Sunday, December 19, 2010

A name - a culture

This time on my hometown visit I got the opportunity to revisit my school. The place where I spent a good deal of my formative years. I cannot call it the best days of my life, but it surely paved way for my best days, gave me that integrity and morality of a young man!

My school:
It is a name which makes many a parent proud…
A name which makes many a student the best and the worthiest in town…
A name which gives many a quizzers and debaters a chill down the spine…
A name which gives many a sports enthusiasts a shudder…
A name which we have always shouted and chanted with the head held high and chest undaunted…
And beyond all that, it is a culture that its bearers kindled with utmost care and perfection...
Loyola School…mine and many others formative grounds…

I cannot write anything more about that place. Because no words or aphorisms or adjectives can describe the charm of that place. Nothing can do justice to the valor and the undying spirit which it has instilled in all of us.

This post is dedicated to all my people who have been there and who are still there, felt the place, saw the people, argued, played, fought, debated, sang, danced, abused, studied, had fun, loved and lived together for a given period…blessed are those!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let it go...

If u feel something is not worth holding on have to let it go.
Why spoil your mood and deny the freedom of the other. If something is not meant to be with you, it never is, however hard you try. So the best thing to do is just to let it go and be happy rather than having to let go of it in a very awkward circumstance.

I seriously don't understand the need for people to keep with them what is not meant to be there with them. If something is meant to be yours leave it and see, it'll come back. Never be the dictator who chains the freedom or anything or anybody.

Why can't people accept the importance of a fart? Its a perfectly natural human process where you let something free. What goes in has to go out and there is no point holding on to it. In fact its better to let go if it at the apt time rather than wait and make a fool of yourself at not so apt a time.

But of course there are farting etiquettes:

Unless its a silent fart never fart in public.

Even if its a silent fart, if you think its a smelly one don't fart when its just two of you. It leaves you with lesser space for speculation.

Take ample fart breaks. The washroom or the balcony in the best place to let it go.

If you know that the other person has relieved himself/herself, don't look at him/her as if they did a big crime. You never when its a bad fart day for you...

And last but not the least...

If the fart was unintentional do not hesitate to take up ownership. If one man can make a difference to the society's outlook on people who fart, so be it...

So...LET IT GO...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A passion...

A couple of days back when my brother asked me to suggest a topic for his yet to launch blog, I felt a deja vu or I would rather say revisiting.

What do I write?
What could make a good read?
What topic would appeal to the people?

These are some questions I have encountered long back when I used to write for the Hindu in Trivandrum and as a new blogger about 6 years back. My perceptions about writing have changed and so has my writing.

If 6 years ago when I was started writing for a daily, my intention was a name, decorating my CV for the pursuit of journalism and not to rule out money.I would look into minute detail for a topic.I would try to find a topic in everything I saw and heard. Then finally it would dawn upon me, a topic which pleases me. Would take up the phone and call my boss and ask if the topic is good enough. Sometimes the go ahead sign was spontaneous, sometimes I had to wait for a while. But in the end, the icing lay in the comments I got on the day the article was published. I would be excited if it was a front page one and how long it was and where my name is placed.

Time just rushed by, before I knew what was happening University was over, Delhi was over and I started my new blog after my old one was hacked. Now I see writing in a new light. Writing for me as much as anything else is a form of expression. I no longer search for topics, they just happen.The chicken vendor in front of my residential colony, a kid who held my hands to alight from a bus, a friend who once I had who later turned a fiend, the various expressions people throw at me in office, a bottle of beer, pink floyd and doors, a taxi driver who showed me what job satisfaction was, a hotel owner in Rishkesh, the priest at a temple near my office...all of them formed my topics rather unknowingly.I no longer think about what topic would interest others, I write what I feel about. I don't write to please anybody now or to get good comments. Writing is a passion as much as my many other passions. I don't like to write for anybody or for anything. The blog gives me my freedom to exploit multiple topics and I have the writer's license to write what I like. This is what writing now means to me. One of my friends once said...”You sound more genuine when I read you than listen to you”

At the end of the day when I go to sleep, when I see a small bit of my own writing, how much ever big or small it is, how much ever polished or raw it is... When I see that small bit of myself in it, I feel elated. Its all mine, the words used, the style, the perception and the quality...there are very few things in this world which I can call mine. But the piece of writing...Its entirely mine.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

We all live in a bad wild world

Oh! I had a friend...
Who used to sing and say
Its no good, if you can't pay!

So one day, when the time came
He told his girl, “so honey...
its time to throw some money”

All in all love is divine
But in the end together we wine
A crime it is, enough to whine

We all live in a bad bad world
We try to keep a cool cool head
A cool cool head without a brain

Now it wouldn't be much of an issue
If thinking n talking, went hand in hand
But now, Ranting n raving, goes side by side

We all live in a bad bad world
We all live in a wild wild world
We all live in a bad wild world

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Life goes on...

