Atefeh Rajabi Sahaaleh (1988 - August 15, 2004)

Dusk settled in as the sun prepared once again to dip below the horizon and provide a well-earned respite to the harried people of the small roadside town. People scuttled along to their respective homes, some carrying necessary groceries. Fine dust mingled with multiple streams of appetizing smells wafting from a plethora of incommodious cooking spaces giving the air a unique blend. Silence lay heavy over the scene inspite of a multitude of children playfully chiding each other in a peculiar game they were playing while skinny street dogs rummaged a nearby garbage dump. A faint drone could be caught by the ear if one was inclined to do so. Within five minutes, a medium-sized crane came to a rumbling stop at the town square. As if warned by their innate sixth sense, both the children and the dogs scampered off to their respective shelters. Night fell...

A few poultry cocks crowed as golden flagbearers began streaming the skies, warning the nocturnal of the impending sunrise. A mass of townsfolk spread out in the town square, surrounding the metal beast with a sea of silent cloaks. A speeding four-wheeler came to an abrupt halt halfway down the road. A young girl with a voluptuous body and a piercing gaze, followed by two sullen-faced women alighted and started towards the center of attraction. On seeing the popular local beauty, the young men started to cheer and clap. A few extravagant ones also started taking pictures. Disregarding their jibes, the girl reached the crane and climbed the rear platform. A brooding silence spread over the crowd in anticipation of a speech. She apologized to everyone for any harm she might have inflicted and thanked God for giving her a shot at life.

Finally the noose was slipped around her neck and the crane lifted her to heights higher than those achieved by anyone living....

Her crime- She was raped.

If you think this was bad, what happened in real life was much more unjust. The whole story is pieced together in a documentary- "Execution of a teenage girl".

Warning: The documentary below is 45 minutes long! Get the BBC story here.

My lost friend, found at last!

Hey guys,

Considering objectively, if possible, I claim myself to be a non-traditionist. And whenever there comes an option between classical and western stuff, I always find myself inclining towards the latter. Unfortunately for me, this kind of option rarely presents itself before me. Same was the case when I chose "Instrumental music" as my work experience subject back at school. All my guitar-wielding, head-banging dreams came to an abrupt crash when I was informed that the only option I had was between sitar and tabla.

"Fine!", I exclaimed and threw my hands up. And what began as a somewhat, well not forced, but rather accidental involvement rapidly grew into a fondness hard to put down in words. Now I am not a bad student of music, actually going by the feedback I would rate myself as above average, not much but above nonetheless. I participated in many school functions, instrumental competitions etc. and won many accolades. Actually I would put it down as a result of lack of competition as my strings never gave the same sounds as my ma'am's. I understand that I am raising the bar way over requirements but I really had no one else to compare with. In retrospection, I consider those two years as the most enjoyable learning experience I ever had.

Sigh! Now in college...though I think most people won't laugh at me, well at least not on my face, if I start wielding the instrument again, I don't think it to be possible. Even if I am able to take some time out of my already hectic schedule, I don't have anyone to teach me. I am also ignoring the possibility of being kicked out of my room by my roomie, speaking of whom I would like to acknowledge that it is because of him I sat down to scribble this write-up. He was listening to some, well music if you may say so, and there was this piece being played on a sitar. By coincidence, I entered the room as the piece was just starting and I swear, what I felt would give being received by my family a good run for its money. Felt like meeting a long lost friend unexpectedly in a village fair - with silence all around and just the two of us and nothing to disturb us. It was then and there I said to myself, this has to go down in my blog and so here it is.

Until next time.

Details about sitar in this wikipedia page.

A Decade Past...

Long days stretch ahead as I look out of the window and sigh at the merciful thoughts of continuous increments in these kind of days gone by. Apart from the deriliously hectic schedule set by the 'do all for the best' people at college, there is precious little left to be put into these days. No wonder in such an environment, even the darkest of all beacons seem to be like a merry blast of warm sunshine. One such craze spreading like bushfire among friends is one of the latest from the arsenal of EA Sports- Cricket 2007.

Now I used to play the game in the good ol' school days, my mom was really never happy about it. "Can you find anything more lethargic?" Her tirade was unending. Well either her iterations etched the words on my subconcious self, or now I really do see her point, the culmination being that I no longer count myself among the followers of the game, let alone being a fan! But as they say, once a lion, always a lion. When everyone around me started going ga-ga about the game, I decided to give it a shot myself.

