Friday, October 30, 2015

Rotations and revolutions

My dearest friend Visha once told me that undermining astrology could be fallacious. Her theory was that since astrology is basically the study of movement of celestial bodies with respect to Earth, it makes sense to analogize. Her analogy aimed at assuming humans as a subset of Earth but not very different from it. After all, like us, Earth is made up 70% water—at least on the surface—and always wondering what's wrong with us. And like our planet, we keep moving too, thus affecting the water in us. In other words, it's all about water! I don't know whether this makes sense but to me, it does, in some way or the other. 

Taking the analogy ahead, i'm up with a new theory. Maybe we are indeed planets in our own right. Don't we unknowingly nourish so many tiny living beings (both visible as well as invisible)? On top of that, we carry a certain amount of gravitation energy in us. Some have more and some, comparatively less. The ones with more of this energy is able to attract others more towards him/her. The ones with less of this energy is bound to wonder what's wrong with them. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Count your blessings

I always knew i was lazy. But yesterday was the height. Quite literally. As you must know, Gurgaon felt severe earthquake tremors. What you wouldn't know is our office building was swaying. It was being serenaded by Mother Nature herself, to put it poetically. Now, if only the reality was THIS sweet. People were fucking scared. I felt dizzy in the beginning before i realized what was happening as all the hanging tube-lights were merrily swinging to the beat. As expected, the entire floor was to be evacuated. Everybody left except me and some office boys. I didn't leave, not out of bravery but out of sheer laziness. I'd rather die peacefully than walk down 21 floors and wait for a stampede to swallow me. Sounds logical, no? No? OK.

That was yesterday. Today, i found a new (read: lazier) way to deal with life. Whenever we sneeze, our heart stops for a bit. Which itself is a matter of rarity because from the moment we conceptualize inside a womb to the moment we die, our heart is one of those few things that keeps working. So sneezing is indeed a moment of celebration, for lack of better words. For some reason, we don't want evil spirit to enter our heart while our face is having an orgasm, which is why we say "bless you" to the sneezers. I don't. I just spread my palm towards the one as a sign of blessing.  

Excuse #401

I've got nothing to say. I wish i did.

Speaking of which, i should wish for bigger things in life!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Say cheers!

I'm not sure about other countries but if you notice, there is a trend among Indians when it comes to DP (no, not the one you're guessing!). We tend to put up pictures where we are either sipping something or about to sip. For some reason, it's happening! No, it's not a recent trend. I've been noticing it over half a decade now. Maybe there is a tendency to show that we are enjoying life, either with margarita or cocktail or mocktail or colorfuldrinkwhosenamedeludesyou. It's must be a euphemism for celebrations. Whatever it is, this phenomenon tells you that you were once very thirsty for a memorable picture. 

I'm yet to come across a display picture wherein somebody is drinking water. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Peace out!

This blog post was supposed to be about the current state of Islam and how questioning should be encouraged. But the thing is, i like breathing a lot. So i'll stop here and hope reformation takes place from within the religion instead of from the outside. And that is going to happen only when people stop exaggerating the benefits of seeing things with closed eyes. 

May peace be upon on everyone. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Thick youth, thin decline

I guess i'm going bald from the center. I realized this after the above picture emerged. It was clicked by my colleague, who for some reason, found it funny. I was scraping off something from my desk thanks to OCD! Coming back to the capital topic, my dad has a nice crown of hair but my uncles don't. Maybe this is it! The age of recedence is here. Or maybe i'm just overreacting as usual. I abhor the hard water that Gurgaon supplies but there's not much one can do about it other than pray that it doesn't mess up your only glory. And by that, i mean the wise grey(ing) hair on my head. I'm perfectly comfortable with them turning silver but their downfall is worrying and naturally unacceptable. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Nobody Anonymous