Its been almost a year since I started my blog, and I have about 25 posts to name and by god's grace 20 followers...I am exhilarated at this. I used to and still write for myself. Writing for me is passion, a vent of emotion, an expression of a different kind. And I also believe its experience which gives the word its power. I don't write just for my blog. The blog for me is a forum which I contribute with sincerity and love of writing. Each of these blog posts have a history and an emotion behind it. I have drawn my topics from various avenues and people which I will speak about in a different post.

Fortunately, in my life till now I've had the grace of meeting, being with, spending time and sticking with a bunch of amazing people. This blog is dedicated to all my people who have a role in what I am today.

My dad taught me the fine art of modesty. He taught me what constitutes character. My affinity towards the media and books and writing was a result of watching him study. He taught me the fine art of executing something meticulously. There is this line he told me way too long back which stays in my mind. He said “Son, be true to yourself. Give in 100 % to whatever you do, be it your sports, your studies, your music, your movies...whatever. Love your parents, your friends, your cousins, your family, your girlfriend...”

Being just to the word motherhood, my mom has been there and still is..rock solid; as a friend, a confidant, a treasurer and a mother...I believe that single word is all encompassing of a zillion positive qualities. In my school days when I was notorious for all the wrong reasons, once when I was doubtful of passing my 7th standard I asked my mom “what will you do if I fail this year” All she said was “you're my son whatever happens” and thats the flame that has given me the guts of a teenager, the adventure spirit of a 22 year old and the integrity of a good guy. Both of them taught me the words dignity, pride, honor, integrity, commitment etc...

My younger Brother, looking at the way he is coming up in life, a sense of brotherly responsibility grips me. I see a lot of myself in him.

There are a couple of friend who journeyed with me, saw the country with me, drank with me...but taught me, inspired me. They've just been there...

Vishnu Menon, I have not known another person who had to carry so many responsibilities at such a young age. He once told me “Sadness is a good thing, it propels you forward”. Only a person with an amazing will power and an amazing confidence in himself can say that. Hats off to you man! You have been my morale booster for long now

Rakesh Venugopal, Hats off to you too mate, just for giving me the confidence that courage is
something cultivated and caressed. Leaders are made, and you are a fine make I tell you.

Divya, for just being around...For being the little but big thing in my life. For helping me realize relationships are made in heaven...Its only rarely people get to be in something so pure.

Shruthi...Understanding begins where love ends. Thanks for the faith, the trust and the confidence you have in me. The Understanding which we share has helped me move on...

Aparna, for the never dying spirit she shows in everything she does. For all the debates we went, the quizzes and the many lunches and dinners. You're such a fine girl!

Till now I haven't been proved wrong in the choice of my people.

“Life goes on...”

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I: So whats the big deal man? Its just another day!

ME: How can you have such a lackadaisical attitude towards it. Its not just another day, Its your Birthday!

I: So? I am Arun John, for record sake born on 17-10-1986. Would you have loved me better if it was 19-10-1986? No right? Then what are birthdays for. Getting drunk? Spending money on insane treats? Its just for legitimizing your existence. Just so that you know when you should go to school, college, university, get married...and so and so forth.

ME: But doesn't it feel good when your family wishes you a Happy Birthday without a fail first thing in the morning. When your close friends call you at 12 at the night to wish you. When your mom gives you the most genuine hug in the world. When your friends come and pound with pats and hugs and all of them the best you could ever have?

I: Well...except the birthday wishing part, do you mean to say that you don't get the hug or a friendly pat any other day? Then I am sorry to tell you my friend, you better get a couple of really good friends! If possible a good girl friend too...

ME: Come me, a birthday is an important day. I mean, its only once that you are born, and even if I believe in multiple lives, I might have to wait till my next birth and for that this life has to get over and there is no guarantee that I will be born a human in my next birth! So for me, Birthday, the day you entered this world is a huge thing. And celebrating a Birthday is a kind of salutation to the whole beautiful biological process that worked behind you and to the fact that you are here, to make a change or to live your life or to love no purpose or what not...

I: True, I also salute the beautiful and wonderful process behind it. But it doesn't make a difference having a day dedicated to it. I would rather worship the time I was born if anything, the moment. Not a day dedicated for it anyway...and hello! Should I be glad I am getting older? To be reminded of my responsibilities and duties on a yearly basis as I grow in age!!!

ME: Responsibilities are there no matter which month or day or year you are born. As a child, a different set of responsibilities, as an adolescent a different set, as a father or a grown up middle aged man, again different responsibilities. So in that sense, you are right. You don't need a birthday to be reminded of your growing age and inevitable responsibilities and roles which come with it.

I: See...I understand your argument dude. It does feel nice to have a good hug, a good meal with your people, a good drink to celebrate your place in this world and all the emotions tied with it. But again, wouldn't you enjoy all those every other day? When would you say no to a good hug, a good meal, a good drink?
So Birthdays to me are nothing of great significance. And to be very honest with you, I am secretly glad that these sites like Facebook and Orkut prompt the Birthdays because people do take offense if you don't wish them on their special days! And these sites are very prompt in letting you know when those days are!

