Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A born editor

Have you ever wondered why the days from your past look so gorgeous? At times, even your school days appear as if there were no homeworks whatsoever. Why? Of course, i don't have a clue as usual. Perhaps Ghalib did. In one of his many poems, he wondered what would have happened had a given incident not taken place. His lines captured the lost-in-times essence aptly. Being conscious beings, we keep shuffling our weary mind between the present and the past. Future is fictitious and out of reach. Regardless, a brain does what it's programmed for by the Master: trick us into believing there's no such a thing as miracle. Because of which, you conveniently overlook the fact that you're the finest thing that ever happened to you. The way you breathe, the way you feel, the way you think... is unique. Nobody can replicate you. You're cheating death. Now. And that's why you look back in time once in a while trying to understand how you survived all that ever happened as well as the stuff that didn't. Explains why you edit out the crappy stuff and focus on the innocent bits. The way a survivor ideally should.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nodding's alright

For a city that claims to be sleepless, it's worth noting that we catch quite of people dozing off during daytime. But what about non-human creatures in the city? When do they sleep? Do they have a set time table? Of course, the answers to these queries can be derived only from the kind of neighbourhood a given animal or bird is staying in. Cats in some localities are more nocturnal than usual while pigeons in some buildings don't flutter during noon in order to avoid scorching sun. And the same is true about stray dogs as well. In some areas of the city, they are more diurnally visible while in others, they can be heard barking throughout your sleeptime. I recently caught a 'domesticated' monkey dozing off in its sitting position at Juhu Beach while his owner was tight asleep on the sand. In such a conundrum, biological clocks are going to clash with the nature of a habitat and one of the two is going to settle for a compromise.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Out and about

People like you and me—not houseflies—put the buzz in bazaar. Strangers who gather for an event that doesn’t need introduction at all. Everyone is separated by a common purpose. We notice, bargain and buy while making way for everyone to move. Somebody is earning a living while the other is spending his livelihood. And while this unscripted drama is going on, bikes try to grab our short attention span with their loud honks. They are seldom allowed space THAT easily. Usually, their patience along with grip on the clutch is tested. It’s more about adjustment than movement.

N.B. It's high time you tried writing a 99-word shorter-than-short story on a given picture. The tribe is evidently increasing.


For a football fan—or should we, say football club fan to be precise—names matter. A Man United follower won’t ever confuse Giggs with Drogba. However, that allegiance may well be kept aside when it comes to merchandise for cricket-loving aam janta. To them, the stuff is just that—merchandise, nothing more. Which is actually quite a thought-provoker. After all, football club  adherents in Bombay can’t even locate the cities their favourite clubs are based in, on a map. Whatever be the argument, it’s amusing to come across a commuter on the Harbour Line wearing a jacket sporting Manchester United while carrying a Chelsea-painted satchel. Ignorance is bliss at times, isn’t it?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Make her stay

She's not meant to be perfect. Neither are you. We are wretched beings. Flaws have gradually become a part of our DNA. Human flaws. One of the excuses why we tend to hurt the ones we love the most, either through words or action. Irrespective of how much you try not to, you'll end up doing the same. Every single time. It's written in the comets. [Stars don't move nor care about you.] You can't really edit the screenplay but you can work on it. You can work on yourself. Make it happen. Convince her to stay a bit longer than she's planning to. She may love you to bits today. She may not day after tomorrow. She'll grow tired of who you really are. She'll wake up someday and feel suffocated by your presence. Because, like you, she's imperfect and decorated by flaws. In the end, what matters is contentment. If you're lucky enough, you'll fall in love with her flaws, thus completing yourself. If that happens, she'll wake up to kill you one night in your sleep. But then, she'll kiss your forehead realizing she can't possibly bump into a bigger fool.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Burning Desire

He wakes up everyday. In the past 31 years, he hasn’t failed to wake up even one day. Bad habit indeed. As an compensation, he lights up and drags in as deep as he can. The idea is to feel his lungs. Leaning on the windowpane, he stares at the morning that woke up to greet him. While he’s at it, he ensures the smoke doesn’t enter the room. The sleeping beauty can’t afford to know. Before she happened, he used to be a chimney. Now-a-nights, he dozes off eagerly waiting to have his only smoke of the day.