I choose my words carefully, especially when i'm talking to others. I might tend to lose focus while i'm ruminating/tweeting/blogging because i'm basically talking to myself but in person, i take care what comes out of my mouth. If i'm describing something, i make sure i know what i'm talking about. I don't confuse my humid with hot. If a Sunday can't be called a Monday, then an idiot shouldn't be called a fool either. Get my drift? Which is why i think the word 'celeb' is annoying when people use it in my reference. I'm not a celeb. In fact, i'm nowhere close to it. Having 28K odd followers—built over a pace of seven slow years—doesn't make you a celeb. And neither do 2500+ Facebook 'friends', a majority of whom won't show up at your funeral. Let's not even go to Instagram or Snapchat. In my dictionary, a celeb is someone who doesn't need introduction. I’ve never had been stopped on the street. Nobody knows me except the mongrels and that's just because i happen to feed them biscuits. Or else, even they wouldn't bother to wag their tails. If everything happens for a reason, a celeb is somebody who happens unreasonably. And i'm glad i'm not one of them. I am very random in my expressions, yes, but i'm not a tweleb either. Thanks, no thanks. So far, i've tried my level best to be not put in a box. Once you're inside a box, you are forced to follow patterns. That's clearly not my style. I'm a nobody and i make the most of it. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pablo raised the bar

I sincerely hope everybody watches Narcos. For a really long time, i felt Breaking Bad was the finest thing that ever happened to fiction on television. Game of Thrones is epic, yes, but what Breaking Bad did is it brought us closer to reality. On the other hand, Narcos, being based on true events, is the closest you'll ever feel to a TV show. To top it all, the narrator (good guy) leads us through the legend of Pablo Escobar. Pablo, who? 
Well, he was the biggest drug mafia that ever was. At par with Al Capone, maybe. El Chapo might have escaped from prison and trolled Donald Trump on Twitter but he is nowhere close to what Pablo was. This Columbian rose from nowhere and ended up as supremo in the field of narcotics. I read about him long time back in an article in Asian Age but i saw more of him in the documentary The Two Escobars (2010). However, after watching Narcos' first season, i can admit that i can understand a bit of his greatness. You see, greatness has nothing to do with good or bad. It flows both ways. If Gandhi was great in his pacifistic ideals, then Hitler was great at his evil executions too. Pablo was great because he could dare to dream bigger than he was programmed to. He killed powerful politicians, blew an airplane, himself murdered hundreds of people purely out of paranoia. He didn't care for anything although it seemed like he cared for the poor. He built them hospitals and schools but at the same time, he was holding a nation at ransom. Which might make you wonder what exactly did he care for. 
Was it money? 
If yes, how much is enough? He was perhaps the richest guy on earth. After all, he was rolling out $60mn every single day! And if that's not convincing, he had more cash than General Motors did at one point of time. And we are talking about late 80s and early 90s here. He had no dearth of cartel enemies but his greatest threats came from the rats who chewed on his hidden moolah. No Swiss banks for him, sorry!
Was it his family? 
It looks like he really loved his wife but that didn't stop him from banging other women. A proper family guy! He loved his children like anything and the same is true for his mother. He indeed respected her. There's a scene in Narcos when he is quietly mourning his cousin's death on the terrace. He has a joint in his hand but as soon as he realizes that his mother is approaching from behind, he throws it away like an obedient son. It doesn't even matter whether that scene is a fiction because in its brief existence, it showed how even the baddestassofalltime turns into a pussy in front of his mother. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