ME: Thats true, even I secretly admit it. But again, is logic a good solution to everything. Even for this logic to stand, you need an emotional base right! We as humans are primarily build on such emotions of love or hate or relationships and friends or dates or what not...

I: I agree with that. So I make myself malleable. I don't say I won't wish anybody on their birthdays. I don't say all this is crap. I give what people want. I have friends of whom I don't even know when their birthday is. But I have a group of friends whom I wish on a regular basis, give a gift, pep him up and make him feel special. Thats how I see things..

ME: To each his own man. You cannot just brush aside something saying I don't approve and it doesn't appeal to me, so I won't do it. It if requires, you have to do it.

I: Ya. Thats all it is, Catering to requirements...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chocolate, Mama and Kids...

Let me tell you a story of chocolates and mama and kids…

Mummy mummy can I have that chocolate? “Please mama…please”. The clever mom who knew it would create cavities said “No, there is no way, you can’t have it.” Now little did she know the child was inspired by Gandhi or at least couple of his principles…like fast unto death and non-alignment.

When Chandrasekhar Rao said he wanted Telangana, big mama Congress told “Beta, calm down when time comes and when you are grown up, we will think about it” so our beta kept quiet for a while, but threatened to take away the chocolates from the fridge…all of them.

And so one day the time came…our beta again demanded the chocolates…mama said “time not up!!!” Gandhian follower beta stated fasting unto death, “no chocolate-no other food” was his motto. Mama got worried…what if beta falls sick and loses health while she is still in charge of the house? And more than that what if his friends blame her, what if the neighbors blamed her??? What is the friends withdrew their support and admiration for Mama dear!!! “God…to hell with the chocolate, my son’s friends and family goodwill is more important to me than some chocolate. So here is the chocolate, go and enjoy…”
But mama didn’t know that it would still create cavities…left and right her sons and daughters started fasting for more and more chocolates…but poor mama was not willing to make more chocolates nor buy news ones for the sake of distributing…

Now the beta is unhappy that mama gave the chocolate not because she liked him, but because she liked his friends better and the other kids are unhappy that mama is partial, that she doesn’t like everyone equally…
My heart weeps out for poor mama...
My heart weeps put for the beta who was reaffirmed a fool…
My heart weeps out for the other kids who also like the taste of the chocolate…
My heart weeps out for myself…in the race for the chocolate I am in an identity crisis, did I study in Hyderabad or Telangana? Will the Biriyani be called Telangana Biriyani from now? Will the price of booze come down? Alas…mama I at least want the chocolate wrappers…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do I look the part!

I have never felt the need for looking the part of something. I always believed what is inside you is what matters. Be it in the office, apart the fact that you've to look decent and in a work place I have never felt the need to look 'corporate'. I haven't felt the need to look like a professional or a anything for that matter. But all these are so negotiable. The maximum that can happen to me if I don't dress corporate for my office is a pink slip. Thats the worst case.

But have you ever felt the need to look a Hindu? Look a Muslim? Look a Christian?

For the first time in my life I felt the need. I am born to a Hindu Brahmin mother and a Latin Catholic Father. I have been baptized, Arun John, very much a Christian but brought up learning to accept all religions and cultures. I have gone to Temples, The Kumbh Mela, Churches, Gurudwaras and quite many places of worship in my so many years. But I've never felt the need to look a Hindu to enter a temple, a Christian to enter a Church. I don't know if there is something called the Hindu look.

Yesterday I went to a temple in Hyderabad, near my office to pray and see the Dussera festive nip in the air. I admit, by regular Indian standards I look more a Muslim than Human. I sport a goatee which is influenced by the rock culture. But this also in branding terms make me look a 'Muslim'. I have never felt a thousand eyes upon me scanning me top to bottom as if I am misfit, an intruder, an outsider. But yesterday when I went to the temple I felt that. I felt each and every one right from the security at the temple entrance to the priest performing the pooja inside the deity room looking at me with scanning eyes placing my religion. I am not a person who frequents a temple or church or any place of worship for that matter; but once in a while when I do I would like to pray properly, have a silent conversation with myself without the fear of being scrutinized.

Is Religion no longer a matter of faith?
Even if I am a terrorist who wants to blow up the entire place if my face is neatly shaved and I look Hindu enough I can go into the temple without the fear of frisking and scanning?
Is there a need for this generalization or branding of Religions?
Is Religion a matter of faith or of identity?

There are many more questions in my mind which isn't so refined to be put down on a blog. But the incident freaked me out. It depressed me to know that I don't have the freedom to look what I want and follow the faith I want. I am more a patriot or nationalist than them I believe. I am a more mature and accommodative person than the octogenarians of middle aged ladies and gentlemen I saw there I believe.

I hope that people someday go back to being accommodative. We Indians have had a very accommodative culture. Religion is a matter of faith and its an extremely personal choice. If not accepting everything, the least we can do it respect it and treat the person as a fellow being rather then branding the person this or that! I am now overcome with a terrible pathos and a feeling of despair around me seeing face to face certain facts I never thought would affect me....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oh..its a mistake!!!

