Thursday, April 30, 2015

Similar coincidences

22 months ago, Shanty (mentor/manager/friend) didn't know about my existence. We spoke for the first time in January of this year. Met a month later and have been working together since. However, that didn't stop him from coming up with a sketch that strikingly resembles my face. Akshar recently pointed out the image to me and so i asked Shanty about it. He shrugged. What are the chances? The caption he used for his sketch was a quote by Bryan Lilly: "The only reason to shave your beard is for the joy of growing it again."

True that. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Get it?

Read what i'm going to write very carefully.

Yes, pay attention.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Summer resolutions

There are some things that i'd like to be part of in the not-so-faraway future. As a reminder, i'm listing them out. I can only hope i get down to business with at least a few of them, if not all.

  • Wake up before sunrise
  • Speak Urdu, Tamil, Kannada and French fluently 
  • Smile more, laugh less 
  • Dance, not any particular form, just dance
  • Box, like Brad Pitt did in Snatch
  • Pick up calls 
  • Drive four-wheelers as well as those with two
  • Sign given my signature ain't fixed YET
  • Get comfortable with violin
  • Garden and turn into a beautiful greenhorn 
  • Learn to sing decently
  • Talk (generally) less but without hesitation 
  • Cook basic stuff 
  • Write coherent long paragraphs 
  • Stop advising others
  • Read Urdu script 
  • Run 10 miles at a stretch 
  • Play table-tennis like Shayanta Paul 
  • Redefine happiness
  • Work really hard
  • Complete 50 push-ups or sit-ups at a go
  • Think more and deeply
  • Pretend to be confident 
  • Visit North-East India, especially Tawang 
  • Watch at least 4-5 movies a week 
  • Read 2 books a month 
  • Openly talk to tweeps (just kidding!) 
  • Meditate for at least 20 mins every morning
  • Brush before going to bed
  • Blog better shit


Speak for yourself. As soon as possible.

Like i just did.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Midnight tryst

If the world were to end tonight at 12, who would you like/want/need to go to? Who shall be that person whose heartbeat you'd like to listen to with your ear pressed against his/her chest? Will you waste your breath on words? If yes, what will you say that the person doesn't already know? Where will you like to spend those moments? Under the sky? On the terrace or balcony, letting the mosquitoes have their Last Supper while you are at it? Where else then? What will you cook or order for dinner? Or would you skip food to make tea for two? What if there are more than two involved? Will you huddle? How would that appear like? Silence doesn't suit a crowd, now does it? Who will be the first to break down? What will happen then? Will the TV be on? Would anyone take out their phone to see what the timeline says? Will there be pictures taken know, for souvenirs? Awkward, eh? Thought so. 

Getting well soon

I'm not really keeping well. Some ache or an underarm lump or gastric discomfort always emerge from time to time. Top of the chart, it's been about nine days since i've been living-in with a neck sprain. The epicenter of pain keeps shifting from one point to another...secretly...behind my back. I even stopped using pillow but due to nocturnal gymnastics, not much changes for me during the daytime. It hurts. That said, some mornings are better than the others, especially those whereof i haven't woken up in the middle of the night to shit blood. I guess my days of blissful sleep are long gone anyway. And that must explain the bulging dark circle. I won't blame the shift in city though. If your system is inherently weak, you shouldn't go around blaming the environment. Moreover, Gurgaon has been relatively good to me even though i'm not really fond of it. The ugliest part about having poor health is your mind is never at peace. You stop thinking and start imagining stuff. That never did anyone good except John Lennon. And he TOO was shot! 

PS: To those who think, i need to see a doctor, i don't. I've seen more than enough of them. They are generally unkind, immensely capitalistic with minimum patience for what you've got to say about your feelings. In fact, i should visit a shrink for my emotional problems but i won't. 

PSS: You know what a group of doctors is called? Profit.

