Friday, November 25, 2011

Read only if you are 18 +, if not lie about your age

There is a slight problem here. My friend Ms Divya Nambiar whom you might identify as a bery famoush blogger thinks I am a cheat. She thinks I am an ass and the world should know that, and how does she do that? Occasionally in her blogs she somewhere or the other drops my name and attributes all the bad things to my name. So I am here to defend my case.

I would like to declare at the outset itself, I consider myself a very nice, handsome, normal guy (more adjectives will come up during the course of the post)

Just because I crack gross jokes, how can I be an ass or a pervert? And honestly I don’t crack gross jokes, I just play with word you know…like lets say, my fav movie is Forrest Hump or Missionary Impossible and the likes.

PJ’s are my birth right. I will crack them as long as I don’t have to think for it. It comes very naturally to me. Its as natural to me as it is for a cow to chew the cud. There are only two things I am good at; Poor Jokes and Gross Jokes and I sincerely hope I don’t end up being one in the end.

Yes, I drink. Its some sort of alternate reality. I still stand by my statement – Intoxication is not a crime, it’s a way of life. I sometimes do say I love you or naice in the Borat style after I am drunk. I might also scratch my back once I have had my share of ale, but that’s bery bery normal no? Who doesn’t scratch ones back? I scratch your back, you scratch my back, Harder!!!

I might look like a lecher, I have been called one, and that too by a guy! Damn!! Anyway, I would like to clarify, I am not. I am not a lecher. Think what you want. Everybody who has a beard or long hair or wears a kurta is not a lecher, terrorist or goonda. Grow up!!! I would categorize my beard and mane as unkempt. Its not the rockstar one or the crack one. I am very passionate about Hair. It grows on me.

People might consider I am cheap Bastard because I sometimes do wear the Kurta for 3 days or the same jeans for a year. All I can say is, detergents are bad for your skin. And yes, I can afford a blade, if somebody wants to donate one to me, do better. Go shave yourself, and you know I meant your facial hair.

I will smile at people, I will talk to them, I have many acquaintances, but I do not know the names of all. Is that actually a problem? And how does it make me an ass? I remember them, know them, genuinely smile and make them feel comfortable around me. What more do you need? By heart the names of everybody I meet on the street daily? Oh please…

Having said all this, lemme tell you what I do except from all the above mentioned creative practises. I teach. I teach college kids (I sound like an old fart) mass communication. I teach in a Women’s College. Now now…close your mouth, don’t look like a baboon’s back. If you have got a problem, just go and see Dirty Picture. Vidya Balan will take your mind off the thought of me teaching college girls mass communication. I am not a bad lecturer okay, ammachiyana (swear on my grandmother).

I am pretty much sure that by now, the 61 followers I have of my blog will either become 6 or 1, but its okay. I am my best critic and reader, sad but true. If you want to befriend me even after this, you have to answer a question. If you don’t sleep the whole night, does one have to actually brush ones teeth in the morning? If you’re thinking the purpose behind this superb question…don’t think, just answer. And do me one more favour, please say “I like Poland, I love Poland”

If at all I die in the near future, my friend Divya Nambiar who made me write this will get my bottle of Sula Saugvinon Blanc wine which if I don’t die plan to open it for Christmas. And I die, bury me face down, so the whole world can kiss my ass. And also, please bury me along with an old monk.

PS: Whats the world coming to? I must say that Mc Donalds and KFC are taking over the world. The other day when I was walking down the street I heard two guys swear at each other, one called the other Mc Choot and the he retorted Sala wrap (cracked with dear friend Adil who now curates documentaries for a living)

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I am a hardcore metal fan and needless to say, I love Metallica, a band whose name even sounds like metal! I waded through half my school and college life listening to them and going for moshpits and rock concerts. In less than 3 hours, Metallica is playing at Bengaluru and I am sitting on my pad sipping a beer and listening to them on my laptop, sad but true (one of my fav songs by the by). It’s the dream of any Metallica fan to see Kirk Hammett live, but damn! I am not going for the gig. I have other responsibilities to take care of and ever since I started living on my own, I have been slightly more careful about my money. So here I am venting my frustration of not going for it by writing a blog (I know, Loser!!!) Five songs of Metallica which I think are just the best! Any rocker worth his locks cannot but head bang to these ultimate metal solos.

(1)Creeping Death
In the movie The Ten Commandments, The Angel of Death is represented by a green cloud. Bassist, Cliff Burton thought it looked like ‘Creeping Death’. Thus was born one of the best solos Metallica has ever had. This song was originally written when Kirk Hammett was in Exodus and was named ‘Die by the Sword’. Hardly any live performance goes without the crazy fans humming to this song when the chorus sings ‘die die die’.