footsie > football

Playing football without adequate practice (in terms of skills and fitness) is a really bad idea. If you go for a night match, do expect to hear your muscles cry the next month. It goes without saying that everybody can't aspire to be as durable as modern footballers. They are as good as army men, if not better than Shaolin monks! Running 10-12 miles for an hour or so is not a pancake. I know this because i've been to two nocturnal football outings now. Both involving colleagues who are way too fitter than i am. They smoke and drink and yet manage to run around for 70-90 odd minutes. I am out of gas within 15 minutes. As i write this, i'm feeling weary as sloth and my neck is aching, among other things. But having said that, i've noticed that there is always a smarter way to do things. Hence the following points should be adhered to (at least by me) if i'm ever going to play after work. 
  • Always pack up properly before leaving for the ground. Tee. Shorts. Kaupinam. Shoes. Socks. Slippers. Small towel (more on that later). Waterbottle. Cash. 
  • Warm up appropriately. Hands. Legs. Hip. Joints. Warm up everything. Jog a bit after stretching. Don't pounce on the ball as if you've never seen it before!
  • Don't talk while playing. Nobody's listening to you anyway. Everybody is in their own zone. Instead, clap to signal to your fellow players.
  • Sprint but make sure you are breathing deeply while at play. Nothing helps more than oxygen on the field. Nothing. Not even water. 
  • Sip short gulps of water only during the half-time break. Sip long gulps of water only after the game ends. 
  • Sip while sitting on the ground relaxed. Cooling down is VERY important.
  • Use the towel to wipe off your sweaty head. Once the sweat droplets seeps in, you are going to get a headache whether you like it or not. Your head will be fucked throughout the night and well into the following morning.
  • Take a hot bath on reaching home. Wash your hair with shampoo and scrub yourself properly to get rid of the grass-related bugs. 
  • Have a light dinner but drinks loads of water. 
  • Avoid pillow. Your neck will be sprained otherwise. 
  • Announce retirement from football and go back to watching a match from a safe distance.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Connect, disconnected

Native place, by design, holds a significant place in our existence. "Where do you come from?" can become a defining question when one bothers to answer. If you had asked me that question a decade ago, i'd have said Manipal but my answer is a bit different now. I boldly tell people that my mother is my native place before breaking into a lecture how every human being is basically an extension of a female being. The irony lies in the manner how womenfolk are treated in our world! Some things never change. But what changes is how one perceives his/her native place. I have a friend who hails from Mangalore but he doesn't really have a connect with it. In his three-decade long life, he's been to Mangalore five times and all for the sole reason of attending funerals. Yes, unbelievable as it may sound. But that's not the worst part. He missed three of those funerals for one reason or the other. Now, THAT'S the worst part. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Accept my exceptions perhaps?

This classic line from one of my favourite movies of all time, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013), always makes me think. I keep thinking and thinking and thinking. Then i think harder. And that's when it strikes me that it doesn't matter whether the above quote is true or not. We believe the bullshit we assume we deserve. You can't do anything about it. If you ask me (which i'm sure you won't as i don't give a fuck about replying on time), i'll add that we accept the penis we think we deserve. Like i said, you can't do anything about it either. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

A price of growth

It's never enough.

Not today. Not ever. 

The sooner we get used to the idea, the easier it will be for us. 

When you are younger, the world looks very promising because you don't have a vision. As you age, you begin to develop something within you that is much greater than you. No matter how much you strive to tame it, it won't budge. You don't quantify what it actually is because you enjoy having something of your own. Since you have to give it a name, you start calling it 'dreams'. That lovely little word that sounds so innocent when it clearly isn't. That's the beauty of creation. The thing in you takes shape according to the time you go through but it is always going to dominate you. And it's never going to stop. There's a reason why you don't put the word 'enough' in front of dreams. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

An inadequate trial

Plagiarism is a curse on those whose work is stolen. But it's a bigger curse on those who are accused of stealing when they haven't. Especially when the topic is circumnavigating verbal ideas. Mind you, just words. Nothing has been created out of them. They are just thoughts, per se. How can one be so sure that a thought should never repeat? What exactly is an original idea? Simply because somebody thought of something before you did makes that thought patented to that person? What if somebody else had thought of it before that person did? At least that's what the fight is all about on a platform like Twitter where people wage day-long war against those who they call tweetchor. Most of these disputes revolve around jokes (yes, that's the biggest joke!). 