N.B: I genuinely feel that you (whoever you are) too should try yourself at penning a 99-worder on any of the pictures offered. After all, nobody's going to judge you for poor writing. Your story is yours.


Until and unless you don't put yourself on the line, you don't know what you're made up of. Your strength fundamentally flows from you. Others can guide or goad you but they can't run the miles for you. They can't tend your broken heart for you. They can't bring back your lost sleep. You do that on your own and thus grow stronger—bit by bit. Words don't affect you. Actions don't intimidate you anymore. You've found your zone and you've begun to carry that sowhatface around. Every single day you've ever lived on this planet is a testament to that steady progress. You might think that you haven't done anything worth living. You may even believe that nobody will remember you when you're gone. In all sincerity, you never know. It's not like you spent all your life lazing around. And even if you did, it means you're really good at one thing: lazing. It's an utter lie when people say that their existence is a waste of time. It's not been so. We were born to make a difference and it'd be rather naive of the universe to let us leave the stage without fulfilling our role. Maybe that's why each one of us here are still breathing because somewhere we still believe good things will happen to us. Guess what? You'll be fine. You're going to grow and so will your confidence in tomorrow. You may not have walked 2000 miles on foot or swam across a river or climbed up a mountain but you've done more than enough. By ensuring that you have one more day to live. You are nature's delight because you are alive. Even if you are an asshole.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Watch and weigh

Do we really identify that classification called genre be it cinema or literature? I'm not sure. For ages now, we've been calling Titanic (1997) a love story dipped in honey (or freezing water). This is also the reason why upcoming movie critics are often seen deriding the monumental film. They simply can't get over its romantic tinge. And while doing so, they conveniently forget that it's the greatest disaster film ever attempted or accomplished. If James Cameron hadn't gone ahead with this seemingly impossible endeavor, it's hard to imagine Darren Aronofsky doing the same with Noah (2014) almost two decades later. Building the ship wasn't as big an achievement as sinking it. And that climactic scene when the liner is literally standing at right angle—about to trudge downwards—is a prime moment in the history of cinema. Had that scene failed to achieve what it set out to, the movie would have sunk instead. However, a corny dialogue—perched on the top of the doomed ship—by Rose reminding Jack that they ARE precisely where they first met each other superseded the visual treat. The selfless love exhibited wouldn't let us appreciate the scale a movie based on a historical disaster can reach. 
     Something not-so-different happened with Fight Club (1999) too. Because of the uninhibited violence and never-seen-before style of filmmaking, we tend to forget that the film is actually a comedy. It was meant to make us point finger at our species and laugh our gut out. The characters—real or imagined—keep shifting from one situation to another with the required comic punch. Be it Jack's incurable insomnia or Marla's unpredictable personality or Tyler's desirable insouciance, each one of them is blessed by laugh-with-me lines and expressions. Not only them, even the supporting cast tickle you. A boss who wouldn't give in unless you beat the shit out of yourself. Or a fighter who gets punched in the balls repeatedly only to be helped up by the guy who punched him down there. Or a priest who'd do anything but fight. Even the dark Kafkaesque climax involving Project Mayhem is funny because of the way Edward Norton's character is helplessly tied to a chair in his white office shirt and boxer. During that instant, you predict something bad is going to happen because in the back of your head, you ACTUALLY want it to happen. At least that's what Jack wished for before you fell for Marla. All the gyaan that was directed at you was existential for a purpose. Adding a twist to a knotted screenplay—moreover, to quench everyone's thirst—he blows his head off. What follows is far from what you expect from an  action adventure or a gripping thriller. 
     Moving ahead to the twentieth century, we saw how Inception (2010) gave birth to innumerable  dream-within-a-dream joke formats. For excuses ranging from "I didn't get it!" to "I love it when Nolan fucks with my head!" the marvelous film was referred to as a cautionary psychological thriller instead of a tragic romance. Well, there's no denying that the director took us on a walk through human subconsciousness but a bigger fact can't be ignored either. Every little thing that happened in the film was a testament to Dom's desire to spend some minutes—if not moments—with his dead wife Mal. He hasn't gotten over her death yet. Going by his nature, he never will. So, whatever be the consequences, he needs to be with her and for that sake, he's willing to jeopardise a lot of lives. And he almost does. But there's a twist in the tale here. He can be with her in his dreams but he can't control those dreams. In other words, he can't stop his beloved wife from killing herself again in his mind. At the same time, he would rather have the privilege of at least trying to stop her for a change and thus redeem himself of guilt. He loves her, you see? Wait. There's a another twist here. In his dreams, Mal doesn't seem to share mutual affection for him. Maybe she too wants him to move on. But he won't and a stupid totem can't do anything about it. He's part of the most brilliant one-sided love stories ever told on the big screen.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Aching to straighten up