People excite me. In my 24 years of life, I had the fortune of meeting and talking and spending time with many a kind of people. From the many experiences I have had and still have on a daily basis, I have come to a conclusion of my own, people are most interested in pointing out others mistakes! Now, pointing out mistakes is good, but isn't accepting it dignity? Just like you would like to point out, shouldn't you also be ready to accept it, rather than being defensive?

An incident which happened yesterday is what gave me the extra jive to write this post. One of my friends who is also a blogger, received a comment on her latest post saying it is 'substandard' from an anonymous person. Now, receiving such a comment even from a known person is quite unusual, leave alone an unknown person. The anonymous person who said its substandard later clarified that s/he is an avid reader of my friend's blog and that her writing is 'precious' and enjoys reading her posts. This just opened a can of worms in my mind:

Is it so typical for human being to always find mistakes with somebody? How come the anonymous person never commented anything good on the blog I mentioned, in none of them? But unfailing commented 'substandard' in the one which s/he found not so interesting? Is this then criticism or plain beating around the bush to sound important? When do you pretend and in front of whom?What can you term by mistake? Is there actually something called right and wrong? If one person is right, does it mean the other person in wrong?

I personally don't believe in a phenomenon called right or wrong. Just because I am right doesn't mean the other person is wrong nor vice versa. I believe in respecting. I might not be able to accept certain things because I am an individual and I am unique in terms of my mental make up. But I have to respect and that I believe is what makes a man better. Whatever the action is the other person did, s/he has a reason behind it and I respect the reason...

Ego is the word! Everybody has one and he or she thinks the other one's is bigger!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My love, my everybody's love...

Every night I waited for you
My door never closed before you
But alas...for a week where have you been
Where did thou disappear...

Its the same blood that runs in our bodies
Its the same place we both liked
My arms miss your kisses...
Oh my dearest...

Is it the weed?
Is it the people around?
Is it the rains?
What prolongs your visit?

Upon the hills I searched
Down in the valleys I wailed
Like a bee looking for a flower
I searched for you night after night

Now I am not so much of a bitch
To let others upon me
Like a lover waiting his beloved
I shall wait for your itchy kiss...

Oh my dear mosquito...

Thursday, August 26, 2010



There are truths that I know of, but can’t practice.
There are reasons I know are logical, but can’t accept it.
There are trusts that are vanishing, of which I have no grip.
There are relationships which hurt, but I can’t let go of it.
There are actions that require no justification, but still I ask for one.
There is a rationale I can see, but can’t reason it
There is a correct I can feel, but can’t conform to it
There is a feeling in the air which I can’t name
And that is the center of my happiness now.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hyderabad Central University

For everyone there is a place, a mentoring ground; from where you learned the most in life. Maybe the hard way, maybe through fun…maybe through a combination of both.

Back in 2007, when I entered the gates of this 2500 acre campus called Hyderabad Central University (HCU), little did I imagine that, that when I walk out of this gate I would be a changed man. Little did I fathom that walking out of that place is not as easy as you think it is. We form a bond with nature, with the many creatures of that place which for the most part are humans!

In between the long winding roads and lakes, walks and time spent with a couple of people, between those innumerable cups of chai and from those many many VC rocks parties…That place, HCU has taught me many a thing, and for the most part helped me reaffirm certain truths and realities I always brushed aside.
•Somebody who speaks good English is not the one who knows the most or the most knowledgeable of all.

•Night is that dark side of the day people so call to get some rest or to drink

•Intoxication is not a crime…its just a way of life

•Long walks are the best. They help calm and ease yourself.

•It is not what you wear that matters, nor is it how you wear. It is what you know. Now I smirk at corporate dressing. It is a bloody farce.

•It is ridiculous to spend 100 bucks on a coffee at one of those national or international coffee joints. And you should shop only when there is a discount sale in progress.

•Chai is a mass drink. It helps discussion and we almost all the time end up learning something new, be it music, movies, Foucalt, Adorno or sex.

•For every rascal god makes an angel.

•It taught me to have faith in myself. Only then can I have faith in others and the world.

•Last but not the least, the best of all…It taught me the art of thinking. It opened my ‘doors of perception’. The place gifted me some of the best people in my life. Helped me make some brilliant new ones and reaffirm and concrete the one I knew I before entering the place.

These are just some fragments of what you learn and get out of the place. Everyday HCU has something new in store for you and there lay the mystery and the beauty of the place.

I can’t say I have changed completely, but I…I am not the same old Arun John anymore. I owe a lot of what I am now to that geographic mystic space called HYDERABAD CENTRAL UNIVERSITY. Hail to thee…

Monday, August 9, 2010

My dear friend...

How I miss you my friend…

You’ve been there whenever I needed. I couldn’t have asked for a better protection than you…but still in spite of all this, In spite of being with me for more than a year…I lost you! I am shameful and depressed about it. I’ll miss you my pair of Aviators. The dark green shades you were.

