Friday, August 30, 2013

Oxymoronic home truths

Even though calling yourself a Hindu nationalist might inspire awe, it's nothing more than a collaboration of two completely out-of-place powerful words. Indian nationalist makes real sense. First of all, the term Hindu has more to do with geographical identity than religious. Thanks to whatever has happened to our great civilization over the past 2000 years, this distinction has sadly blurred to the point that politicians are making hay while Sanatana doesn't shine. It's a clear case of myopic ignorance. People would probably disagree with this as they don't like to see beyond what's visible. Regardless, who liked geography in school anyway? Or for that argument, history? Going back to the aforementioned magical words, if a person is a Hindu (which anybody who feels s/he's part of this ageless land is), he doesn't have to be nationalist. It's a given. On the contrary, Indian nationalist is more specific. It subscribes to the colonial truths and the lengthy embarrassments that piled one over the other. What's also evident is its adherence to the current political border. The term 'Hindu' doesn't give a damn about LOC. It could pertain to those who call themselves Pakistani today because they are unwittingly a cog in the Ferris Wheel of Islam or a smaller guinea pig in Jinnah's Lab. Besides, who knows for sure how far the so-called Hinduism initially spread? The truth is actually a bit complicated. The great souls who could come up with something as gorgeous as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam are dead and gone. And their wise language is dying a painful death too. Small wonder why a majority of the current lot get goosebumps when they hear their pseudo-saviour utter two words that aren't meant to be a couple.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Over and above

In case if you haven't noticed yet, monsoon is abandoning us. The seasonal love affair is gradually coming to an end. It can't help but move on to wetter pastures leaving us baking under the sun. For some reason, umbrella personifies this connection between the sky and lesser mortals. Of course, sunlight and celestial dust touch us too but rain ki baat hi kuch aur hai. You know exactly when it hits you except when you're busy under Rihanna's umbrella. Moreover, we don't come across a lot of people who use it to avoid sunshine or heavenly powder. The poor thing not only protects us but also teaches a few lessons in life—provided you're paying heed. The beauty about this humble non-living creature is it has learnt to forgive the weather. An umbrella acknowledges the universal truth that there ain't no point in arguing with the clouds. Or the mighty sun. When it's open and wide, it's either keeping you dry or drying itself from the warmth outside. Of course, when the wind is harsh, all its philosophies go for a toss, including itself. Every once in a while, it loses itself too and the blame falls on you. But then, it's not monsoon unless you lost an umbrella or two...before it bids us goodbye!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why doesn't Leo turn into a chameleon?

He's indubitably one of the finest actors in recorded history. And he has bedded so many supermodels that he must be knowing Victoria's secret. His playboy image notwithstanding, he brings to his craft a touch of unforeseen dedication. But Leonardo DiCaprio is rarely seen in heavy makeup. Or crazy costumes. Or for that matter, a makeover. He finally managed to break his onscreen good-guy image with a racist act in Django Unchained last year. Oh yes, he put on an accent in Blood Diamond and bulked up for J. Edgar although the awards didn't roll in. Speaking of which, his second film What's Eating Gilbert Grape earned him an Oscar nod. For the record, he played a mentally challenged boy in it with such panache that the drool-worthy Jack Dawson had to redeem him four years later. Of course his career literally launched into new heights post-Titanic with dismissible bumps in the middle. The new millennium saw him collaborate with bigwigs like Scorsese, Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Clint Eastwood, Nolan, Luhrmann and Tarantino. He's doing great but wouldn't it be greater to don on a mask for a change or build six-packs or something? Johnny Depp has been so much into character that you may not even remember the last time you saw his face in a film. Similarly, it's impossible to separate Wolverine from Hugh Jackman. Brad Pitt went a step ahead and wore a skirt in Troy. When was the last time Leo did something crazy or wasn't similar to how he looked like in his previous film? He'll be turning 40 in a couple of months and has already starred in 24 full-length movies. The Wolf of Wall Street will be 25th. Does he look different in the trailer?