First thing first, it's ethically wrong to lift somebody else's ideas and pass it off as your own. It is not only a disgrace but also silly to do so in the digital age where every little thing is on record. But here's the catch: Who's going to decide who is wrong? Also, can't two people have similar thoughts? When Darwin and Wallace could have resembling theories despite working at opposite ends of the world, who are we? When Marconi and Bose could come up similar wireless magics without ever knowing each other, who are we (again)? The point being coincidental ideas happen all the time. Just that we notice them in exceptions. When people are live-tweeting on an ongoing event, timeline is filled with similar sounding tweets. Nobody is copying nobody there. It's an exhibition of how mind reacts to a given situation. But this logic is not accepted on Twitter because people love pulling others down. The self-appointed vigilante would make their case by picking someone's recent tweet and juxtapose it with random old tweets by other people. The idea here is to prove that the recent tweet is a clear case of plagiarism. Well, it could be. There's no denying but at the same time, there are greater questions to be addressed. 

What if it isn't a case of plagiarism? If so, aren't you doing a great deal of disservice to a honest person by flogging him in public? What if it is just a random thought which has no relation whatsoever to the earlier tweets? Do you give others the benefit of doubt that you so aggressively present yourself with? Do you put all your tweets under the same supervision mode that you put others? Is every single post of yours ever made so authentic that it has never been said before in the history of mankind? The greatest question being, who made you the judge? At the end of the day, it's just a bunch of words strewn together to made a sentence. That's what it is. Words. Borrowed by us from time to time. We didn't invent them. Poets did. Poets we don't give a shit about anymore. And we are talking about giving credit! 

All things said and nothing done, to each his own. Personally, i'm perfectly alright with people lifting my tweets. They do that all the time on FB and Whatsapp anyway. One guy even had the audacity to mail me to inform that he has been "referring" to my blog posts to keep his blog alive. He was doing much more than referring. I choose to ignore because i don't have the energy or patience to fight a worthless battle. Forget words, i've come across Instagram accounts where i've seen pictures clicked by me. Since i have no fear of bagging the Nobel or Pulitzer anytime soon, i take it as a compliment. 

Online or offline, one's conscience should be unblemished no matter what. I remember when i joined Twitter, i used to not only send "Hello there!" to the likes of Obama but also blatantly lift Internet lines for my tweets. Fortunately, i came to my sense soon (2010) and decided to stick to my lame stuff. Interestingly enough, that's also when my following spiked! People actually admire honest lame stuff. Yes, they do!

I posted this recently as a rebuttal to those who claim that my tweets blindly cross 1K. They don't. 20-30 is my average thanks to the negative publicity that rampantly goes on due to my self-imposed silence.
But something very intriguing happened immediately. An old tweet of mine suddenly crossed 1K, becoming my first tweet ever to do so. 
And this tweet is plagiarized on a daily basis. It's tweeted every single day without fail with no credit showered whatsoever. No joke, this has been happening for months now. So, who is to be blamed here? This is why i believe that plagiarism is a conscious act with subconscious repercussions. There's no point in creating a ruckus. If a person steals, he'll acknowledge his unjust act someday or the other. But if a person is accused of stealing something he hasn't, then that realization becomes the vigilante's burden. Hence it's better to maintain silence and overlook acts of verbal transgression. Attention is the biggest commodity nowadays and if you are giving it to conducting a trial where your expertise is limited to Twitter search bar, then you are basically fooling yourself. There is a world beyond Twitter. And more importantly, there is a world beyond the English language. Not all thoughts are thought only in English. Do you cross-check in every single language out there? 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sticking it out

