrating is that I’m always at a loss to recollect passwords of some of my e-accounts! Though, I have cultivated the habit of maintaining one single password for all my IDs & profiles, at times, they ask to set new passwords (for security purpose) and that’s when I cringe in fear as I struggle to think of something that would not get lost in the recesses of my fading mind. But having lost confidence in my mental abilities, I recently wrote down in a diary all my important profile usernames & passwords (just in case, things get too difficult).

Secondly, Alzheimer’s has sort of blinded me to the happenings around me. Quite often, when the mind is in a numb state, I lose all sense of time & reality. Things do not register themselves in my mind that easily. For instance, an hour back, I just trotted out of my 1st floor flat to take a walk in the neighbourhood for 10-15 minutes. However, the brain was so unclear that it was finding it impossible to keep pace with reality. I seemed to be walking on streets without realizing what I’m doing. I could see everything clearly and I was aware of my whereabouts but mind seemed to have gone for a holiday. You can compare it to a person who is sleep-walking. He is alert & sound but unable to recall his actions later on! I’m not sure how to put this feeling through words….It’s just a feeling and one of those rare things that are, really inexplicable.

And what about my dreams, my future, my ambitions? Hmmm….it’s a sensitive issue. Things are looking bleak. Dreams are shrinking along with grey cells….Future is a far-away thing, even the present is uncertain……And then, I am the only child of my parents. But hey, even an Alzheimer’s patient is entitled to hope. Things may be slipping away, memories may let go of me, thoughts may bid me adieu….But there’s a fantastic message that I had once received in the form of a forwarded text SMS. I can’t recall the initial line but the concluding line was something like this, “To meet and part is the way of life….but to part and meet is the hope of life…..”

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Visit to That Park Street Cemetery

This tale dates back to somewhere around 2006 when I was a student of St. Xavier's College, Kolkata. There lies a very famed cemetery near the college and even though I am a Hindu and have never visited any cemetery, curiosity prodded me and a friend (who is also a Hindu) to make a visit. It was broad daylight as we walked inside after signing our names and address as demanded by a security guard.
The moment we walked inside, we felt we had stumbled onto a very beautiful and heavenly place. I say this because the tranquillity and greenery inside was a far cry from the hustle & bustle that we are used to in a big urbane city.
We didn't feel any fear and were raking in the breezy atmosphere that posed itself before us. There were lofty tombs all around and many famous British soldiers and officials had found their final resting place here. Sayan (my friend) got engrossed in reading the poetic tributes and titbits that were engraved as epitaphs. I was more absorbed in admiring the natural grandeur of the beautiful place. The quiet and freshness was a silent reminder of the callousness of man and how he has annihilated nature's beauty outside. But in here, I felt being transported to the 19th century.
There is an interesting anecdote that still puzzles me. We soon came across a roofed tomb that had a domed structure. We wanted to step inside but weren't sure if that would be the right thing to do. Stepping over the tomb could be disrespectful to the dead and we weren't sure if we were supposed to step over. However, emboldened by curiosity, we went ahead and stepped over it to read the poems that were scribbled inside.
After sometime we left promising each other that we would visit the place again some other time in the future. Later that day, I fell ill and developed high fever. After a couple of days, when I returned to college, Sayan told me that he, too, had come under the grip of fever that day. We both shared a nervous laugh and pondered if it had got anything to do with the cemetery. It was a bit bizarre as we were physically very sound that day and the fever was quite unexpected. We shrugged it aside as a silly co-incidence but a lingering question haunts my mind till today- 'Was any mystical psychic power involved'...and I know that this would remain an unanswered mystery forever...

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