Monday, August 26, 2013

A wrong of change

Last year, just before 2012 was coming to an end, something happened in New Delhi that shook us. Last week, an incident of a similar nature took place in a city that isn't the official Rape Capital of India. The guys who orchestrated that heinous crime in the North were majorly Hindus while those repeating the same in the West were mostly Muslims. What it tells is violation of a woman happens irrespective of region and religion. It doesn't even matter whether they are literate or not even though it's worth nothing that none of our educated friends are rapists even if they are bona fide chauvinists. 
Is this true in your case too?
However, there's something much more complicated at work than what meets the eye. Rape is not the only act meriting an unambiguous scorn. Making the most of a crowded public place—be it molesting or eve-teasing—is equally contemptible. Secondly, there needs not be any distinction between a member of a gang-rape squad and a pack of wolves as both attack with an intention to destroy. At least the latter don't blame anything on inebriation or propaganda. As a human society, we can step back and ask why such horrible non-events take place. 
And why always men?
Is it because we usually think with our genitals? If so, why aren't all men violators? Or are they? Maybe they are but are just too smart to get caught. Hmmm. We'll never have a clue for sure. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the day before a guy decided to turn shameless in order to execute an act that he wouldn't like his sister to be part of, he was just another guy who hadn't committed that act at all. The point being you never know how you'll behave next. Uncertainty sucks. The circumstances that drive one towards a dark abyss might very well reveal some psychological clues. 
But that's not it. 
During the Year Mayans Predicted The World Will End, around 25,000 of our womenfolk were raped. This year won't be very different given the higher rate of reporting injustice which is a healthy as well as a sad sign. The figures aren't going down though. On the other hand, the number of AIDS patients are decreasing in such a manner that pharmaceutical companies producing antiretroviral are filing losses! But then, rape is incurable. No amount of penance can rid the perpetrator of his unspeakable crimes and nobody can possibly bring normalcy back to the victim.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Not always

Sometimes not knowing much helps. Sometimes seeing is belying. Sometimes even life can't prepare you for death. Sometimes the rain stops in the middle but your tears don't. [Related: Crying in the rain is a risky business!] Sometimes our mood is so blue that Coldplay's Yellow can't fix us. Sometimes we express words and sometimes, words express us. Sometimes beauty kills us and at times, it does worse. Sometimes strong sentences don't make as much of an impact as broken jaws. Sometimes you breathe because you've got nothing better to do. Sometimes your face feels like it has been punched by the mirror. Sometimes all you want to do is use your superpowers to log off. Sometimes you don't know why you're happy. [Warning: People often find themselves getting married during such uncertain moments.] Sometimes conversation is the last resort to silence. Sometimes your true calling turns out to be a false alarm. Sometimes the least one can do for others is not exist. Sometimes you star others' tweets just to annoy them. Sometimes even emoticons fail us. Sometimes we act exactly the way we are—and are duly surprised! Sometimes i feel emptier than my bank account. Sometimes music ends up touching all the inappropriate parts in an appropriate manner. Sometimes the darkest hour takes place in broad daylight. Sometimes you need chaos to remind yourself that you're alive and kicking. Sometimes the questions are wrong and answers, right. Sometimes even the superheroes don't come to our rescue. Sometimes you feel older than death. Sometimes we're too selfish to understand love. [Corollary: Sometimes that's how it should be.] Sometimes opportunity loses direction and knocks on your window. Sometimes forever lasts a bit too long. Sometimes you don't know what you're trying to do until it's done. Sometimes people talk to you because they want to hear their own voice. Sometimes you have to destroy yourself to know who you really are. Sometimes our mere existence is a euphemism for getting a joke right. Sometimes even death falls shot of curing fame. Sometimes you feel trapped like that fart inside an overcrowded compartment of a local train. Sometimes your youth outlives you. Sometimes you do your friend a favour and he doesn't forgive you for that. Sometimes she stares at him and witnesses herself fading away. Sometimes "How are you dying?" evokes a more honest response than "How are you doing?". Sometimes life cycle gets punctured by career. Sometimes you're merely few people away from getting a headache. Sometimes giving up requires courage too. Sometimes cussing works wonders while prayers don't. Sometimes things are right in front of you but you don’t see them. [Addendum: Precisely when an eye checkup comes handy.] Sometimes you're so hormonally fucked up that even Kolaveri Di or Gangnam Style makes you weep. Sometimes you need that someone to wake you up from your hopeless dreams. Sometimes you just want others to tell you "It's alright" when you yourself know that it isn't. Sometimes all you need is Rajinikanth to pat your back and say "Don't worry". Sometimes we ask questions only to receive more questions in return. Sometimes joking is injurious to ego. Sometimes your entire body feels like that fingertip on which a butterfly just landed. Sometimes we feel like that finger that has just gotten out of the nose. Sometimes the night feels like talking to morning but then realizes that the latter doesn't deserve such cruelty. Sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night to make sure i ain't dead yet. Sometimes we've got to heel ourselves. Sometimes your inner voice is accented too. Sometimes you wonder why you waste your time on something as trivial as virtual world. [Rebuttal: But then it's almost impossible in today's age to win a widespread audience in the real world.] Sometimes i wish i was a shepherd who earned at least as much as i'm currently doing. Sometimes our luck can't help being a kleptomaniac. Sometimes your plans resemble an e-mail typed with buttocks. Sometimes all you need is a voice to tell you how messed up you really are. Sometimes our soul sounds like it's taking a dump. Sometimes enough is almost enough. Sometimes she acts like a guitar with messed up chords. Sometimes a song doesn't like you. Sometimes you feel as clueless as that toothbrush lying on the dining table. Sometimes your office appears a lot like home but with more egoistic characters. Sometimes sentiments are available in subsidized format. Sometimes all you need to do to make the world a better place is sleep on time. Sometimes it takes more than a lifetime to find that place called home. Sometimes silence is the biggest lie ever told. Sometimes even an elevator lets you down. Sometimes your past dances like crazy in front of you leaving you wonder - "What the fuck is this all about?" Sometimes we are what we are—nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes she misses his incompetence. Sometimes it appears like our whole existence is staged. Sometimes fate makes you feel like an unpaid whore...and then you get used to it. Sometimes all you want to do is nothing and still you're unable to do it. Sometimes i wish i was bored like you instead of busy like me. Sometimes starting sentences with 'Sometimes' doesn't help the case.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quote unquote