I might be able to find or afford a better one in a few days time. I might be able to find one which even looks like you…but let me tell you this wherever you are my friend, I won’t love them as much as I loved you. I’ve seen the world through you and you’ve always been the perfect prism for it. You have helped me mask my emotions and my stares at various people. Thanks again.

I hope whoever is lucky enough to possess you next treats you with due respect and dignity. I know unless they are as blinded by love as much as I am they won’t be able to see through you. You were my very own custom made powered sunglasses…

I’ll miss you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Its again the F word

A letter to familiarity

Oh Dear Familiarity thou art weird and unassuming.
The lack of it, you're branded a stranger...
The excess of it, you become a pain...
Is there something called a balanced familiar situation?
A some sort of politically correct familiar distance?

Oh familiarity...if you breed contempt, how on earth do marriages and relationships exist!!!
If thou says you could breed hatred do human relations exist!

Ah...Thou art a wily wicked chap
Men or women don't delight me...but you do Familiarity
But let me warn you my friend...if someday I come across you,
I am going to strangle you by the throat and make you my slave
I am going to lock you in the dungeons

Saturday, May 29, 2010

F for Freedom

When the Free Software Foundation tagline read “Free as in Freedom, not Free beer” it struck me for the creative genius which worked behind this. But now sitting at home which I had left three years back for my education and then my studies, I can very well understand the huge difference between the ‘free’ in free beer and freedom.

When I was a young boy of 8 and went to Junior school wearing shorts freedom meant writing with a pen, if possible a red ink or a green ink one since that is what teachers used, or swinging on the play ground or on the merry-go-round for as long as you wished. After that when graduated to senior school but still wearing shorts...playing as much as I liked, staying back for the second trip and coming back home an hour later than usual, having food from the canteen and not carrying it from home was freedom, at the pinnacle of it! It is quite amusing to notice how friends are everything for us, whatsoever it is for a certain period of time. For me it started by my matriculation and stretched into late degree years. Ah, freedom then was hanging out with them, going for movies with them, wasting money on insane pasta’s as one of my friends put it. Freedom also meant staying out late till night. There was a complete disregard for whatever parents said. Denial for everything else except friends was freedom.

Now to me, freedom doesn’t mean the old trivial yet great things during those times. Freedom is what makes a man. Freedom as in not hanging out with friends or not having beer and listening to Floyd on a terrace. Freedom to think, to act, to react. It is only when you have that freedom can you be a better individual. You become an individual when you start to live alone and when to start to think by yourself. I stayed alone in Hyderabad and I feel that has made me a better individual. The only time I had company was when my friend came over for dinner, that too for an hour or so at the max. I had the, if I can call it...the freedom to read what I wanted, to see what I liked, to eat what I liked, to wear what I wished, to speak to whom I liked, to invite home without consulting anyone else, to sleep when I pleased, to bathe when I willed and to go out at leisure. Now all these might be very trivial things...but for me, I believe I am a better individual because of all these factors. But... Freedom is dangerous too; it makes you responsible for yourself. I consider privileged for having my freedom though. Now when I am at home and I am denied certain parts of the above mentioned freedom’s I realise how much they meant to me.

Bono of U2 said “The theory of procrastination is thus- do not put off till tomorrow what you can for the day after, unless of course it is freedom”. I guess we can survive without anything, but not without freedom. Freedom of thought, of expression, of vision, of action, of reaction...
Freedom maketh a man.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Of the Kumbh and my country

If looked from above, from a high pedestal, you wouldn’t see six kilometres of the black road. But you’ll find a crowd, a huge multi coloured mass moving in one direction chanting names of Ram and Ganga Mayya. I consider myself lucky to have witnessed the largest mass gathering for a festival in the world- The Kumbh Mela
The Kumbh for me beheld no religious excitement and the prospect of bathing in the Ganges held no thrill. But witnessing the mass was. The main bathing ghat called Har ki Pauri where the Ganges is widest at Haridwar witnesses each year a cross section of the Indian population and foreigners too, only this year I was also part of that gathering. It was indeed quite wondrous for a city bred lad who considers himself modern in the purity of the word to see a chunk of the Indian society of which he is also a part of want to wash away their sins in the holy river which is the life blood of the Indian subcontinent.

Less that 3 days before the Maha Kumbh, I was in Delhi where globalisation and what not has taken its toll. We were put up in a small room which they claim is an International guest house for Rs 3000 a night for 4 people. Not more than 230 kilometres further north is Rishikesh where we had to stay for 2 nights since accommodation at Haridwar was almost impossible unless u wanted one of those fine river cooled banks. A room for 3 came for 600 bucks a night. It gave me hope. The people were much more friendly and simple unlike a metropolitan where selfishness was the order of the day. The average man who doesn’t have five star education and latest technological gadgets seemed much better individuals. On the flip side, they’re the most gullible people around and that explained the existence of so many godmen and fake swamis around the area.