PSSS: Can't wait for this month to end. It's like a bad April Fools' joke that dragged on and on and on and on.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Avian swag

Birds come and go. But not without some drama in the interim. Take for instance the one featured in the above picture. The lazy being kept walking making it very difficult to click a more proper picture. It just wouldn't budge for a pose nor fight by flying away. That's the thing about birds in Gurgaon. They just don't give a fuck about humans. And it's true to not just this li'l bastard but also sparrows, larks, mynahs or some-birds-whose-names-i-haven't-figured-out-yet. 

My secret dream is to turn into a bird and pose like a stripper to anybody who's interested in my furry nudes. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Game, set, matchless

This is just another feeble attempt at winning a staring contest with a blank page.

Guess what? I won.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Signs from fingertips

< 3

It's been more than a decade on internet and these are the emoticons i've known/used. Goes without saying that Whatsapp added new life to my skills on avoiding verbal communications. But still. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Looking back, moving forward

It was the second last week of September in 2007, i appeared for a typing test three floors north of Belapur railway station. Later, i entered the manager's cubicle with just a page in my hand. It was called résumé although i referred to it as biodata. After all, there wasn't much in it except my name, DOB, address, phone number, languages known, educational qualifications (if at all college dropouts could claim those) and hobbies. The lady was sweet and asked me several questions back-to-back so as to check on my awareness about transcription. However, only one of them remain etched inside my skull: "Why do you want to join us?" I promptly replied, "I need a job." She chuckled a bit before pointing out that mine was a honest answer as if i didn't know that already. She explained to me that it was going to be graveyard shift as if i cared. I just wanted to get out of my house and the fact that i'd be sleeping during daytime—thus effectively avoiding my family members—while slogging at night seemed like the perfect description of a dream job to me. She didn't even have to tell me how much i'd be getting from my ATM at the end of the month. I was already sold. However, out of corporate courtesies, she informed me that i'd be receiving Rs.4800 per month for my 10-12 hrs per night services. I was royally cheated elated! It was much later that i learnt that the amount was negotiable because some of my equally inexperienced colleagues who were far less accustomed to the stressful nature of the job were being paid more than the double of what i was. 
But it didn't bother me. 
I was simply glad that i could finally apply myself somewhere, even if it meant getting wasted in an industry nobody knew about. I used to go to work an hour before i was expected and leave an hour or so after everybody left. Office became my real home. I made some good friends with whom i'm not in touch with anymore. This was so because money was least of my concern. I was never good with money in the sense that i never saw money much. So i really didn't know how to handle it. 
My amma used to give me three rupees when i was in 10th grade. One rupee for bus to school, one for bus back home and one rupee for "emergency". Nobody cared to explain what was meant by that word. When i moved to Nashik for my diploma after SSC, not much changed. I used to get a fixed amount of cash. In fact, i was the only one in our group who didn't have a bank account. That was my parents' way of getting me acquainted with money. Crash course, if you will. I used to write them letters—yes, the blue-coloured ones—explaining how i spent my monthly stipend.
You see?
Now, when i look back, i understand what really happened in that green-tinted cubicle. Which is also why i can understand how i managed to donate Rs.100 to Wikipedia and Rs.200 to Greenpeace every month (which i miraculously discontinued as my pay raised over the years). During those days, i made sure i didn't miss a single free movie screening in Bombay even at the expense of sleep. Net-net, i didn't have expenses which a 21-year-old might normally ave. Other than cinema, i loved books, for which i regularly visited BARC library. I didn't drink or smoke. Which also makes sense since we often overlook the nexus between addiction and money. People who enjoy alcohol or cigarette or both happen to be the ones who can afford it. I could neither afford it nor wanted to. I was happy downloading movies during working hours and staying back to watch them! 
I was more than happy, to be honest. 