If you are an attention whore, try to emulate pain. It has our utmost attention whether we like it or not. It's like a friend you don't really ask for but when it's with you, it won't leave your side. Or middle. Or centre. It will stick around as loyally as the solar system works. Painkillers and muscle-relaxers help but they wither out after a while and you're left to yourself. I'm blabbering all thanks to a week full of pain. It began with flu-like fever but ended with a horrible neck sprain. Which is ironical in a way because i accomplished this impossible task while resting with two pillows! I must be the chosen one when it comes to oddities of life. Nevertheless, i learned LOT about myself while i was bed-ridden or train-ridden (and badly wishing i hadn't left home for work). Those nerves in my nape were trying to tell me something. Maybe they were whispering "S-P-O-N-D-Y-L-I-T-I-S" but i couldn't hear them. But one thing was for certain: this sedentary lifestyle where you're glued to a desk with a chair below your bums isn't healthy. We were supposed to explore and travel and get lost and find ourselves. Walking upto the printer back and forth doesn't count as exercise. On a second thought, walking shouldn't be counted as exercise at all. Health matters. You miss it when it's gone. You can't have a crooked neck and move around pretending to be Dev Anand. Nobody appreciates that shit. On the contrary, they'll pity you. And that's worse than pain. Pitying you is your birthright. You can't possibly let others steal that from you. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mean streets

Stray dogs have a way with your affection if you allow them to. All it takes is key observation. Their behaviour is a lot like humans. If they went to school, they too would have been fascinated by the way fountain pen nibs sucked in ink. They are a curious kind. The kind we are supposed to be but aren't. Being outdoor almost their entire life, they can't have it any other way. Survival instincts are built under the sky, not a roof. Small surprise why they are so wayward most of the time. What can excite or dull them is never known. Almost to the point you wonder whether they are living it up in the city—unlike you. And they are growing like never before. Their numbers aren't declining at all. Mumbai has seen a steady rise and so has her sister satellite city. "Fuck sterilization!" must be their motto. I hope they grow by leaps and bounds. To the point that when we run out of food, we don't dare look at them as a source of nutrition. 
 PS: The fella you're looking at in the picture walked on the middle of the road along the white stripe because he just didn't care who was on that bike approaching him. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3 cents

It was just a matter of time, wasn't it? China galloping into India to outwit Japan. Hahaha. The idea is to outbid $35 billion that the Japanis are planning to bait our country with. Don't forget that it was Japanese companies that introduced us to a family car, noodles, Mowgli and a private cellphone (no, it wasn't Nokia). We might share borders with China but our ties with Japan goes deeper in modern comparisons. There might be contextual quotes from Chinese ambassadors saying that India ruled China culturally without sending a single soldier across the border. But the plain fact is our ancient kings were too lazy to see what's on the other side of the mountains. As a result, we don't have the Indian counterparts to Fa-Hien or Hiuen Tsang. Maybe that's why Tagore's visit to China is still not forgotten by the Chinese. They even gave the revered teacher a Sino name: Zhu Zhen Dan. Before he happened to us and then them, our curiosity was restricted to knowing what's cooking in our neighbour's kitchen, if not bedroom. And when you put these historical data against the marriage between politics and economics today, you can't help but laugh at how things are changing. Bussiness (read: money) is the driving factor, not knowledge or wisdom or for that matter, religion. Two countries may not stand each other but they'll sit down and talk about eking out commercial interests that will work for both of them. The upside to this arrangement is people don't get killed unnecessarily on the border. In any case, not one soldier has died on the Eastern front since the infamous 1962 Indo-China war. The point being what's really happening is that our realities are evolving. Like never before.