"Hi. This is Shakti Shetty calling from Midday.


"Shakti from Midday."

"I thought you were female. Shakti sounds like a girl's name."

"Sorry to disappoint you, sir, but do you have 5 minutes?"


"Do you think Bollywood is a surname-driven industry?"


Wednesday, August 21, 2013


First truth first. The economy isn't in doldrums. We are. With India's growth rate and inflation both hovering around 5.5%, Rupee becoming the newest world diving champion isn't astonishing. I saw it coming. I even tweeted about it more than two years ago. [Related: That's the Raghuram Rajan in me talking!] Not that anybody cares, my expertise in the field of economics is limited to my pocket. But i know for sure what suffers the most when things aren't running hunky-dory. Smile. People fall victims to amnesia that keeps them from letting that shade of light enter their eyes or brighten their faces. Inflation of emotions ain't a good sign for the economics of reality. Thus Great Depression takes place. As a result, laughter becomes a rare commodity. The fact is that economy is too wide to be understood by commoners. When an economist asks us to do the math, we don't. We'd rather count the number of zeroes in Gareth Bale's estimated value in the transfer window. Words like liquidity, depreciation, fiscal deficit and ilk require degrees to grasp. But given the significance they have in the current scenario, it's a pity that kids don't aspire to be economists. Although the subject deals with natural elements that have hardly anything to do with humans—or their so-called money—and their intelligence, it's pretty hypnotic. Furthermore, it ain't cute to have an opinion about FDI when you can hardly understand the mechanics of market. It's way so complex that a phrase here and an idiom there won't help. Speaking of which, life has stopped handing out free lemons and freer jokes. Blame it on economic uncertainties. Dismal is in the air and growth is far from taking root. In fact, the only growth i've personally witnessed were in my pompous one-liners, corny blog-posts, expectations, movie downloads, Internet bills and beard.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One man, two insights

One man's hunger is another man's food for thought. One man's meat is another man's proverb. One man's "Oops!" is another man's "You're fired". One man's mistakes are another man's wisdom. One man's Saturday is another man's Friday. One man's Monday is, well, another man's Monday. One man's courage is another man's outrage. One man's anger is another man's nirvana. One man's tweet is another man's uncredited quote. One man's onion is another man's opinion. One man's salary is another man's joke. One man's dream is another man's nightmare. One man's wife is another man's password. One man's truth is another woman's rumour. One man's food is another man's thought of hunger. One man's :( is another man's :P!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Small joys in life