The game though moderately enjoyable, seems to be riding upon the wave of despair created by the thunderous placement & training cell of our college. One can see that people have worked hard on it, yet you cannot help but notice some glaring fallouts from the 'turf, willow and leather' form of the game. And I would dare to say that these don't look very lucrative in a country driven to the levels of insanity over the issue.

After playing the game, I kinda drifted down a reverie of old thoughts. Meandering through these often familiar streets, I gasped when a realisation hit me. Before Cricket 2007, my last sojourn in this sector would have to be when we had bought our first desktop back home...Cricket 97. Oh my gosh! Ten real human years have actually past...hmm I guess I'll have to go to bed today with a headache and the memoirs I have just discovered to ponder upon.


PS.What I would like to know is what, if anything, the guys at EA sports are doing about the peculiarities their games have trademarked when being played on a laptop?


Cannibal taste buds!

The news that shocked the nation. Dubbed by the media as 'India's darkest crime ever', the inhuman act of abduction and murder of innocent and young bodies by the two accused has caught the nation unawares. The details remain blurry but what has surfaced is enough for people to proclaim "What kind of a vile creature would perform such a hineous act?" As skeletons after skeletons are being extracted from the slush in the backyard of the accused and the yet uncertain motivational hand swings from organ trade to sexual molestation to cannibalism, anger and disbelief is rife in the heart and minds of the common people. Details of this ghastly crime can be found here.

The media, meanwhile, is having a hay day with stories of past serial killers, dug from the deep archives of yesteryear's newspapers. One interesting piece I came across is the taste of human flesh as documented by a New York Times reporter William Buehler Seabrook, for purely research purposes:

"It was like good, fully developod veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was not like any other meat I have ever tasted....It was mild, good meat with no other sharply defined or characteristic taste such as for instance, goat, high game, and pork have. The steak was slightly tougher than prime veal, a little stringy, but not too tough or stringy to be agreeable edible."

mmm...sounds tasty, doesn't it?


I was reading the Times of India, when my eyes fell on an interesting article which was shouting out to me: "Put me up on your blog for Christ's sake!". I had no other option but to oblige and I do so with no regrets whatsoever.

"Gahlor Ghati (Gaya): Over four decades ago, a frail landless farmer got hold of a chisel and a hammer and decided to change the face of this village nestled in the rocky hills of Gaya. Dashrath Manjhi tore open a 300-feet high hill to create a one-km passage.

Manjhi knew it would be easier to move a mountain than an apathetic government. He knew writing to the powers-that-be would only leave the hill tied in red tape. Instead, Manjhi, then in his early 20s, took up a chisel and hammered at the rocks for 22 years.

This feat, part of local folklore now, stemmed from Manjhi's love for his wife. For, when she slipped off the rocks while getting food for him as he worked in a field beyond the hill and broke her ankle, it became a burning passion to tame the formidable hills that virtually cut his village off from civilisation....

....He shifted his hut close to the hill so he could work all day and night, chipping away, little by little. "I did not even bother to eat," he says.

With most of the cultivable lands and shops across the hill, villagers had to cross it many times a day, braving dangers.

It was after 10 years that people began to notice a change in the shape of the hill. Instead of a defiant rockface, the hill seemed to have a depression in the middle. Climbing it became a little easier. "All those who had called me mad began to quietly watch me work. Some even chipped in," he recollects.

In 1982, twenty-two years after he had started out, Manjhi walked through a clear flat passage - about 16-feet wide - to the other side of the hill...."

Literary review.

Hey people!
The past week was at home and was cleaning out my room when I came across a memorable piece of paper. I thought why not make a soft copy and so here I am.

Back in school I got a couple of months off after board exams. I was totally into reading back then(not that now am not), and thus kept a track of what I read that it is:

  1. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (Abridged)
  2. King Solomon's mines - Sir Rider Haggard (Abridged)
  3. Treasure Island - Robert Lewis Stevenson (Unabridged)
  4. Silas Marner - George Elliot (Unabridged)
  5. The memoirs of Sherlock Homes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Collection)
  6. Twenty thousand leagues under the sea - Jules Verne (Unabridged)
  7. Frankestien or The Modern Prometheus - Mary Shelley (Unabridged)
  8. The first men in the moon - H.G. Wells (Unabridged)
  9. The hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Abridged)
  10. The Time Machine - Herbert George Wells (Unabridged)
  11. The Professor - Charlotte Bronte (Unabridged)
  12. Night of the Leopard - Ruskin Bond (Abridged)
  13. The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells (Unabridged)
  14. Dracula - Bram Stoker (Unabridged)

More posts coming soon!