Monday, April 20, 2015


Some years ago, i read an article stating very succinctly that garnering sympathy from absolute strangers helped in speedy recovery. It could be anything from a broken bone to a wrecked heart to a damaged mind. Sympathy was said to be the key catalyst. As is the norm, i took the theory to heart and have been consistently inviting random sentiments whenever something untoward happens. I'd even flash my paper cut to bus conductors and random people firmly believing that the practice would alleviate my sorry case. In my defense, i was always aware that i'm not really bright and prone to idiocy but it recently dawned on me that i must have pushed my stupidity way too far. The problem is sympathy is too superficial to bring about a healthy change. If it really worked, i wouldn't even need anyone else because i'd be sympathizing with myself in adequate quantity. Which brings me to the conclusion that it was in my head as a lot of other useless things are. Fortunately, i've at least realized my folly although i should admit that i rather enjoyed showing strangers where it hurts the most. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Relationship status: *necking*

I'm in pain today.

Go home. I mean, stay home. Plant a tree or something if you can. Because unlike us humans who have body parts that are much younger than them—at any given point of time—trees usually have more than 90% of their system dead or dying...thus relying heavily on the rest for their mere survival. Isn't that something?

Just that neck sprain never bothers them despite having hundreds of branches . :( 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Least of burden

Two things.
1. How is she balancing that thing on her head?
2. How?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A balance between giving in and giving up

It's easy to quit. I know this from experience. It's always tougher to hang around, try harder and be hopeful. Quitting is an easy way out unless you're addicted to booze or smoke. However, it's also important when exactly to give up.  Nowadays, giving up is tantamount to losing when it shouldn't be. By that yardstick, losing weight must be a defeat too. The point being you should know what's going on. Where exactly you belong (or don't) before it's too late. To make matters severe, most of the time, it IS too late before you even get a whiff of reality. You are usually mistaken about so many things. You thought you had a dear friend when you didn't. You thought your colleagues will stand up for you when they couldn't. You thought you'll never be an orphan because your parents were always there for you. FYI, they aren't going to be around forever and you're going to miss them badly. Turns out that's how life is for the most part. Full of surprises and impromptu situations. In such a volatile scenario, wouldn't it be advisable to not give up unless you'are dead sure that you've given in your all? Also, wouldn't it be more fashionable to give up at the right time? Just quit by not being too hard on your ego? No? Okie-dokie.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Yes, talking to me

"I gotta get in shape now. Too much sittin' is ruinin' my body. Too much abuse has gone on for too long. From now on, it will be fifty push-ups each morning, fifty pull-ups. There'll be no more pills, there'll be no more bad food, no more destroyers of my body. From now on, it will be total organization. Every muscle must be tight." - Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver (1976) 

Not a day goes i don't think of this particular quote. Or Robert De Niro for that matter in that epic role. If only i had it in me to absorb the invaluable lesson that aforementioned monologue contains!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Whether you like it or not

The weather has been acting crazy since i moved north. It's almost like this city is yet to come to terms with my presence. And i'm not even exaggerating. It has been anything but normal here since Valentine's Day. There have been crazy lightnings, untimely showers, highly irregular sandstorms, sudden dip in temperature and occasional rise as well. All this when Gurgaon is supposed to be hot. It's supposed to be cruel. It's supposed to be dusty and annoying. Guess what? Last evening, it started raining as soon as i got into my colleague's car. All we needed was the sea to go with the ensuing drive. It was that wonderful! OK. It didn't end well. We were stuck in a traffic that refused to move for ages. Anyway, that was last night. As of now, May is about 15 days away and there is not a hint of extreme summer anywhere. Some mornings, i'm transported to Bangalore by the cool breeze that greet my face as we step out for work. I should be relishing every bit of it (and to be honest, i am) but at the same time, i wonder whether this too shall end horribly.  

