Friday, December 17, 2010

The Prompt Thank You!

This post dedicated to Maadhyam 2011. The daddy of all media fests scheduled to take place towards the end of Jan! Which happens to be quite the rage on the worldwide web.!/Maadhyam.2011 is the Facebook page. You can start following, if you aren't already.

So why the sudden burst of public affection for Maadhyam?

Well, because the Maadhyam Facebook page has featured Neilgiri as the 'Blog of the Day'.

And I just re-realized that while other bloggers may have lots of followers, multimedia promotional strategies, continuous net access courtesy Blackberry and a very high readership, mere pass MAA-DHYAM hai!

As the school boy within me (with French as the 4th language) would have said : Cliched, mais vrais.

Thanks a tonne, Maadhyam!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Belated Thank You

"It's about sex, love, relationships, careers, a time in your life when everything's possible. And it's about friendship because when you're single and in the city, your friends are your family."
— The original treatment used to pitch FRIENDS to NBC.

When the laughter has died down,
The applause has ceased,
And times have become a little harsh,

There still remain a few people.

And they do the most random things.
Like actually throwing a ‘surprise’ party for you just because your birthday fell in the vacations,
Making sure that you make them laugh, however bad things may be, 
And they make the most lame people write such senti stuff.

So that when you return back to form,
you always know where you belong.

Friendship. Damn weird I tell you......! 

Thanks guys.

(well, better late than never!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Look Who's Back!

The last post on Neilgiri was made on 4th of August this year (i.e. 3 months ago). And than I disappeared. Or rather, I got whisked away by the roller coaster ride called Sem III. It was more demanding than anything I have done before. And as Sem III hurtles towards it's end, here is the comeback.

Shhh! Its not loud like the arrival. No guns blazing, no trumpets flairing and no bold proclamations from the jaws of the future.
Its a quiet re-entry to a stage that has seen a few changes since I was here last. For one, Abstract Confusion is gone. (The Weird Child has graduated to bigger things now). Rajnikant happened. (Or rather, happen Rajnikanted). Maadhyam 2011 is out and rolling. And the cool new 'Stats' feature makes it very easy to monitor the progress of your own blog. 

And yes, I moved on. Or rather, moved up.

Thank God Neilgiri did not!

Here is to a round 3 full of new ideas, rookie advertising and sensible nonsense.

Welcome back to me.  :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Last Saturday evening I was sitting at Vohuman Cafe near Jehangir Hospital. And wondering. Wondering about why the hell were the walls plastered with posters of infants, babies , little children and similar recent additions to the human race. And about why there was a dog roaming inside the cafe. And about how it was so cramped inside. And also, how the waiter possessed the most important quality of a Pune waiter. The ability to avert your eyes whenever you needed him the most.

Then the cheese omelette, butter toast, jam toast, tea and bournvita arrived on the table.

And such trivialities ceased to matter.

This post dedicated to Vohuman Cafe for making a boring evening memorable. In conclusion, I would just like to say one thing :

There are four types of people in the world :
ACP Pradyuman,
And those who have indulged at Vohuman.

p.s. - Those of you who have had the tragic privilege of my personal acquaintance over a long period would know that this type of stuff is more or less the real, authentic form of Neilgiri. Probably the 1st time I have used it on the blog. Maybe I should use it more often....... ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Next Train

Homework is homework, fun is fun. Fortunate are those for whom homework is fun!
A short story I wrote for a college assignment. I know I could have elaborated it further, but I just didnt feel like touching the original thing I wrote.

The evening rush hour was always the busiest time of the day in the city. And if you were at the Dadar railway station at this time, you felt this the most. A sea of humanity making its way back home after a day of hard work. A train would arrive on the station every minute but the sea would just keep on rising.

Raahul Khan stood on the bridge and drew a deep breath as he looked down at the crowd. For the past nine years, he had shared a mutual love-hate relationship with this crowd. He cherished the way he could easily melt into it and be one with it. On the other hand, he hated it for its relentless speed and perpetual hurry. They could be a little more considerate to the next king of Bollywood, he felt. Ever since he had come to Mumbai, his resolve to become a famous actor had just become stronger.