(2)Master of Puppets
Ranked by VH1 as the third greatest Heavy Metal Song ever, Master of puppets is a song on drugs. The reference is to master controlling your life throughout the song; the master being drugs and the drug user the puppet. Metallica also recorded this with the San Francisco Symphony in 1999 which features in their album, S&M.

There are songs and then there are songs that never leave your mind; this song from ‘And justice or all’ was the first single released by the band to feature bassist Jason Newsted. He continued playing with Metallica until 2001. It is a song about a soldier wounded by a mortar blast in his face asking the doctor to kill him. The lyrics are based on the novel ‘Johnny Got His Gun’ by Dalton Trumbo, which is about World War I.

(4)Enter Sandman
Initially this song was supposed to be about death, but they changed the theme to nightmares because the then manager Bob Rock though death doesn’t sell. This paved way for James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett to make ‘Enter Sandman’ which is by far the most Radio played song of Metallica. Due to its overwhelming popularity, Metallica usually signs off an encore with this song.

(5)Fade to Black
When you are robbed the last thing you would do is write a song about it, but that was what inspired James Hetfield to write ‘fade to black’. He wrote this song one fine morning when he found his amp stolen. Not only was the amp his favourite, but the first one he ever owned. This song is all about losing everything and wondering if it’s worth going on. This is also the last song Jason Newsted performed on tour with Metallica.

For those who know them already, cheers! For others, try listening to them, you won’t be disappointed :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011


I left home 4 years back. Even when I was at home, my dad has never agreed on giving me a two wheeler, he was damn scared about me driving it, the roads I am driving on and the vehicle I could be possibly driving. So when I started my city hopping, I never had the luxury of a bike or a two wheeler and a four wheeler was out of question, I always had to use public transport. Of the cities I have been to, I have stayed in Hyderabad the maximum and as much as I have grown on the city, the city has grown on me. If there is one thing I would like to change about this city, it is the auto rickshaw drivers’ attitude. Yes, I know it’s a pan Indian scenario, but as far as I am concerned, it is in Hyderabad I had to travel by rickshaws the maximum and I must say it had made me a wiser man! There are some lessons I learned from bargaining with them, there is a knack of travelling in the rickshaws and there is a knack for getting the best price (yes it is an auction to a large extent) This skill I picked up in Hyderabad has helped me travel by rickshaws anywhere in the country without the fear of actually paying as much as the ric itself!

So here is my guide to travelling by auto rickshaws in Hyderabad:

# You remember that Chinese guy Russell Peters mentions in his show who tries to sell him a purse for $ 35? Well…the rickshaw drivers in Hyderabad are pretty much the same! They will try to give you the best price. They will try to convince you that by taking you for 4 kms for 200 bucks they are actually doing you a favour!

# When you stop a rickshaw, your glance should first go to the bar separating the driver from the passenger seat to see if there is that small thing called a ‘meter’. If it is not there, don’t even think about arguing, unless if you have no other better business in the world and you want to get amused.

# It is sad but true, try stopping a rickshaw whose driver is an old man because they say, the older generation is better and it is true to a large extent.

# If you find the meter is flying faster than a MIG airplane, do not have any qualms in stopping him right there, tell him his meter is almost ready to take off and walk away.

# In case you are in emergency, never…I repeat never let the ric driver know that! If you do, that’s it. Get ready to pledge your chain, ring and all possible items to pay him. This I learned the hard way. I was flying to Trivandrum from Delhi (the old airport). It was an Air India flight (I know, no good looking air hostess! Again sad but true) and since it was a domestic flight I went to the domestic terminal. The flight was at 6 and I reached the airport by 5.15. To my dismay, they tell me since it’s an Air India flight and the departure is from the International terminal and I had no effing clue where that was. I asked a rickshaw guy where it was, he said it’s quite far and I am gonna miss the flight! He said he’ll try taking me there and quoted an amount of 250 bucks. In that panic, who cares if it is 250 or 450! To sum it up, I was auto borne and he was not exactly racing or anything. 5 mins after that I see the board ‘International terminal – left’. Yes, I paid 250 bucks for 750 metres. And to make matters worse, the flight was bloody late!!!

# In case there are no rickshaws available and these guys do not agree to take you where you want for a decent fare, you know what I do? I ask the police man at the junction to get a ric for me. I call him Sir, make my face as if I don’t get a rickshaw now I will die of fatigue, that’s it, job done, any rickshaw will take you where you want as per the meter price.


Get into the rickshaw for whatever fare he wants, go till the nearest police station and ask him how much he wants?

# Ever tried offering a cookie or a fag to the rickshaw driver while he is driving? It has worked for me. Try being nice to him, he might reciprocate; again I repeat… he might.