I've always admired Tibetans and a lot of that has to do with Dalai Lama. A community can't possibly get a better face. There's something nice about this homeless tribe (at least the ones who are in exile) that makes you like them. I read quite a bit about them as a young boy and later met some of them selling woolen clothes at VT. Dignified, calm and industrious. Somebody told me that you extol the ones you love. That's true. I love them so much so i even got the word 'Tibet' tattooed on my arm. I always hope they get their home back. Or else, go back home someday. There are two Tibets existing in this world: one in China and another, wherever Tibetans find refuge. I say that despite the fact that i don't consider myself political. I've got nothing against China. Everything happens for a reason. Malice, intended or unintended, has a part to play in the grand scheme called universe. How you greet a situation affects the situation, not the other way round. Speaking of which, did you know how Tibetans greet each other? They just stick their tongues out. No words exchanged. I don't know why they do that but i really wish it's an attempt to show the other person that nothing bad was said in his/her absence. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Funny how?

  • Funny how little we know about the closest thing to us: our body!
  • Funny how she runs through his head before covering her tracks.
  • Funny how everyone's busy but hardly anything is getting done.
  • Funny how Bollywood songs don't come with parental advisory label.
  • Funny how we keep losing respect for others while maintaining ours.
  • Funny how your life ACTUALLY begins and ends with you.
  • Funny how loss always outmatches the desire to own.
  • Funny how all your troubles disappear once you do the same.
  • Funny how we spend our lives trying to be a human.
  • Funny how we don't do anything worth an attempt.
  • Funny how allegations amount to convictions nowadays.
  • Funny how questions vary while the answer stubbornly stays the same.
  • Funny how there's no god/goddess of humour in mythology!
  • Funny how "Kuch bhi" has replaced "Tathastu".
  • Funny how falling for a person sometimes ruins everything.
  • Funny how your home takes you everywhere.
  • Funny how atheists believe in soul mates.
  • Funny how my dreams come true only when i am fast asleep.
  • Funny how something as trivial as clothes often decide our status.
  • Funny how our narcissism is limited to us! 
  • Funny how media buzzes louder than bees. 
  • Funny how we wait for a person to die to wholeheartedly praise him.
  • Funny how only mortality lives happily ever after.
  • Funny how some people found their voice on Dubsmash.
  • Funny how Maggi became the weapon of mass destruction.
  • Funny how life reflects even in utter darkness.
  • Funny how youth find their true calling in BPOs.
  • Funny how we initially underestimate others only to express surprise later.  
  • Funny how just one tweet cost Lalit Modi so many IPLs.
  • Funny how the realities dawn on us after sunset.
  • Funny how your face resembles my eyes.
  • Funny how sex is still a forbidden apple in our country.
  • Funny how only the sad part of history repeats itself? 
  • Funny how kindness surprises the stray dogs. 
  • Funny how you're tired of all the things you should have done
  • Funny how we lost their sense of humour. 
  • Funny how people change... their DPs!
  • Funny how i turned out to be a loner in the virtual world too!
  • Funny how people change. Funnier how people make people change.
  • Funny how others find you funny when you aren't!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A bad joke

There's a difference between a tourist and a traveller. And Indians (in my experience) only make terrible tourists. Not North Indians. Not South Indians. Just Indians. North Indians usually get the blame for being uncouth (which they generally are) away from home, South Indians aren't always exceptionally great either. The first thing that strikes you about our countrymen is how indifferent we are towards our country, let alone abroad. Compare that attitude with a foreigner who has travelled farther to visit our land. That firang would show more respect and affection towards what's geographically ours. We, on the other hand, will display our endearment by littering beautiful places. Don't we, as a people, enjjjoooooy spreading love in the form of plastic? We don't even spare the hills. The height of commitment—quite literally! How difficult can it be to let a place stay the way it was before you entered the scene? Seriously. I noticed how narrow streets and their narrower gutters in Dharamshala are filled with polythenes of varying sizes. Yes, one can point out that not all of the mess could be created by Indians alone, some blame should fall on the Tibetans. Agreed. But, going by my observation, it's difficult to share the blame. I noticed how these (technically homeless) people in exile love their Little Lhasa. Their simplicity is too apparent to be overlooked and they are too calm a species. The finest example could be noticed in the manner they behave on the road. Indians, despite knowing very well that they don't really have the knack to maneuver their vehicles on topsy-curvy bends, flock their four-wheelers up the hills. And in the process, end up creating massive traffic jam. The worst part was to witness an Indian driver taking a turn at the speed of 1km/hr and honking while he's at it. I mean, what the fuck is wrong with us? Why can't we just let the expert Tibetans and Pahadis drive and earn their livelihoods (not to forget, curb air pollution) instead of creating a public joke of ourselves? And speaking of honking, if there is a traffic jam, you can be dead sure that the local drivers won't touch their horn while the Indians will go ballistic with their impatience. It's high time we Indians stopped putting the loud in McLeodganj. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Worth a watch