Suddenly, he was jolted out of his reverie by a lot of commotion on platform number 2. A train was just pulling into the station. The train he was supposed to board. With a lurch, he realised that he should have had been on the platform by now. He broke into a frantic run as he pushed the surging masses around him. With practised precision, he navigated past fellow commuters, hawkers, porters and a few stray dogs. A feeling of triumph was rising inside him as he neared the platform, when he bumped head on into a man with an elegant uniform of a black jacket and a shiny badge. The ticket examiner.

“Ticket please.” commanded the TE. He had roamed these platforms for over 15 years now. One look at the startled face of Raahul Khan had told him that he did not have a ticket. Raahul helplessly groped about his pockets and mumbled something about having misplaced it. For the next 4 minutes, Raahul felt about as small as could possibly feel. The TE roared at him about how the youth lacked any sense today and about how people like him were destroying the city. Then he asked Raahul if he was going to pay Rs.500 with a receipt or Rs.300 without one. Ultimately, he managed to pay hundred rupees and get off. And to worsen his misery, his train had rolled out of the station by then.

Raahul was a broken man as he walked away. He hadn’t felt so bad since Sanjeev Dastani had refused to even audition him for the friend’s part in his upcoming movie. Now, not only had he missed his train, he had also lost the money that he had saved up to get a designer haircut. He was suddenly very sick of the city. He hated it.

As he was walking past platform number 4 on his way out of the station, he suddenly sensed a lot of commotion. There was the familiar warning blare of a horn from behind. That thundering of the wheels that he knew so well now. He blinked and looked up at the indicator even as he was carried ahead by the masses. A train was pulling into the station. A train that would take him to his home in the city.

He gave a wry smile. That was the best part of the city. Even if you missed your train, another one would always come along. You just needed the willingness to struggle past the crowds onto it and the luck to be on the correct platform at the correct time.

Maybe it was always worth one more shot.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Something Pure

Sachin Tendulkar. What can be said that hasnt been said before? Answer : Nothing much. So then, here is a collection of the best that has been said so far about the man who bears the weight of Indian expectations on his shoulders. Not by the ‘experts’ or the ‘analysts’. But the people. Sachin’s people, fans. A collection of one-liners from stadium placards, posters, banners, streamers, chants from India and beyond and public forums on the net speaking about their beloved God.

“ Sachin is God.”

“ Sachin, I grew up watching you.”

“Sachin Tendulkar : Reducing the number of atheists since 20 years.”

“ Commit all your sins while Sachin plays. Even the Gods are busy watching.”

“Cricket my religion, Sachin my God.”

“ When I die, I think I’ll have God. Till then, I know I have Sachin.”

“ The Pope may be German, but God is Indian. “

“ The model role model.”

“ His Royal Highness, the Emperor of India and the resident God of Mumbai, Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.”

In 2011, Sachin will play in the ODI world cup. He will play for India, for his team, for himself but mostly for that one final shot at the pinnacle of cricketing achievement. All the very best Sachin , the final frontier beckons!

But then irrespective of that result, Sachin will still remain the favourite for millions. Because with him, you can detach all the meaning attached to the game. His game invariably carries him into that realm where you can do away with the situation, the score, the result, the setting and everything else and all you will be left with is a man wielding a piece of wood in his hand. Dispatching a shiny leather ball to all parts of the park with the atmost grace and poise. A master at his art.

photo edit : Malvika Asher.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Down the River

Floating down the river,

He can hear the knell of that distant waterfall.

Yet he is calm. Almost serene.

People are shouting at him from the shores. Pleading him to stop.
Pull over while he can. While there is time.

But he knows that he cant.

What do they know of the thrill?
Of the joy of floating down that river.

Of the journey to that magical land far, far away
from where he can scorn at the hypocrisy of the world beneath.

All they care about is the fall at the end.

They will all have to go down it anyways.