Vote Yes or Vote No: 
After centuries of dividing nations on the planet with its manipulation, karma is all set to greet this constitutional monarch called United Kingdom. In fact, the island is staring at a drastic shift in allegiance. Who could have thought? Not even Mel Gibson. With a majority of Scots—mostly youth, which also means they are going to influence this referendum in the future if not this time around—wanting to have an independent country to their name, it's worth a wait to see what unfolds tomorrow. Personally, i want Scotland to secede because i've always admired Scotland as a separate entity. I fully understand what i just said reeks of unjustified sentimentality. I'd like to refer to myself as a Scottish Hindu but that'd be two-faced lie. Anyway, i have my reasons to like what i'm seeing. Well, i can relate to those Highlanders with their knee-length chequered lungis although i've only worn white veshtis so far. Oh, and who can forget their bagpipe—that abomination of a musical instrument, like a sister to our very own kombu that they play at Mangalorean weddings to everyone's annoyance except theirs—and the steady flow of whatis (Tulu for cheap Whiskey)? The greatest common denominator being that all of us were buttfucked by Brits for extended period of time and it'd be fitting to see how Great Britain (wait, with Scotland gone, there won't be no Great there, would there?) reacts if Caledonia has its way. Insomuch i can't wait to see how the other secessionist regions of the world would take the news—Aye or Nay—tomorrow.

Obama I v/s Obama II:
For the first time in my comparatively short life, i've seen an American president taking time to think a situation over and over again. Sadly, this posture of his has been interpreted as timidity. Obama is a wise guy, unlike say his predecessors, which includes Obama I who was elected in 2008 and quite given to populism. Obama II is nothing like that. He doesn't wish to get messy nor see his soldiers get into hot soup either. For a change, he is showing a path that is not earmarked by imperialism. No doubt the think tank will be more than glad to point out that the POTUS is shrinking his duties as the leader of a superpower. Guess what? He isn't. He's only doing what should have been the main course of foreign policies since World War II. He doesn't want to get USA into Russo-Ukranian battle because there's no point. USA does what it has to and so does old foe Russia. China is going haywire with its territorial claims on not only land but also water but Obama is least bothered with this rumpling. He has understood that Israel can take care of itself even at the risk of antagonizing the entire planet. Everything is sorted out. The world as it is doesn't need USA as much as Americans do. Obama seems to have learnt that in White House. He has lot of homework to do. Offshore endeavours can wait. Yes, American journalists are beheaded by a fast-growing militant group but that's the price you pay in journalism. It's impossible to deal with a masked man with a knife to your neck. As a result, Obama's response has been to think and think and think and then respond instead of just aerial-dropping into deserts and coming back home like Grim Weeper. The greys on his pate suggest that he is enlightened now. Bear with his patience. Please.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bon mot

If you're standing—or at least trying to stand because being seated is the kind of stuff dreams are made up of—in an jampacked local train, you never know what's going to happen next. There could be an annoying piece of music playing anytime soon on someone's cellphone or better still, an argument breaking out between two fellow commuters who are primarily furious at the city but have targeted each other for the time being. An overcrowded local compartment is an amusement park where you can't take a walk. Some of the rudest, sharpest, kindest and funniest people are found inside it. Speaking of which, we recently stumbled upon an interesting episode on the Harbour Line. With the evening trains being delayed—as usual—the crowd that managed to bombard into an approaching train defied both logic as well as the sense of safety. Commuters who managed to sneak in were stuck to each other with every inch of space occupied. As the said train was about to reach Chembur, somebody innocently asked "Ab kya aane wale hai?" Before anybody could provide him the correct information, a smart aleck promptly replied, "Hawaa."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday blues

I'm tired and don't have anything to feed you today. 

Come back later. Like that crow which failed to fly over the cuckoo's nonexistent nest. Or something like that. 

Enjoy your Sunday. Or else, someone else will. 