Better halves

....half-Irish, half-asleep, half-witty, half-calm, half-silent, half-brave, half-needy, half-decided, half-confused, half-here, half-cunning, half-gardener, half-docile, half-grungy, half-there, half-poet, half-nothing, half-senti, half-pragmatic, half-loser, half-explorer, half-afraid, half-lover, half-lazy, half-stubborn, half-crybaby, half-wrong, half-soulmate, half-me, half-genius, half-fool, half-austere, half-remarkable, half-cribber, half-philosopher, half-humane, half-hyper, half-Jewish, half-glad, half-convinced, half-nice, half-chatty, half-Scottish, half-rude, half-generous, half-wonderful, half-addicted, half-hungry, half-right, half-writer, half-trivial, half-chesschampion, half-thinker, half-dreamer, half-winner, half-passionate, half-sick, half-complacent, half-healthy, half-frugal, half-evil, half-sprinter, half-religious, half-coward, half-cool, half-hippie, half-citizen, half-fun, half-you, half-everything...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Create and perish?

Q: Who's going to happen to your creative work after you die? [10 marks]

A: Not much. Some will go through it just because they already did earlier. Some will share and make others take notice. Some will stumble upon your work if you're unlucky enough. But more importantly, your work will remain so. Yours. Whether you're breathing or dead. And that's something you should be proud of. Besides, it takes an extraordinary talent like Vivian Maier or  to be truly discovered. Most of us are already documenting bits and pieces of our (creative, if we may describe so) lives every passing day thanks to the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Every little tweet we post or picture we share or blog post we plug, we are basically exhibiting a part of us that we tend to assume is unique. Who knows? Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't. In that perspective, the question isn't what's going to happen to our creative product(s) once we die, rather the pressing query is what's happening to us while we're pursuing validation in the name of creativity. Are we living at all? If yes, at what price? 

PS: I could have aimed for 10 but i'm content with 5 marks. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Are you in pain or vice versa?

This little boy of eight burned his face and arm. Badly ain't the suitable adverb. He could even smell his skin emitting odd scent but he wouldn't cry. It was evident that the boy was too shocked to react. Overlooking his intriguing demeanor, his loved ones rushed him to hospital. He was calmer than the dying tree outside the window. The doctor immediately took over his case and got down to treating the burns with his nurse's help. Not a yelp would emerge out of the boy's system. Even the cotton stubs tending his fresh wounds wouldn't make him squirm. It was as if his body and mind were in collusion with the gravity of the accident that took place less than 30 minutes ago. The doctor couldn't have asked for a better patient! The nurse pretended as if it was normal for a kid to behave so zen despite the obvious pain. The facial dressing itself took about half an hour. Not a sound from the victim's end though. His arm displayed relatively lesser complications when the doctor was about to start his procedure on it. Just to make an exemplary case out of our little hero, he said, “Learn something from him...” making the curious patients aware of the lack of noise in the ward. 
But that was it.

On hearing that accolade, our little monk just let all hell's fury loose. He cried like no patient has ever done before and the unfunny part was his tears were nowhere to be seen as the bandage kept soaking whatever his eyes had to say. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Break ke baad

When a relationship fails—especially between two individuals—unexpected events unfold. This is so because when a relationship is blooming, neither of the two parties bother to prepare themselves for the period when either of them would have have to do without the other person in question. That scenario is never entertained. In fact, a mere mention of the possibility of such a happenstance is considered a jinx. The fear of a relationship breaking up at seams is so high that when it actually takes place, we are scared beyond reality and scarred beyond imagination. It's quite palpable that not both the parties would have the same inclination towards each other. One of the two would very well—like they love to say nowadays—"move on" in style although that's something i'm yet to grasp. How can people move on? Especially when you've invested time, energy and the potion called love into one person for an interesting amount of time. Especially when a piece of you is left in that person who has apparently moved on and you're supposed to move on from. Especially when it felt so real and eternal. Maybe that's why it hurts one fine afternoon when you weren't expecting the memories to flood in. Because you thought you were done. Surprise, surprise! You never were and you never will be. That's not how a human heart works. We are animals, yes, but we are not the kind that takes a life for granted. We are the ones who look into each other's eyes and synchronize heartbeat. I shudder to imagine how it'd feel like when two heartbeats are out of sync.

PS: Despite all these theories, i sincerely hope i never get to move on. And if at all that happens, i'd prefer to move on with her than from her. 