Meanwhile, the current becomes stronger
and he hurtles ahead quicker than ever.

But he couldn’t care less.

His magical world awaits.

There is war, there is terror, there are earthquakes and then there is teenage smoking. But as the big boss once said, you can wake up somebody who is sleeping. How the hell do you wake up someone who is pretending to sleep?

Concept and Design : Malvika Asher
Photography : Aditya Akash

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Five Days

Two root canals but no time for pain

A chance to get wet but no time to dance in the rain.

One movie but barely any time for more recreation

A feature to write but no time for inspiration.

A re-union where we watched memories win

A report to prepare but no inclination to begin.

Two dinner parties but no mood for ice creams

Just a brief moment in the middle of all that madness

to once again fall in love with the city of dreams.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Neilgiri v/s Procrastination : The Score

Neilgiri : 1


Procrastination : 1

Saturday, May 22, 2010

No. 19

There are all those years when you throw a party for them.
There are those years when they surprise you with a party.
There are the years when you take them out for the evening.
Sometimes, there is also the big fat family dinner year.
Maybe also a lets-get-drunk year.
The birthday cake, bumps, gifts and songs are always there.
Ofcourse God bless the phone calls and the hugs.

And then, there is that one year where you wake up at 5 am in the middle of nowhere. All alone. No cell phone network either. You got out for a walk to a nearby bird sanctuary. See and hear more birds than you ever thought existed. Sit there for an hour on a bench next to a lake. Think. Watch the sun rise. Watch the lake. Since there are no disturbances or distractions around, the lake does something wonderful. It helps you see yourself quite clearly. Just the way you are.
Then, back to a normal working day.
At the end of the day, something brings you back to the lake. You are there once again. Watching the sun set. Joining the lake as it reflects.

As the last traces of light begin to disappear, you walk back. And it is only then that you realise what a good decision it was to have walked all the way and enjoyed the journey as you did so. That how much ever uncertain, unsure you may have been you always kept walking and finaly reached the lake.

Because as a wiseguy once said, “You cant leave your footprints behind in the sands of time by sitting on your butt. And, lets face it, why the hell would anyone want to leave their buttprints in the sands of time.”

Happy 19th to me!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Behold the keepers of the nation’s conscience,
Behold the creators of the nation’s opinions!

We make them ‘aware’ of their choices
We keep them ‘informed’ 24 hours a day.

The fourth pillar of democracy they call us.


When will they ever learn?

p.s : It is said that, in a free country people get as good a Government as they deserve. I wonder if the same can be said about the Media.

(A photo I found on the net. Absolutely genuine. The Breaking News ticker at the bottom reads : “Amitabh Bachchan catches a cold”. We have a long way to go, fellow media trainees.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A story in 10 pictures

A story. Told in 10 pictures only. See if you get it :


model (or should it be actress?) : Sreyashi Dey ( an 'extremly' accomplished theatre peronality criticaly acclaimed for her brilliant portrayal of Ms. Gayatri Prakash). ;) :P Thanks a lot Bongo! :D

Monday, May 3, 2010

Redrawing History

The brief :
From the bank of 50 pics, select 5 that depict a story. Write a 100 words narative explaining the story.

the outcome :

Maharaja Harisingh was a troubled man.

For some days, he had been discovering pieces of paper with queer designs in his garden. He simply could not decipher anything from them.

He sent these to the wisest men in the kingdom asking for an explanation. A philosopher arrived in the royal court with an answer. He said that the dark, angry looking figures could mean only thing. This was a warning from the Gods to the Maharaja to run away from his kingdom as the people were plotting to kill him for being most apathetic. That night he fled away, never to return.

With the inefficient ruler gone, people decided to keep electing people from amongst themselves to run the state. This system worked and after a long time, the farmers had a bumper harvest.