Fuck off now, will ye?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mind your leaps

In a city that is always in a haste but ironically prone to unpunctuality, it's not uncommon to see citizens bending rules to suit their liking. Overlooking the red signal and cutting queues are just two of the several illegal activities Mumbaikars are noted for on a daily basis. The worst of all, however, is commuters' willingness to cross the railway track merely to save few minutes which we are sure aren't worth risking one's life. Despite several warnings and banners highlighting the danger behind jaywalking at railway stations, we don't have to strive too hard to see the public running across the platform, jump onto the tracks, cross them and then leap up on to the next platform. If the overhead bridges weren't available, this peculiar behaviour would have been understandable but that's not the case. According to our best guess, it's just a matter of daredevilry disguised under the blanket of need. After all, walking up in a queue across the FOB can't be that difficult given even the stray dogs in Mumbai fully acknowledge the safety significance of using overhead bridges.

Friday, September 12, 2014

When music rolled

Materialism seems harmless when you’re a child wanting to own a piece of music. This boy from the ’90s had similar plans. Having been recently promoted from a worn-out radio to the fancy world of tape-recorders, he hoped to play something he—not others—wanted to listen to. And for that to happen, he needed money. So he started collecting coins for almost two months before he saved enough to buy a recently launched cassette by his favourite Pakistani band. When he pressed the play button and the device exhaled ‘Sayonee’, he was undoubtedly the happiest kid on earth.
N.B: This piece first appeared on OneFrameStories which features far better stories than the above one. You'll particularly love Monica Serban's piece. A lot.

On the extreme

It's not that this city doesn't sleep. Just that she won't sleep with you. Unlike what Aamir Khan's character in Dhobi Ghat labeled her, she's neither a muse nor a whore. She is something else. Someone with a very high level of tolerance for iniquity. She has what it takes to give. Something she has been at since the days Baghdadi Jews figured out that Bombay could be a capitalistic jewel someday. Of course, she's more than that as of today. She has certainly exceeded all plausible expectations, economical or otherwise. The only trouble is way too many people are leeching her without offering much in return. Without going into the environmental specifics, suffice to say that time is basically running out on our grandkids. Not us. Them. Because the sort of waste we are leaving behind, they won't have much to rejoice in this rubble of a city. The public parks are shrinking at an alarming rate. The seawater has a colour even Photoshop can't correct. The air is what makes Pune so damn pleasant. Roads and gutters are in an immoral relationship here. Litter is a way of life. Too much neglect and way too overdependence has brought us to a point where we escape into a mall pretending everything is all right. It's not. For a place that has given so much to so many in such a limited time-frame, she merits a change. A kind of public awareness that might gift her moments to rest instead of rot any further.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fading away closely

I've been saying for the past two years (like an unqualified soothsayer) that print journalism is going to die in five years. As of today, i'm either stuck in a time warp or things are indeed moving slowly. Overall, readership has gone down steadily across the board. Not a single daily can claim that it's doing phenomenally well. Every player is more or less struggling in the market. Which might give us a peek into the forces behind falling journalistic standards. The only sliver of monetary hope comes from the corporate end who constantly pump in money for exposure, which ultimately translates into revenue for the concerned publication. On the other end of the spectrum, aam janta is spoilt for choice. Add to it the rising shadow of technology. Why would one spare change for buying a newspaper when they can easily get the same on their phone? However people conveniently forget that they might be paying more in internet charges to avail such finger-ticking services. Just imagine the bandwidth a person would be spending if he were to go through all the articles published in any given newspaper. Now, you might ask why would anyone do that? Why would you want to go through ALL the articles? Exactly. That's also one of the many excuses that's proving my prophecy wrong and keeping the print journalism from dying—for the time being.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sign of relief

For security reasons, a majority of the 200-odd BSF (Border Security Force) jawans were stationed near Lalbaugcha Raja during the visarjan. However, the toll on the road was clearly felt by traffic cops who had to work way too diligently to keep the burgeoning traffic in order throughout the nine-day celebrations. And they did it in style! The way these motorway officers—be it males or females—rose to the occasion ensuring vehicles and pedestrians don’t create a roadblock. They might have made it appear like a matter of mundane activity but it’s indeed praiseworthy. With Ganeshotsav coming to an end now, the traffic policepersons seem to be feeling a lot better with the sudden dip in crowd.