Feeding sparrows with your hand.
Receiving a hand-written letter.  
Getting off safely at Kurla station.
Finding a girl who's fluent in expletives. 
Strong memory.
Kori Rotti.
Father taking pride in your work although he doesn't understand a sentence. 
Bitching and wailing in self-pity.
Being punctual.
Gifting a book to an online friend with a personal note because you can't wait till you write your own.
Witnessing an argument when you know both parties are wrong.
Train fights.
Grandma's nonsensical stories that still make sense.
Cool breeze running through your hair even though you aren't heading to Hotel California.
Independent artistes not giving up. 
Working hard. And then some more.
European leagues to spend weekends on and then spend the following weekdays pretending to be football pundit.
Scratching yourself or picking nose without societal scrutiny to worry about.
Finding a window seat. 
Having a really good topic to write on.
Kids walking like penguins to school.
Choosing to stand in a queue that eventually moves faster than the one on its side. 
Making mother laugh with your jokes.
Making your designate-girlfriend cry with your tales.
World cinema.
Natalie Portman on desktop. 
Early monsoon followed by early winter followed by late summer. 
Mowgli's and Calvin's relative immortality. 
Attending the ceaseless marriage of music and lyrics in Bollywood. 
Salary, no matter how pitiful it is. 
Brilliant ideas only to get wasted in a tweet.  
The acknowledgement of your perfect flaws. 
Free hugs.
More than enough sleep.
Leaving your past behind...for a few moments.
My pals in Pakistan whom i haven't met yet. 
Friendship that shall last longer than forever.
Enmity that doesn't bother you anymore. 
Touchscreen letting you type exactly what you want to.
The belief that everything's going to be OK when you wake up.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A few good omen

A little bit of respect never harmed anyone but why take a chance, right? Exactly. However, there are exceptions who somehow stand out and deserve respect. Below are a few of them.
  1. Those who practise the lost art of listening attentively.
  2. Pious women clad in burqa against this godless weather.
  3. Dino Morea and Kunal Kapoor enrolled in acting classes. 
  4. Illiterate parents who are working real hard to make sure their children get educated.
  5. Every single strand of grey on your head because you've literally earned each one of them.
  6. Hashim Amla's beard.
  7. Yogeshwar Dutt's swollen eye at London Olympics.
  8. Parents armed with wailing infants at public spots. 
  9. Whoever created this poetic world without a muse. 
  10. Anurag Kashyap, because he makes movies that need to be made, irrespective of the box-office.
  11. In times like Uttarkhand floods, Indian Army.
  12. Visually-challenged folks calmly making their way through overcrowded railway platforms in Mumbai.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A questionnaire of ignorance

Ever felt like conquering Monday on a Sunday night? Remember that era when common sense prevailed? Have you ever been killed by excessive happiness? Been totally at peace with yourself? You know what's interesting? Remember that era when we weren't wary of falling asleep? Ever been at the center of a groundbreaking event? Can you recall those days when Saturday evening stood for freedom? Ever considered the possibility that someone else could be right too other than you? Remember the New Year Resolutions we made back in January? Are you aware of anybody who has named their kid Barfi yet? Any idea what happens to people like us? Remember the good old days when values really meant something? Have you ever felt like doing what you were born for? Can you recollect that era when we had better things to do? Heard of that monk who pawned his Lamborghini? Ever feel like you're experiencing a life-altering moment? Remember those days we used to have a low-maintenance life? Heard of those tweeps who knew exactly what they were doing online? Know how difficult it is to build a reputation? Reminisce the last time somebody called you a fucking genius? Remember anyone informing you “Jaise bhi ho, acche ho” lately? Remember the last time you offended yourself instead of others? Ever considered the possibility that you could be right too? Remember those weekdays we had real fun? Forget Bolt and Blake, care to learn who's the world's fastest Indian? Who are you?

Me neither. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mere coincidences?

