Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Miracles on wheels

The thing about love is it happens in the unlikeliest of places. Corners. With strangers whom you never met before or shall never meet again. It's wordless at best. Gestures. On an exhausting bus recently, love welcomed back silence in her own innocent way. A little girl, less than one year old, was crying a G7#. The only difference being her voice wasn't pleasant and was only adding to the summer toll on passengers. Her mother, let alone her father, was unable to handle the situation. The situation being the poor child's inability to cope with heat. This wailing went on for a while before an old lady dressed in Maharashtrian nauvari saree took matters into her hands—quite literally. She stood up, leaned into the seat in front of her and urged the young mom to let her hold the baby. On receiving the bundle of weeping joy, she sat down and held her close to her chest. The little girl seemed shocked in the beginning by her free transfer but she wasn't complaining. The old lady not only rocked her calmly but also took turns between blowing hair onto her cheeks and neck and gently kissing her forehead and temples. No surprise there was no more noise in the bus. All thanks to a toddler's discovery of a makeshift grandma.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Numbered karma

Politics is in the air. Everybody is discussing elections and the politicians like never before. EVERYBODY IS AN EXPERT. [If only that expertise translated into making our country a bit more admirable!] But then—like always—some of the most amusing conversations take place in Mumbai local trains. Something like that happened in a Vashi-bound train recently. Two window-seated gentlemen were having a chat about how the present government’s days are numbered. One of them was loud while the other, comparatively  subdued. Co-commuters didn’t join the open conversation but seemed certainly amused by the talk show. What happened few minutes later was worth an anecdote though. A ticket examiner entered the compartment and found that the high-volumed gentleman was traveling on an expired railway pass.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Devil's advocacy

ABC: "Are you going to marry her?"
XYZ: "I'll marry her tomorrow if that's what she wants."
ABC: "Why tomorrow and not today?"
XYZ: "It's Saturday and i don't bathe on Saturdays."
ABC: "How convenient!"
XYZ: "No, really. I'd marry her tomorrow if that's what she wants."
ABC: "OK. And what do you want?"
XYZ: "Her."

Friday, April 25, 2014

Modern resurrection

We'll be remembered as the generation that made boredom a means of life. Be it at home or office, we somehow find a way to be "bored". As if it's a matter of pride. At the risk of gifting you cramps, this is what we should do when we're bored. Run. Just get out of the room and run. On the street. On the road. Mud. Concrete. Whatever. Just run. Your otherwise dormant muscles will be mighty surprised. You'll feel your heart pounding. Your limbs will flail while feeling the cold wind even if you're running under Indian sun (yes, that's the magical part!). Run till you can't run anymore. And when you're done, you can rest your palms on your knees and take a look at your feet. They might feel sore but they are happy. You might look flustered but you are alive.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lesson of the day

When a guy is about to take a piss, you aren't supposed to ask him whether he voted or not. The conditions aren't ideal, you see? He is standing there at his vulnerable best and trying to concentrate on kickstarting the urinary flow. It's not as easy as it seems. Especially when the loo is crowded. You close your eyes and think of that fountain of youth you were supposed to piss in. But before that could even materialize, the voices in your head go "SHAKTI! SHAKTI! SHAKTI! SHAKTI!..." sarcastically encouraging you. Well, they usually don't help. And in the middle of such a hapless scenario if somebody in the next urinal asks you, "Vote kiya kya?" Given the position your inked finger is in at THAT moment, you can't help spouting, "Wohi kar raha hoon."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I'm flooded by you,
While awake as well as in my sleep  
— running or resting in your thoughts.
Not that i'm complaining.
Just making you aware of our loss.
Slipping in and out. 
Not that you need to know.
But i think you're amazing.
Wonderful as a dream that comes true. 
So pristine in your ways!
Not that my words mean anything.
Just wanted to find an excuse to talk.
And let you know why, how or what. 
The space between us and our past.
Not that i would have kept shut.
But it makes more sense to express,
without losing the thread of spark. 
May you end up with me and we begin something new.
Not that we haven't already.
Beautiful, aren't we?
I love you. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spread wide open

There's a myth among fishermen that if they happen to see clouds such as those in this picture clicked yesterday, they are bound to have a great haul. Their reels might even crack open. Not sure what happened in the sea but something unusual took place on the land. Last evening, the sky cracked open for about half an hour. Mumbai as well as Navi Mumbai had temporary relief from inhuman summer and except the hawkers, not many complained. Whoever said all the better things in life are free of cost was either a fisherman or absolutely right.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Y'all talking to me?