Better late, better ever

You meet a person and you feel complete. More than complete, in fact. And then, you do what a lot of your fellow species are known for doing. Regret baselessly. Filling your head with thoughts and case studies suggesting you should have bumped into that person earlier. A bit earlier. Say, a few years before you indeed met. Things could have been different. Time being the greatest gift, what could be more rewarding than spending it on/with someone who fulfills your otherwise miserable existence. You could have been saved and your eyes wouldn't have been so dry. Your skin might have been glower. Of course, you don't—even for a silly second—wonder what if things had gone the opposite direction. No, you don't do that. All of a sudden, you are the world champion in optimism. Had you two met earlier, y'all might have been on a higher plane. Closer. Faster perchance. Who knows? You might have settled down too by now. Like dust. Anything is possible in your mind. You two might have been traveling far and smiling wide(r). Tasting food you didn't know existed. Watching movies you always wanted to and even illegally downloaded too but never had the time. Dancing in a room like nobody's watching. No, wait. Nobody is. Listening to music that fills you with hope and madness. Wait, again. When a beautiful song is recco-ed to you, do you sit down and worry that the song should have happened to you earlier? Do you think of all the endless possibilities that might have taken place had the song happened to you earlier than it did? Nahi na? What do you do? Well, you just play the goddamn thing and let your senses soak into it while being grateful to the default in your stars.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One talk, two takes

A conversation should either be too short to remember or too long to forget. They can be self-fulfilling too with both the parties learning beforehand where they are heading with their choice of words. Some conversations are different as they manage to find an identity of their own every single time they take place. It can get boring at times too when goodbye ends up becoming the only word you mean. Some conversations are so endearing that they even benefit from the random hmms or ahas. Everything depends on the person you are and the listener you can attempt to be. It’s a give and take relationship. Besides, we aren’t Calvin or Hobbes to have the finest of chats. The sooner our tongue accepts this fact, better the conversations it can eventually lead to.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Feline grace

How often do you come across a cat travelling in a crowded local train? We suppose, not very often. Well, neither do we. So, we were mighty surprised to see a Persian cat inside the train compartment on the Central Line. The bundle of furry joy was the star of the commute with everyone trying to take a look at her. And it managed to be so without making a sound! Her shy owner seemed embarrassed by the unwanted attention but he obliged just like his pet. People not only tried touching her out of affection but also clicked pictures of hers. Like a diva queen minus the diva antics, she proved to be the reason behind several smiles and shared laughter. Also, she was undoubtedly the most behaved commuter around. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Damage control

Sometimes, all we need is a guy like Terminator to promise us that he'll be back. Or Rajnikanth to embrace us and whisper "Everybody's gonna be alright" in Tamil accent. But most often than not, both these events don't take place—ever. So we're left at our own mercy which is actually scarier than we think it is. Throughout our life, if we notice, nobody has done us more harm than we ourselves. It's an inborn quality to damage yourself. Either by thoughts, words or action  No catalyst needed. You yourself is more than enough. The worst part about this destructive system is an individual has the propensity to believe that s/he's only damaging himself/herself but the truth that's impossible to do. You always end up hurting those in the branch. It could be anyone from your friend to family to mere acquaintances. And that's why we wonder why certain things don't happen to us. Like an iron-clad Arnie giving us a thums-up or a lungi-clad Rajni hugging us—at least once.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Once you find her, don't let her go. At least try not to. Not because she'll turn your boring world amazing but because you'll learn so much about life itself in her presence that it's incredible. She'll be a splendid teacher. If you are in for luck, she will impart lessons as quietly as possible. Of course, the basic nature of two individuals may not match in most cases. Furthermore, the two might fall apart. Happens very often nowadays. So, for argument's sake, let's stick to an ideal situation. You stumble upon her and you think that this is it! You may be right. You may be awfully mistaken. Your gut is your guide in such a scenario. There's a path ahead waiting to be graced by your presence. No, it won't always lead to success. The cliche that a woman is somewhere standing behind a successful man is a misplaced priority. Everybody is behind Ranbir Kapoor. See what syntax does to a thought?
Walk with her for a few steps,
stumble if you will,
fall if you want, 
but rise in love all over again.
There is no dearth of people to choose from. The world is full of us but it's better to wait in most cases. Sometimes, you end up becoming what you aren't just because you hoped to impress. Too quick, too soon. When i was younger, like really young, i thought love is something you pay a huge price for. "You can't marry someone who doesn't belong to your caste!" rang the warning bell. Bollywood movies have a way with rebelizing human emotions. So i thought if i ever confessed my feeling for that pretty girl—or the prettier teacher—in the classroom, i'll end up paying for it eventually. As i grew up, i began to realize that phrases I-love-you is something card-makers like Hallmark and Archies created for their own profit. This paranoia seldom makes way to greater things in life. And if at all it does, grab the opportunity with your limbs. Don't let her go. Set her free by letting her be. But don't you dare let go!
Halt for a while, a minute or two,
shamelessly glance at her,
take a good look at your stars,
you'll see yourself smiling back at you. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Déjà view