  • It's no mere coincidence almost everybody feels that they are somehow treated unfairly by others.
  • It's no mere coincidence that everybody cheats but only YOU get caught.
  • It's no mere coincidence that Carlos Slim is 73 and is worth $73 billion. 
  • It's no mere coincidence that your trolls are precisely those whom you haven't followed back yet. 
  • It's no mere coincidence that the crazies usually make all the difference.
  • It's no mere coincidence that the expression 'take it from me' is mostly used by some of the worst misers. 
  • It's no mere coincidence that finding goodness in a person ain't as easy as pointing out flaws.
  • It's no mere coincidence that the ones having a problem with Twitter contests don't win anything anyway.
  • It's no mere coincidence that we seldom bother to remember those who made us laugh. 
  • It's no mere coincidence that words of wisdom always sound better when they are flowing out of YOUR mouth.
  • It's no mere coincidence that glutton already comprise of the word ton.
  • It's no mere coincidence that all the unrated folks find their rated counterparts overrated.
  • It's no mere coincidence that the people we like are generally very similar to us.
  • It's no mere coincidence that all of us are alive at this very precise moment.
  • It's no mere coincidence that a lot of us abide by the temporal property of two things happening at the same time.
  • It's no mere coincidence that drink and think rhyme.
  • It's no mere coincidence that the term 'committed' is often followed by 'suicide'.
  • It's no mere coincidence that hindu is an anagram of hundi.
  • It's no coincidence that both facebook and facepalm has the word face in it. 
  • It's no mere coincidence that ‘enjoy' and 'office' don’t complement each other in the same sentence
  • It's no mere coincidence that although i've got nothing new to say, you're still reading.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Whatever goes

It's perfectly OK to assume the world shall end a few minutes after we die. | Delusions such as these can help us survive. | Lower the expectations, the lesser you lie. | Underestimating the trial that follows denial? | And how far is heaven from hell? | Little by little, the journey extends itself. | Like a street without a name but familiarity. | Walk alone but don't forget to sing. | Weakness dwells in the body, not soul. | A little bit of cynicism leads to greater revolt. | Can't afford to let it be otherwise. | Once bitten, forever sly. | The question is still what, not why.

Friday, August 2, 2013

His way, her will

Will you bathe him and wash away his sins?
Will you touch his soul to see what happens? 
Will you turn your face aside if he leaves?
Will you scream out in delight?
Will you share that space between you and him?
Will you two survive?
Or will you raise a stink?
Will you blame him if your fate fails?
Will you let promises pale?
Will you be honest in your vengeance?
Will you be substantial, spirited and strange?
Will you remember not to remind him of his failures?
Will you succeed in keeping him alive?
Or will you watch him die? 
Will you trick him into the lost art of believing? 
Will you scratch his proverbial surface?
Will you sing songs from the past?
Will you dance even though he came last?
Will you do what has to be done?
Will you overlook his vain remarks?
Or will you pretend to listen? 
Will you abandon yourself?
Will you run against the odds?
Will you rein in for a bit?
Will you dream along?
Will you rhyme with his wrongs?
Will you understand why he's sitting on his hands?
Or will you stop existing for once?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hide and seek

Excuse me but i keep going back to movies. Not because i'm short of topics to scribble short paragraphs on but because cinema is something i can relate to. I'm not an authority on music though i listen to almost everything possible but movies are an altogether different arena. Having said that, i'm not an authority on cinema either. At least, not yet. Like my partner-in-downloading-crime Anu once remarked during our usual cine-discussions: "One lifetime is too short to watch all the movies in the world." Because of stark truths like these, nothing can come close to the joy of watching a film (hopefully a good one) and forgetting oneself in the process. Be it two hours or three or even four, a movie grabs you out of your mundane stupor. Entertainment is just a garb in disguise. What's really happening is much deeper than that. I doubt whether a song or a painting or a sculpture for that matter would be capable of doing so. Assumptions apart, what else can explain the spell celluloid has on its audiences? Think about it. You're placed in a dark room with the light beam falling on the screen—not you—and still you remain hypnotized in your seats. You don't have to be at your best behaviour. There are just series of pictures in front of you, not real people to check whether you're paying heed or not. You know that, right? Nevertheless, you stay put as if cinema itself has cast a playful 'statue' on you.