One day, it was found that it was the royal gardener’s son, Demo who had drawn the designs that had scared away the Maharaja. Thus, they decided to name their new system after his drawings : Demo-crazy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thodisi Safety Ho Jaye 2

About the children, the stork and the ostrich.
Thanks to the media, sex is everywhere. Sooner than ever before, your children are going to find out. Make sure that they do so from the right source, you. Their parents. Just iniate a conversation. Satisfy their curiosity. Because half knowledge can be more dangerous than we realise.

Part of the same series as the earlier one. This one is geared towards parents of teens and "tweens".

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thodisi Safety Ho Jaaye 1

There are somethings that a photo of a teenage pair should not have. A kid is one of them. Use a rubber, erase it out of the frame. Use a rubber, ensure that a kid does not enter your life before you are ready.

We made this for an Ad Club activity in college for which the brief was to make a campaign to "encourage sexualy active teens to use protection".

Personaly, I believe that abstinance is the only 100% safe solution.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overheard @ SIMC

(based on the first thing I ever wrote for a blog. It was written a few months back for the batch blog, This is the revised version of the same.)
This is a tribute to all the legendary one-liners that we have heard in college so far. Some find place here for sheer quantity while the others are here because of their outstanding quality. However, please note that this is a list of the quotations that have been overheard by the authour which he finds funny or interesting. You may/may not connect with all of them. As it is, the author is renowned for his utter lameness and remarkably horrifying taste. Thus you are encouraged to come up with your own choices as well. Lastly, no offence intended to anyone at all in this whole concept. It is an um, ah... a labour of love.

“Because I am a sadist.” -ProfASer
“You will count the exact number of shots in this feature film. Not one more and not one less. And if you do so, you get a prize. You will get to survive.” -ProfASer
“You are 240 seconds late.” - Radi-yo!
“You tell me.” -PyaR
“The countdown begins” -PyaR
“There is greenery in India because Ashoka planted trees on both sides of the road. This is an example of ancient PR” -still PyaR
“OK.” -BCA
“OK” -still BCA
“OK” -BCA forever!
“I have no more stories to tell.” (yeah right!) -Mohan Sir
“With a modern context of reference logic, yeh mera dhanda hai! Aana hai to taiyyar hokar aao, nahi toh, bhad mein jao.” - Samar Slam

“Im a small town boy.” -Vishal Menda
“I come from a place near Chandigarh.” -Akanksha Arya (to the big boss sitting on the podium. Who replied by asking,”Doesnt it have a name?”)
“Basicaly, my life only has shades of grey.” – Adi “Lightroom” Akash
“Shit happens, dude. Its Pune mannn!” – (Controversial, who said that. But someone famously said that.)
“The lift was not working. I had to take the stairs. That is why im late. Please let me in just this one time!” – Any latecomer.
“My flight landed behind schedule. That is why im late. Please let me in just this one time!” – Koshtub Vohra
“The SIMC computers show a wrong time and run behind the actual time. That is why im late. Please let me in just this one time!” – Koshtub Vohra
“I had to go to the office regarding some work. That is why im late. Please let me in just this one time!” - No wonder he reached Harvard MUN.
“Uffff! You are so cheap!! GO DIE!! “ -Sreyashi Dey
“ Jaldi karo, jaldi karo!! Fast, fast!” – Everbody in the photo studio
“She is one of the most good looking girls in SIMC.” -Krishanu Jha (an ardent devotee of the Goddess Lakshmi)
“Mera aur uska kuch hone wala hai. :) ” - Go Krish!
“Mera aur uska kuch nahi hone wala hai. :( “ -Oh Krish!
“Im sorrdy if this sounds wrong, but.............” - Angi “the cool dude“ Chaudhary
“Set your priorities straight!” -Purnima
“You guyss! Listen up! “ -Trisha S.
“Ei, what re? ” - Malvika Asher.
“Felt like making a status update. On Facebook to be specific.” - Samyak, the most dedicated media trainee.
“Lets go to Faaso’s” -All smokers.
“Lets go to Camelot.” - Everyone who has graduted beyond that.
“Raaajeeev yaaaar! Dont play DOTA yaar!!” -Radhika G.
“ Net pe jaakar Liverpool ke baare mein padhiyo aur phir boliyo, ki Liverpool kya cheej hai, samjha ? ” - Madjurjya “YNWA” Saikia
“Sir, facebook kyun nahin khul raha hai??” - Standard Comp Lab querry
“Sir, please see my truck.” - Standard photoshop pracs request
“Its a PR stratergy.” - Yours truly.
“All hail the pussy stalker” - 402 K Productions Pvt Ltd.
“Wot yaar! No re!!! I DONT talk like that yaar.” -Neha P.
“Bravo! Bravo! Well done!” –Nandan
“I wont be judgemental. I wont bitch. I will clear out issues with the person involved rather than making a big matter out of it. I will make my parents proud” - The Panchgani Effect.
“Bhopu, Bhopu! Bhopu Bajega! Bhopu bajne wala hai! Bhopu baj raha hai! Bhopu ka baj gaya. ” - Team Dionysia
“Odh ke laal chunariya. Hai! .........” - Batch 2011