Every morning, he sits on this seat facing the sea and the blue sky that never seems to age—unlike him. Not very long ago, he didn’t care about the things that are in front of him right now, be it the waves or the birds fighting against the wind. After all, he was too busy being with his beloved. Her wrinkled smile, soft voice and gentle touch occupied his failing senses. All he has now are beautiful memories of what it used to be like in front of a view that he still doesn’t give a damn about. 

N.B. Wrote this piece for a lovely initiative by a friend who believes one picture can tell several stories at once.

An epic switch

When God was creating the world, she had all the ingredients necessary. Since the plan was to make an impression, she got going and started building everything structurally. Top-down approach. Sky first, dust later. It took several centuries to complete the task. With no one to assist or blame, she had to do all the whole thing. And finally, she came upon our species. At that point, she had depleted all her resources and was left with only skin and poison at her disposal. She thought to herself, "This peculiar creation of mine shouldn't have poison in it. It should be as harmless as possible." So as to divert the share of poison, she haphazardly created two snakes out of thin air and deposited all the poison in them. Later, she turned her attention towards humans. "My finest creation. Woohoooo!" she exclaimed, not realizing she had accidentally granted the gift of ceaseless skin to the crawling reptiles while the two-legged beings would wrinkle while consistently poisoning her world.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Call 'em right

If you haven't watched Into the Wild yet, you should. The one exceptional lesson you can take from its heartrending climax is as follows: We should know the right name. Be it a bird or a berry. I point this out not because i ain't good with names. (I'm not in any case.) But we can't go around calling Rose Dawson Jasmine Dawson. Jack's frozen ghost might get offended. Thankfully, non-people beings aren't touchy about their names. Even if Shakespeare had called a rose periwinkle, it wouldn't have given a crap about his literary achievements. In fact, it would continue to smell as sweet as it ever did. Of course, you'll say that dogs are different from flowers as they are given human names for their undisputed loyalty. Guess what? They aren't. An adorable dog named Cookie won't react if you called her Jenny. Which means that she's just used to being called a particular name for a long time. On her own, she can't really differentiate between names. She didn't react because you didn't use the right word. She won't change any of her features that makes her a dog. In other words, she remains indifferent to the politics of name-calling. Humans fail to understand the broader problem associated with names. More than half of the issues embroiling our planet has something to do with mistaken identity. People who are idiots are being called moronic. Sad people are referred to as depressed and depressed ones as boring. Fascists are called nationalists and freedom fighters, terrorists. Greedy corporates are being called successful while an honest startup is called risky. Persian Gulf is called Arabian Gulf (and vice versa) as if the gulf cares. A woman who enjoys life as much as a man does is called slut. Kashmiris are called Indians while they aren't absolutely sure about being called Pakistanis. Palestinians are called Arabs while a Mangalorean is often addressed as Madrasi. The bespectacled guy who'll fix your problem is called nerds while a good-for-nothing showoff is called dude. Native Americans are still called Red Indians when there's nothing bloody about them anymore. Some east Ukrainians would love to be called Russians whether the EU likes it or not. A Scot wants to be called a Scot and an Irish, Irish. Kurds can't tolerate being called anything but. You call a person from North-East India Chinese and think you're being funny. You're not. Common sense requires common knowledge too. When a word turns into identity, it becomes powerful. This is what we should be cautious about. This is also why they say that we should think twice before taking names. Oh they don't? Well, they should. And you should watch that movie i mentioned earlier. Or go back to school.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Last Fucker