Cinema has been a constant companion of mine and it didn't surprise me much to find it thriving in a place like McLeodganj. OK, thriving is a heavy word given i found only one theatre (if you can call that so) with about 20 seats and a small screen. Oh yes, there was a lovely poster of Leonardo DiCaprio's The Basketball Diaries on the wall. I managed to catch only one show—Far from the Madding Crowd, a must-watch even if you haven't read the book—out of the four that they screen everyday. Must admit i was pretty impressed by the choice of movies. Random lovely gems like Kundun, 7 Years in Tibet, Iris, Gandhi (screened appropriately on October 2nd), Still Alice, Wild, Mad Max and so on. Maybe this cinema hall, if not the uphill trip, was a gentle reminder that i'm losing touch with what kept me sane for a long, long time. I should go back to watching movies like i once used to!

The height of being laidback

It'd been a long while since i visited the hills. Ladakh happened in 2013 and it only helped create a fear in me for altitude. So i was a bit apprehensive about visiting McLeodganj over the past (long) weekend. But then, Ladakh is at a massive 18,875 ft above sea level while McLeodganj is at 6832 ft. Lower the better, for my breathlessness. So my partner and i reached early morning and headed straight to our hotel. The overnight bus trip was kind to neither of our backbones so we just wanted to sleep off. There was only one problem with that plan. Nobody seemed to be at the reception. I knocked on the door only to realize that it was unlocked. As i let myself in, i noticed that there was nobody behind the table either. I tapped the table bell repeatedly to no avail. By then, we had wasted about 15 minutes. I repeated “Hello” in various accents too. No response whatsoever. It was then i leaned over the table to notice that somebody was fast asleep on the floor. I raised the decibel of my unpleasant hello in an attempt to wake up whoever was sleeping with the quilt covering his entire body. No response, again. I proceeded to shake his legs gently—in the beginning at least—to wake him up. He wouldn't move, let alone bother to open his eyes. Tired but amused at the same time, i finally decided to pull his quilt off, hoping he'll get the sign. But no, he had his own plans. Without disturbing his forty winks, he dragged the quilt back over his face and went back to sleep. After my third attempt at tug-of-quilt, he finally gave in. On getting up, he apologized profusely but not without explaining how he went to sleep at 4.30am! However, that's not the funniest part of the story. He informed us that the room we booked wasn't empty because the occupants didn't check out! Sheepishly, he further requested us to leave our luggages behind and go have breakfast somewhere. His idea was that he'll get us room—somehow—within an hour. We did as he instructed because we were so damn indebted to his awakening. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Changing constants

Everything changes. The weather changes. Clouds change. The climate changes. Tides change. The wind changes its direction. The directions change too. The day changes into night. The night changes into day. Resolutions change. The taste changes. The recipe changes. The priorities change. The regrets change. Personalities change as well. Society changes. Boundaries change. Politics changes too. A language changes. Words change. Ideas change as well. Memories change. The pattern of knowledge changes. Art changes. Fashion changes. Intelligence changes with age. Stupidity changes with time too. Nothing remains constant. Moreover, nothing attempts to remain constant. Except religion.

And that's precisely where the problem lies.