Affecting causes

As per Fargo, the epic TV series, a rich guy tries to make the world a better place by giving away all his wealth. Turns out it wasn't enough. So he decided to donate his kidney. As expected, that wasn't enough either. So he went to his doctor and told him that he wished to donate all of his vital body parts. The startled doc told him that it isn't possible, particularly when he's still alive. 
So what did our guy do?
He goes ahead and kills himself, leaving the body to used by science for greater good. 
To my understanding, he was trying to make a difference and i don't blame him. It's a natural instinct. Anybody who breathes out carbon dioxide for a living should know that every little thing that we plan to do yields a greater motive of wanting to make a difference in the world we inhabit. Some of us do it without having to lose a kidney. Some of us do it by losing more than just a kidney. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015


I recently came across a well-written blog post about how it's not ethically right to plagiarize tweets. I agree for the most part that we shouldn't lift creative materials blindly without bothering to give credit where it's due. It's a terrible way of getting by. Getting inspired is one thing and stealing, quite another. However, one should avoid this malpractice for two major reasons:
1. You wouldn't want THAT to happen to you (at least in the online world).
2. You don't really want to be seen as a prick (at least in the offline world). 
Having said that, i still feel that tweets don't fall under the category of art. Tweeps aren't artists by any yardstick. Who coins words anymore? Twitteratis may claim expertise in wordplay and instant humour, it'd be preposterous to put them in the same category as someone who dedicates oneself to a particular stream of creativity. Tweeps are way too random and spontaneous in comparison. And that's how they are supposed to be! See something and post something about it in not more than 140 characters. Minute in and minute out.
But plagiarism is a touchy as well as a vague topic and sometimes, we have the following order of situations: 
a. You post a tweet and somebody points out that it was already tweeted earlier, specifically suggesting that you must have copied it. 
b. You don't know how to respond to it because it seems like you have copied a joke (of all things!) when you don't even remember reading it earlier. To you, your tweet dropped straight out of your head. 
c. Interestingly, the person claiming that you plagiarized has fewer followers than you and is crying foul how twelebs (twitter celebs, whatever that mean or entail) rob the non-twelebs (although they can't wait to turn into twelebs) of fame and prosperity that timeline was originally designed for. 
d. On one hand, the person is claiming that his tweet doesn't get the exposure it SO deserves and on another, he also points out that somebody more exposed than him has stolen his line. 
e. Now, the question is "How the fuck is that even possible?" when the claimant is basically contradicting himself. 
This is why i feel the whole practice of screaming "Yeh pehle ho chuka hai"—whenever a tweet reminds someone on Twitter of something they'd already read before—redundant. Does it really matter? I don't know about you but my tweets mattered to me a lot about 4-5 years ago. Not anymore. I don't give a click who copies my lame one-liners. In fact, i feel good to know at least somebody cares enough to steal my unhealthy body of words (which i didn't even invent in the first place). Aren't we all borrowers of words? 
Anyway, that's me.
To each his own, as they so like to preach. But then, what's the point of quarreling over a sentence or two when there is so much more going on? As we tweet, books are being written. Not to forget pieces on how it's easier and worthier to plagiarize a blog post than a stupid tweet. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


After months (if not years) of claiming that i'll never join Instagram, i not only joined it but also made myself home on Snapchat. And i am addicted like never before. I don't own a DSLR nor am a photograper par excellence but i see things like Haley Joel Osment did in The Sixth Sense. Just kidding! It's a pity he couldn't see his career fading away within a decade. Anyway, it's fun to post random pictures with one-word caption (on Instagram) and lame images with quirky lines (on Snapchat) every once in a while all the fucking time. And that's where the problemo lies. I remember posting not less than 100 tweets on Twitter a day when i initially joined Twittersphere. That figure has come down to 10 in less than seven years. I don't care much about my timeline, let alone my mentions. On the other contrary, it's cute how my attention span has spiked over the past two days thanks to extensive activities on the aforementioned sites. Let's wait and not watch how long this phase continues.