and my personal favourite :

“SIMC boys are such a dissapointment.” - (Most) SIMC girls till they get SIMC boyfriends.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Get Well Soon

For the chocolate and the cheese,

For the croissants and the salads,

For the Irish tea and the black coffee,

For the exotic patrons and the eclectic ambience,

For the red robes and the casual footwear,

For the fragrant aromas and the cheerful sounds,

and above all,

For all those brilliant memories and that service with an eternal smile,


- From a fan, admirer and well-wisher who comes from a city that has felt your pain on several earlier occasions. However, it bounces back. Each and every time. And continues running in the quest of her dreams as if there is no tomorrow. Hope you do the same! Because this simple act of standing up again and spreading a little more light and happiness in the world can speak a far more powerful language than all the Kalashnikovs and Falcons put together.

photo courtesy : Madhurjya Saikia

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to the Future

“Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you so much! It is a privilege to be here and receive this award. Thank you for all the love and support over the years everyone. It has indeed been overwhelming. I pray to God that I have the ability to keep you awesome people engaged, occupied and content with my stuff for a long time to come.
Today, even as I stand here and acknowledge all of you, I am reminded of the days when I decided to start the blog which has brought me to the venerated podium here. This very blog. Like every other enthusiastic media trainee around me back then, I too nurtured ambitions of a blog that would be widely visited and appreciated. And just like all of them, I too laid down certain rules and guidelines for me to follow. I still remember some of them :
· Keep it as short as possible.
· Avoid spreading more negativity and darkness.
· Remember that the world around could probably do with a little more wit and cheekiness.
· It could definitely do with some more humour. J
· But then, move beyond humour as well.
· Try and use images also. Not just words.
· Connect, collaborate, converge. J
· Update regularly.
Phew! So, something that would be smart and cheeky. (Wannabe) Matured but probably not dark. Downright thoughtful but randomly hilarious. About college life and also about the world beyond those semi-secure walls. A flair of Mumbai and a streak of Pune. A whiff of Ruia and a sniff of SIMC. A tinge of Santoor and a hint of DSRV. A lot of creativity and a bit of advertising along with a pint of the copywriter’s special. Not to mention a fruitful alliance with the creative designer. A lot of sensible nonsense for sure.
Well, that sounded like the perfect recipe for disaster. No way was it going to work! So ofcourse it worked. And worked very well at that.
Anyways, I have tried to stick to those rules as far as possible. And at the same time innovate. Over time, this list has evolved, changed and helped the blog bloom and triumph over my unending procrastination. Atleast that’s what I would like to believe.
And finaly, things must come to a full circle and so, I conclude on the same note that I began. I thank you. Family or friend. Acquaintance or stranger. For inspiring me. For visiting the blog. For reading this. For laughing at my jokes, however lame they may be. For having high expectations. For giving excellent suggestions. For cheering along whenever I do something good. For standing by my side when things are not so good. And for being there I thank you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Now having offloaded that off my chest and completed the formalities, let the blogging begin! Let Neilgiri begin!!