An old man was lying on his deathbed. The air in his dreary room supported his state of mind. He had a hunch it was his last night on the good barren earth. However, he didn't experience extreme weakness or foreboding of any nature. In fact, he was feeling light. Very. No, not because he was frail or thin as a thread. His consciousness about what really was going on made him feel better about himself. He couldn't figure out his exact age although his memory was sharp about events that shaped his destiny. Montages from his noteworthy childhood filled his wide open eyes. Endless and moralless stories. And then there were unedited sequences from his adulthood too. What he wouldn't give to relive those moments for a bit! Of course, his mortal mistakes didn't escape him either. To his benefit, he remembered the highs and lows with vivid detail. His ability to put blame on him first and then on others helped him avoid distortion of reality. Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone sitting on the edge of his bed to hear what he had to say. Perhaps silence was meant to his last word. Nevertheless, that didn't bother him at all. Come to think of it, the present scenario might have troubled him no less several decades earlier. Not now. There was nothing to regret. His blood was tired of running while his bones couldn't take his body's toll and his breath didn't wish to fight with his lungs anymore. And he completely understood their situation. It had been an extremely long journey. Unless you're a character in Bible, you weren't supposed to strive for more than two centuries in the wilderness. Something our old man understood way too distinctly before drifting away to sleep.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Now they do, now they don't

Whatever is happening in Gaza, Syria and Pakistan is beyond logic and utterly inhumane. Anyway, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had to get married. Secretly, of course. This brings us to the pertinent question: why rich people get married? It's not like they give a damn about the isolated society they reside in. I can understand when poor folks need something to look forward to in their miserable existence but...richville? Besides, isn't marriage something you do once and if that burns your finger, you avoid it for good? No? Hmm. The reason why i said so is A-Jolie and B-Pitt have been involved in three marriages—combined—earlier before they got hitched in Malta. The two have been together for almost a decade now. They appear awesome together. The way she looked at him while he chugged on that pizza at Oscar was the kind of stare a loving wife will never spare. The two not only adopted kids from countries you can't locate on a map but also spawned beautiful kids of their own to keep their hands full. In such a scenario, why go ahead and commit something which is prehistoric, doesn't do much to the state of relationship and wastes money? If they love each other so much why would they ruin it by getting the priest involved? OK. They are free to do whatever they like but what's the point? OK. I'll back off now. I can't sleep at night thinking why is this happening to our species. LOLJK. On a second thought, was this Brad's way of scoring one over George Clooney (who by the way, has been a disappointment for FINALLY deciding to walk the aisle AGAIN) who is all set to tie the knot with a human rights activist. Speaking of which, whatever is happening in Gaza, Syria and Pakistan is beyond logic and utterly inhumane.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Friends etc

Over the past (elongated) weekend, i got to spend some extra hours with my engineering friends. As usual, the dusk called for drinks and music. And the ambiance was filled with lame but hearty jokes, mellifluous songs, riffing guitar, nostalgic yet heartwarming stories. Got to admit that being a teetotaler has its share of drawbacks. The primal one being that you'll always be an outsider when nine other people in the room are given to liquor and cigarettes while you aren't. Fortunately, my circle of friends who tend to meet once in a year—if not twice—are warm. So i try not to behave like a chief guest. Besides, it's wonderful to be with them. You tell them about your routine life and how you're finally stepping into a relationship. They initially roll eyes before handing out reluctant tips on how to sustain it. After all, almost all of them have gone through heartaches. One after seven years while another, three. You learn a thing or two about yourself in the consequent conversations. You get to understand a bit more about them too. The story behind that beautiful tattoo on his arm. The cute mark on her face thanks to a football during her school days. The disturbing reason why he drinks milk all night but doesn't sleep at all. The change in his behaviour as he's more into books and poetry now. The lyrical flair that you completely overlooked when you first met him. The ironical quietness of the tallest guy in the room. The red-shot calm eyes before he breaks into a rap about the prejudice rampant in our society. The rare drumstick fingers he conveniently hid all this while. The fairest guy who would not only surprise you with his singing post-1am but also later take out his car at 4am and drive his friends back home safe. Maybe these random observations is what epiphany is really all about.