I walked around the whole of Rishikesh and Haridwar with my friends who were new to North India, their excitement at seeing a new part of the country was infectious. Each place had a uniqueness, be it cuisine, people, landscape...I can’t put my finger on one and say, yes this is what I like the best. It is a mixture of various factors. We were in Dehradun at a waterfalls named Sahastrdhara. After having our fair share of fun in the icy water we came up and sat on a restaurant overlooking the waterfall having bread pakoda and chai...I couldn’t help think for a minute, what all could I experience if I could be there for a day more...but alas time was against me.

The great place, India my country is...It surprises me every day. I was having a small chai-samosa chat with one of my ex teachers a couple of days ago. She was telling me that she wants to travel abroad, at which instance I narrated my experience of this recent trip. Her reply to why she doesn’t want to travel much in India was quite amusing... “At my age I can’t travel in India, there is so much to see...if I want to see at least one state, I need to spend at least a month there and then start to unravel the place. Whereas if I go to some foreign country like Singapore or Maldives, it is all over in a weeks’ time. I would’ve finished seeing the country in a short span” This is the expanse of the country we live in. My mission now is to see my country in all its beauty and mystifying glamour before I even venture out to see other places.

I am not a patriot only when there is a cricket match or a hockey tournament. I have always regarded my patriotism as something born out of the physical beauty and the glamour the country holds. One walk from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate, was enough for me to salute the great nation I live in.

So true are our text books. As a child I also grew up reading the drab text books saying, India is a multi lingual, multi ethnic, multi...what not country. But to truly understand it and be part of a huge culture, you need to feel it, experience it, be with the people, talk their language, have their food, their drinks and dance and sing with them...thank god my journey has just started...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It is all in a name!

We all come into this world without anything, but go with a name. For example I was born son of John Mary and Prema John. Weight- 2.5 kg. But when I die it will be Arun John (1986-!!!!). I have my name to go with me.

I consider myself very fortunate that I have a good name to call myself, a rather common name but still you would think it is a weird name. Now let me admit, I have been a very mean person. I have asked some people their name and when it sounded weird I have laughed and spread the word that so and so guy/girl has a very funny name!

Naming is not limited to just naming people, be it naming political parties, auto rickshaws, movies, shops! At this point I am forced to ask myself a couple of questions...

Why would anyone name a party DIC(K)? Trust me...the nonagenarian from Kerala Mr K. Karunakaran did name his party that. Expanded it reads Democratic Indira Congress (Karunakaran)....but who cares!

What crime did Hussain commit before birth to get the initials MF? ...And Sheila Dikshit!!!

Why did the lady who liked Darjeeling so much name her own son Darjeeling!!! I heard America too

You might not believe me but there are people walking with the names Emergency, Particular, Prophecy etc...

I know somebody whose second name was Bang!!! However you pronounce it.

Why do Malayali’s name their wards after their dad and mom? For example if the kids name is Thangamma, there are high chances that the father’s name is Thangachan and mother’s name Ponnamma. If a person’s name is Sheeja, the chances are the father’s name will be Shivan or Shashi and mother’s name Jancy, Janu etc...

I saw a Tiffin box brand name ‘Hot Guy’. I can’t help assume this was a marketing strategy. Like a girl could message her friend...“I am taking the ‘hot guy’ home” and she wouldn’t be bluffing.

It is true, all of us are not blessed with awesome names...but I am happy that my parents weren’t one of those who vowed that they would break all conventional naming patterns.

The list can never end. Dearest readers of my post anything funny you find like this. I wouldn’t mind a good laugh.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chinna break

Hi All

Sorry for the long break. I was on a vacation and still is. My stint with Delhi is over and my stunt with life is taking a new turn. Very true to the phrase "Like a rolling Stone" I've decided to be just to it. I am going to do a program with the All India Radio, Hyderabad on the History of Rock ( and I mean the music genre!) by mid March.

I am in God's own country now and I am enjoying my stay here. Will get back to you all real soon with some bullshit or the other. Till then okka chinna break mamu!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Delhi Diaries

Yet another chapter is coming to an end. In another week I shall wave good bye to Delhi at least for the time being. Being in the media and aspiring to do something good for the nation (Now don't say, go die!) New Delhi is inevitable. How much ever you don't like the place it beholds a zillion opportunities.

Every time I go back from Delhi after my short stay I go back a wiser man, or at least I think so. This stint was no different. Delhi taught me many things:

(1) Police all over the country are fools, some are bloody fools (they try to enforce the law).

(2) Delhi's street book shops and second hand book shops have a better collection than the actual high rated book shops in the place.

(3) People in Delhi so want to look good that they forget to actually be good.

(4) It doesn't matter where you are working or what you are working as, it all depends on how you work (Recent discovery- UNESCO driver owns a Honda City and a Merc A class).

(5) When you hire a rickshaw if the driver quotes a sum, quote ten less than half the amount unless the sum is less than 30. For eg: If the driver says 100 say 40.

(6) The best way to make friends in Delhi is by swearing in Hindi and letting others know you know those words.