It beats me how despite being humans, we don't know how to express ourselves through words. And then when we do—through poetry or a painting or a movie—it's pure delight to witness our genius. So much said via short verses; so much asked with a few strokes of paint, so much revealed in a few scenes.
I'm no expert on poetry though i like to believe that i understand a fair amount. Be it Keats or Bharathi or Ghalib or Rimbaud, there's no denying the fact that poets not only see things differently but also express themselves in a not-so-usual manner. For lesser mortals, seeing itself is a mighty task—let alone expressing what they saw.
Similarly, i can't comment on art either. I appreciate the craziness of colour thrown on the canvas but that's it. They say so much and their questions are best left unanswered. Hence i maintain a distance. Thank you very much.
On the contrary, i can go on and on about cinema. I'd be ungrateful if i didn't admit that it has played an enormous role in keeping those few shreds of sanity still alive in me. I haven't contributed anything to this particular art form but i've reaped a lot in return. Joy, grief, insomnia, unbridled laughter, calm, disturbance, unrequited hardons, a state of absolute nothingness, hypnosis, etc. Everything.

PS: We're talking about expressions, right? I forgot to mention the musicians. They cunningly use heartbeats in their compositions. We don't even realize it but it's there somewhere. Dub dub dub dub...either softly or harshly. And if you pay heed, it's somebody's heartbeat. Yours, maybe. Maybe mine. That's an expression too. Without any words to begin with. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Blind faith

"I believe you," said the waves to the sea before ebbing on the beach like suicide bombers.



Whatever you call it. Nature, perhaps.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Is it?

  • Is it weird to check out others' hands as they are fascinating and—unlike a face—way too underrated?
  • Is it weird to want to wait a bit longer than usual?
  • Is it weird to draw doodles that don't really make sense?
  • Is it weird to bring your ear close to someone's chest and hear what their heartbeat is trying to say? 
  • Is it weird to get so lost in somebody else's thoughts that you don't remember yourself anymore?
  • Is it weird to lean in and then whisper nothing?
  • Is it weird to know everything and yet feel clueless?
  • Is it weird to teach your parents a thing or two about true love?
  • Is it weird to believe that you'll be alright?
  • Is it weird to envisage a future on the basis of your present?
  • Is it weird to stand in the middle of the subway for no peculiar reason while the crowd passes you by?
  • Is it weird to talk to yourself only to get caught?
  • Is it weird to avoid a go at happiness?
  • Is it weird to wake up alone after having dreams of togetherness?
  • Is it weird to defeat hunger with hope?
  • Is it weird to ACTUALLY understand the difference between knowledge and wisdom?
  • Is it weird to invent a God when there's no dearth in the first place?
  • Is it weird to tell a friend that you might never come back?
  • Is it weird to run like Forrest Gump?
  • Is it weird to be inert as well as passionate about someone?
  • Is it weird to lick her armpits in your mind?
  • Is it weird to not acknowledge when to talk and when to shut up?
  • Is it weird to be quiet like an eagle or talkative like a sparrow?
  • Is it weird to let cinema seep into your reality?
  • Is it weird to be unsure of your ability to fail?
  • Is it weird to ruin perfection by touching it again and again?
  • Is it weird to be?
  • Is it weird to hold her hands and cry in those palms?
  • Is it weird to keep on writing without a point?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bearable being of lightness

I learnt something valuable in the past few months. It begins with you and ends with me—with 'us' happening somewhere in the middle. A wonderful place to be even if you don't have a clue about its exact location. The journey is worth a try though. Why elope when you can take a walk...together? 
Well, neither do i but let's just pretend otherwise. Sometimes all you've got to do is rise in love and let everything else fall in place. And most importantly, don't expect anythin.
Good luck.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Dear lord...