(7) A quarter bottle of rum is as expensive as a bottle of mineral water or slightly higher.

(8) Aaloo is the national vegetable. It is A-loo or no to loo.

(9) If you ever feel like enjoying nature and going for a walk, take a train and go to Haryana or Haridwar, it is just not possible in Delhi.

(10) Delhi traffic is so pathetic that you can walk the distance faster.

(11) Even before the latest t shirts and gadgets hit the market, try going to palika bazar of chor bazar...chances are you'll see them coming out only next week in the actual stores but you can for sure pick up an authentic fake one off there.

(12) And last but not the least, if you ever develop a fever, always consult a doctor, a good one too! Chances are it is not just a fever, there might be some attached file with it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I don't know how many of you shares this predicament of mine to have aalo daily and that in all forms and sizes! I never knew I could get bored of a vegetable so much.

Now if you people think I am exaggerating I'll take you through the menu. Afternoon for lunch; palak aalo and roti, now at least you get to see something green for a change in contrast to oil and masala as always. Dinner, after much debating about eating out and sticking to the hostel food decided on the latter...the menu looked pretty good, some chaval, freshly prepared yet cold roti's, dal and...and...again aalo! mixed with some vegetable whose name I know not. After all that aalo in a day you can imagine how a Southie's system might react, true to my intuition my tummy started to rumble and giving hazard signals. It manifested in all forms which I wouldn't want to explain here, but feel free to let your imagination run wild! Anyhow with great difficulty caught some sleep! Morning went for breakfast, saw some bread toast, happy I was until I took one in my hands to see it wasn't bread toast, it was sandwich with aalo in it!! Bread toast with aalo!!!

This my friend is what I am going through and people complain of gastric problems and starch in food!

There is a malayalam movie by the name "Katha parayumbol" of which the bollywood flick 'Billu Barber' is a bad adaptation. In that movie there is a song about rubber and how much the malayali's love it and how it is inevitable for the malayalis...aalo reminds me of it.
for those mallus who read the blog and for the more adventurous non mallus who want to hear some tongue twisting hilarious song, here is the link:

It is interesting how each place has its characteristics...
If it is baingen to Andhra, coconut oil to mallus, thaiyiru saadam (curd rice)to is aalo for the delhi, just that aalo can be more called a Northie favorite, much to my distress!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It is indeed a small world!


One fine Monday evening, going back from work, I was wondering what can be my next blog post. As a person who just started to blog, I'm enthusiastic and all excited about keeping my blog up to date. When I felt a dearth for topics, an incident gave me the inspiration for this latest post.

It was a very busy day in office, unusually busy!! At 18.45 I am frantically trying to keep deadlines before my boss looks at me as if I am the biggest sinner in the world. It is then that one of my friends in Hyderabad messages me asking for directions to go home from work by shared auto rickshaws and shared cabs. Now, my fascination for this mode of transportation is well known in my friends circles. I sitting in Delhi, 1600 kms away from Hyderabad down south directed or at least helped my friend go back home via shared auto rickshaws.

I don't claim it to be a great achievement nor do I say this is unheard of, but in me it evoked a couple of thoughts:

How we have reduced distances...I don't feel far from anybody. Even though 3400 kms away form my home, I know what is going on at home. I miss many of my friends but all I need to do is put in a text message or give them a call. Distances and boundaries cease to exist now. No, I am not arriving at concluding the world is a global village!

Working in a knowledge management platform, I am seeing the practical applications of technology on a daily basis, because my job demands it. But once faced with a real life experience for myself, I can't help but think what an easy world we live in where everything is there at your fingertips.

Thanks to the many dreary looking bunch of people whom we occasionally calls losers who did put their grey matter to good use!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What am I?

I was born on October 17, 1986. Was Christened Arun John after some months of debating if a name would do any good to the character I'm now unknown at that time.

So am I
Arun John son of John Mary and Prema.K?
Am I the eldest grandson of K. Augustine Joseph and Achamma Joseph?
Am I a malayali without oiled hair and hair neatly parted to the LEFT?
Am I an Indian?
Am I em employee of some company?
Am I an ex-HCU?
Am I an ex-Loyolite?

What is my identity?
Can I ever be Arun John without any tags attached?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You have seen one, you have seen the-'m all'

The heading is borrowed from a book by the same name about European reception of American Culture. The title I believe is self explanatory, you have seen one mall, it is as good as seeing all of them.

The reason for this latest post is self realization of how all of us are made fools. I had been to a DLF promenade mall in Delhi two days ago and before that to two malls in and around the same area. Some are big, some are moderately big, all of them are damn crowded and all of them have the same kind of people. But most importantly, all of them have the same shops. All of them have a Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Louis Phillipe, KFC, Mac Donalds, Pizza Hut...and name any of the international brands.

This I believe is the ultimate manifestation of Capitalism and Globalization.

It is nothing but packaging the same content in multiple avenues, as a first year mba graduate might tell you. But it is of concern and piety for me to think that I am also part of this gamble.

I remember siting for umpteen classes on globalization and hegemony, now when I sit in one of those malls and look around, I realise how much we've all complained about this hegemony, but how asinine are we to unwillingly or unwittingly support the culture that is!!!

Somebody thinks...therefore somebody is...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Its a weekend!!!

How I used to hate weekends when I was a student in HCU!!! All my friends would sleep through the Sunday...if possible into Monday also, as for me..sleep for the past 2 years has been a very seldom visited territory. So Sunday morn, I would wake up and start with the news papers and any material I could lay hands on to while away time.

Alas!!! spoken too soon. I got a job and started working. How soon weekends started to wizz by...all I worked through the week was for the weekend. To laze around, to have a beer on a Saturday without having the thought tomorrow I need to drag myself to office. I love my weekends now!!

This my friends is typical human nature...

To quote Shelley
"We humans look before and after
and pine for what is not
Our sincerest laughter with some pain is fraught
Our sweetest songs are those
which remind us of our saddest thoughts"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Of engineering and arts and men...


Born and brought up in Trivandrum, I have seen the craze for engineering and medicine at its helm. I myself would've been a product of it, if not my sloppiness with numbers and logic and understanding parents. I have many friends, acquaintances who are now engineers, who are considered the most brilliant and the cream of the society. Over the past week, I happened to speak to a few of my friends who are the engineers of the country working for MNC's from outside the country. There was something common to all of them...all of them are in the complaining mode, why do I have to do this? Is engineering some societal norm? I am tired of this, yet I am helpless...!!!

Looking at the flip side, studying in a Central University, I have been in the midst of arts and humanities and social sciences. People pursing what they like, their talents and aptitudes used to the fullest extent. That did make me feel good. This paradigm shift in the outlook for a career gives me hope that someday we will be less of a mechanical society

I have a friend who is working in a radio station,earns half as much as an engineer in Bangalore or Pune does. The chances of she going to the US and A or to Europe on an official visit is close to zero. But I have never heard her complaining about her job, not once has she told me I am tired of this. This is believe is satisfaction.

We all studied to make money and be happy. I guess, now its all money in perspective, No Happiness. I don't want to sound like an art of living instructor nor is my present argument a result of the movie 3 idiots, but I believe in pursuing what you like and what can help you sustain.

What would it be to earn for nobody, just you? What would it be to spend all your life in the four walls of an office and not see the beautiful world outside? What would it be to work through the whole week to just booze on a Saturday night and and sleep trough the Sunday? This I believe is not are bound to break through some day...the sooner the better.

I think my friend working in the radio station and myself is much happier than all of the engineers I know put together.

PS: To all those who don't know, I have changed 3 jobs in 8 months. Looking back, I am not complaining. I can speak about the media or the corporate sector more authentically than my peers. I know what I want to do and what I don't to do in life. As for the short term stints which screws up my chances of a great future...well, I am proud of my adventure spirits...not many at the age of 23 knows what it to be a rolling stone...direction unknown...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oops...I'm forgetting to write


Yesterday I went to buy a pen. I was filled with a sense of buying a pen is not all that big of deal. But what use you put the pen to...writing is. I realized how little I had written with a pen in the past 8 or 9 months. I can't remember using the pen to write an article for a long time now, to take down a quote I now prefer saving it as a draft in my mobile. My hand writing has become close to incorrigible.

The very existence of the blog is because people prefer to type and not write. Can typing substitute writing? In a wider sense, can technology substitute everything? I remember the debates about the television substituting the news papers, the internet becoming a threat to news papers...but writing with a pen is fading out.

I use technology as much as anyone else or maybe more...but somewhere down the lane knowingly or unknowingly we have all become very mechanical...

I remember the times when I used to fight with my dad for an ink pen worth 50 bucks when I was in my 5th or 6th standard; Hero pen was the fad then. I clearly cherish the Reynolds 045 with which I wrote my Matriculation and my Plus Two exams. While writing for the Hindu I used to write down the article first and then type it on to a computer, how I used to fight with dad who yelled at me saying I am wasting time doing it that way. Post that all I know is..I used a pen to write my post graduation, by that time a pen had become something to just write exams and to very few. taking lecture notes.

The duty of a pen is now limited to scribbling e-mail addresses, phone numbers and if lucky to have a taste of two lines of literature. Once we are out of studenthood rarely do we use a pen for anything else. Just like we Indians find that food is much more tasty when consumed with our bare hands and not by the spoon...I feel the article when I write it with a it of any make. To see the article or literary piece how good or bad it see it taking shape in front of me gives me a childish impishness or excitement when I see it finished and ready to go to bed...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hey all

Hey all

I used to blog and I had a few posts to my name, but alas...the pangs of technology, my previous account was hacked. Maybe for good...There was little in the old blog to read. This blog, Hey You (christened after Pink Floyd's Hey you) is excited about all of you. More than what I write I would like YOU all to comment and give regular feed backs. Please visit this link and check out the lyrics of Hey might inspire you...
Arun John