Grant us the strength to be nicer assholes. Make me an egg in my next life coz i want to get laid at least once. Either make me stronger or my competitors nonexistent. Forgive my enemies for they don't realize the kind of lazybones they're dealing with. Make me so rich that i can take philanthropy for granted. Let me keep my mouth shut. (If not, you'll have to take care of the rest.) Let us blame others for our mistakes. Forgive us for our typos. Just save me from me. Feel free to gift me as many heartbreaks as you want but please keep your toothaches to yourself. Force me to believe in your capeless superpowers.

Friday, April 11, 2014


The little girl was one of the brightest kids around but had a learning disorder. So the principal summoned her parents to explain how things were in school. A discussion ensued on what could be done to help the case. After a good long 15 minutes, the principal turns to the mother and asks her whether she can quit her job. "You have an earning husband to take care of the expenses, don't you?" Of course, she doesn't retort the way she'd prefer to out of respect but every single voice in her head screams "Why me?" For some weird medieval reason, the principal assumed that it'd make sense to have the mother spend more time with the ward instead of the father. Not only that. The honourable principal even assumed that the husband was doing financially better than the wife. It didn't stop at that. The clincher being the principal was a woman too.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Veto for a change

It's that time of the year when we exercise our rights to bring new crooks into the Parliament. Once they are in, they'll do everything except work. The numbers of bills and acts that are pending in our system is mindboggling. Smaller countries with bigger problems fare better in this regard. Be it Congress or BJP, certain ground realities don't change. It's not ideology but basic refrain from ethics. Not like they are public servants for real. They are not. They get paid in money and kind and insurmountable privileges. If you don't think too much, it doesn't require NASA to figure out where exactly the problem lies then: They don't want to work. Plain and simple. If you're getting paid to paint the wall, it's your duty—not the wall's. And that's something the Parliamentarians fail to understand (or pretend to fail to understand). Sessions in and sessions out. But it also begs the question whether we're paying the right kind of painters. In other words, do they know anything about painting? At all?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A matter of appearance

Ever noticed how Bollywood actors always end up with either fellow actors or someone rich? It's almost like a script that all filmi stars adhere to. When was the last time an actor fell for not-so-rich commoner? It's a matter of convenience more than anything else. Nothing righteous about it but it's funny how the films they act in show the dominance of love over class. As if the idea of love in our society is not elitist. Off the big screen, rich sticks with rich and poor sticks with poor. The divide is too wide for cinema to fill. Again, nothing righteous about it but it's funny how they say love is unconditional when the very basis of an affair is based on the way how the couple will look like to others than to each other.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Vitamin M+

Blame capitalism. Blame the privileged lot. Blame the government. Blame whoever you want. The fact is and the fact remains that money is a wonderfool instrument in maintaining balance. It can give religion a cardiac arrest and orthodoxy, a kick in the balls. It can make the conservatives loosen up a bit and the poor, a shot at life. But its most intriguing quality is its ability to make others forget who you are. They see notes instead. Conveniently. It's cute how the lower rung of the society suffer the most in spite of sticking to their age old principles. On the other end, the upper class bend and break the rules according to their whims. Life is their playground. They do things their way and get away with it. It's all about wanting and getting. The fundamentals don't change though. Let's say, marriage. While the poor can't imagine his ward tying the knot with someone who doesn't belong to his community, the favoured folks can't afford to be THIS myopic. They get married according to the convenience of their cash-rich heart. Community, religion, traditions, etc be damned. And nobody questions who or why because everybody's busy queuing up at the grand buffet.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Trick or retreat?

The trick is to stay alive today. Tomorrow will compensate for yesterday.
The trick is to gather strength from the pessimism that surrounds you.
The trick is to be sure of what one wants from oneself instead of others.
The trick is to act as if you're unaffected.
The trick is to keep your dreams ungroped by reality.
The trick is to say no to what needs to be said no to.
The real trick is to make a living out of your thoughts.
The trick is to avoid being in awe of your own creation.
The trick is to maintain calm even after the storm.
The trick is to treat oneself better than others.
The trick is to survive for centuries in one form or the other.
The trick is to live and get away with it.
The trick is to STFU when you don't have anything interesting to say.
The trick is to do good for others without giving a damn about them.
The trick is to not let Tuesday behave like a Monday.
The trick is to feel bad for others before they return the favour.
The trick is to not be a victim of your own exaggerated awesomeness.
The trick is to know that you are crazy.
The trick is to avoid trading one's invisible soul for visible bylines.
The trick is to overcome the urge to feel sorry for oneself.
The trick is to treat yourself better before others do.
The trick is to touch as many lives as possible without being labeled a sex offender.
Bonus: There are 2 types of job. One in which the work travels to you and the other in which you travel to work. The trick is to escape both.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Questions you read...

I think my husband is going to cheat on me. My boyfriend doesn't take a bath. She wants to be always right—even when she's wrong. My neighbour is hitting on me while i'm hitting on another neighbour. My boss is promoting himself again. I'm 13 and have lost my heart to a 12yo boy. Is love a myth? I'm yet to reconcile with my breakup. Is he going to ditch me for his mother? My brother-in-law is gay. Who is responsible for my misery? I don't want to die but i don't have a reason to live. My parents are forcing me to marry a girl of their choice. I'm a Hindu and her dad is a former Hindu who converted to marry her Muslim mother. Is there any law against breaking hearts? She wants kids whereas i want pizza. My son thinks i'm a terrible mother. What's your best relationship mantra? Our class teacher will be remembered as a sex offender. My dad is having an affair while my mom is planning their wedding anniversary. If only i could move on and never look back. Divorcing my husband of nine months was the worst mistake of my life. It was our first time and she cried and i moaned. I want to quit this city and move to Kasauli. My penis is too small and heart, too big. How come you have ALL the answers? I'm into movies and she's into theatre. My lover is not proud of my skin complexion. She sings like a crow but doesn't know. I fell in love with an idiot. I want my mother to remarry and lead a happier life for a change. She doesn't reply back in time but gets angry when i do the same. Her family is a circus full of assholes. We haven't been on a holiday since our honeymoon. My body odour is keeping my enemies away. Are long distance relationships short-lived? She has a 4am friend even though i work night shifts. I don't wish to marry her or anyone else in my life. Isn't marriage passé? I want to live it up and live in. The liar is in love with my boobs. Which way is out? I like painting my metrosexual nails. She wants to know everything about us. If it were up to me, i'd have changed her life by not changing my mind. Why are we doomed to disappoint? He's a narcissist and i'm in love with him. She totally believes she's perfect. I hope i don't end up lonely writing a letter to an agony aunt someday. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Fool by chance

The boy was returning home from school and stumbled upon a tenner on the street. Without a second thought, he quickly slipped it into his pocket. He could have very well bought half the town—if not the city itself—with THAT kind of cash. After all, he wasn't used to owning a ten-rupee note. However, he had no idea that his enthrallment was soon going to turn into violent dismay. As misfortune would have it, his mother found his treasure and quickly assumed that he must have stolen it from his dad's wallet. The poor (ironically!) kid couldn't convince her that he indeed got lucky on his way home. Anyway, what's the point in asking him for his side of the story when she's going to beat the bruises out of him whatsoever? So, before he could realize the extent of her misunderstanding, his skin had witnessed weals from the meant-to-beat-horse stick. In her defense, she couldn't come to terms with the assumption that her son could be a potential thief and a liar. Can't blame her. Too much stress and financial troubles leave you doubting everything; even your child's honesty as well as your parenting skills. At the same time, she couldn't find a closure to this 'problem' either. As usual, she turned to God and dragged the teary-eyed kid to the nearby temple. There, she made him drop the money into the hundi. Shiva must have had a hearty laugh at the face he made while following her orders. About an hour ago, that face belonged to the richest guy on the planet.