# Ever tried preaching to the driver after you get in? Some of the best dialogues are:
“I believe in dignity of labour, you are doing your work and I am doing my work, money doesn’t come free to anybody. We are not policemen or politicians to get a bribe”
“I understand your predicament, but why make money by unfair means? 10 rupees extra I will give because I respect you and your profession”
These might work, if they do not, he is fubared (fucked up beyond any redemption)

# In case you are not going by meter and upon reaching the destination he starts saying this is not where you had told him to drop you and you have to pay extra for covering that extra 2 metres, there are couple of options to deal with it: (1) Keep the exact change and walk off (2) If he doesn’t give you back the money, sit in the rickshaw and say you are not leaving (girls be careful of that though) and (3) Argue till he thinks you are a cheap bastard and gives you back the money (let it be if he thinks so, its my effing money you nincompoop!)

# And last but not the least, there are some wonderful drivers out there, some of the best people I have met in my life are rickshaw drivers and sometimes I have been mistaken for one also (the mean one though). If you find a truthful and efficient driver like that, do not hesitate to tip him slightly more than the meter as we all know circumstances make a man and his circumstance made him a rickshaw driver and you the passenger.

Thus goes my journey…its keeps on going. I haggle shamelessly, I fight without thinking, I try to save every penny and if needed give him more than what he could earn in a day. All said and done, I share a very special bond with the auto rickshaw...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A very special bottle of beer

I do not know how many among you had the opportunity to booze with your dad? Last night, for the first time in my life I had a beer with my dad. Now, I have seen my Dad drinking his usual peg many a time, I have talked to him about alcohol, grass and all possible intoxicants. My dad knows that I drink, he offered me a beer last Christmas when he poured himself a Black Label, but since I had an examination the next day I couldn’t accept it then. But yesterday it happened…I had a beer with my dad.

I was in Chennai doing a small South Indian city hopping trip and had come to Chennai to meet my dad who was down on official purpose. It was all good, met him, had some lunch, talked about Telangana and things back home and the usual son-father talk. By around 7 pm my uncle and his colleague, an Englishman joined us and my uncle pulled out some beer and some Indian brandy. My dad all of a sudden offered me a beer. For a minute I didn’t know what to do! A chilled beer on a hot Chennai evening is quite a tempting offer I must say. I stood like that for a minute, accepted the beer.
While sipping my beer there and enjoying the company of my family members and a stranger, I realised something, I had grown up and beyond that I understood my dad acknowledged I had grown up…

My dad is somebody who never even let me ride a bike or even let me pillion ride it till recently, but now when I approached him saying in a big city I need a bike, he gave me the go ahead after the initial no’s.

I have never owned or used a mobile till I reached HCU for my MA, it had been a strict no for me, but when I stepped into that campus, my dad gave him his own saying use it carefully.

He never gave me money in excess for me to squander, but when he went back to Trivandrum after dropping me in the University, he pulled out a sum, gave me, said the rest he’ll go home and deposit into my account and got into the car. When I counted how much it was after he left, it was 10k.

I have fought with my dad the maximum in my life for a multitude of things. For not letting me use a mobile, for not letting me go for a late night movie, for not letting me stay back for cheering the college basketball team, for not letting me ride or ride behind a bike and for a zillion other things…but now when I think, I am what I am because of what he didn’t let me do and for letting me what would help me in my life.

That gesture of offering a beer to me was very symbolic to me, it was as if he had accepted that I am on my own now, that I am capable of taking care of myself now. I go from Chennai a happy man, and when I say a ‘man’ this time, it holds a renewed feeling…that my dad, the man I admire the most in my life has acknowledged that I am a grown up guy now.

I had a beer, probably one of the best I have had till now...

Saturday, September 17, 2011


For those who don’t know me, I am perennially confused. I take confusion to a new level altogether, be it the food I order from a menu, the girl I wanna go out with, the whiskey I wanna gift my dad, the career I have chosen, the office I work in, the shoe I buy…I am so damn confused. As a result I am in my 5th job in 2 years…

In my first job I was an ‘I dunno what to call’ but my director’s boy in a small film production firm. It was nice, adventurous, different, but it paid me too less and as a result, there went my first job in less than 1 and a half months months time. I called it quits.

My second job was with an IT solutions company as a content writer. Writing is not a bad thing…but writing about microfinance, about genetically modified seeds, about hospitals! Well…not to say more, 4 months is what I lasted for. I got so bored that when I was writing about the Brain & Spine care unit of a hospital I actually wrote Brain & SWINE care!!! (Thank god I wasn’t chucked out)

My third one was by far the most comfortable one. I was with the United Nations in Delhi as a Research Associate. Good money, good and knowledgeable boss, good profile, cheap beer, good chicks…everything was good except that I had some ideological clash with the UN and just that I prioritized my relations over my career and so thought Hyderabad was where I belonged. Yea, I know what you must be thinking, what an ass! Anyway, needless to say more, I quit!

Took a break after that, went travelling, travelled with the best of people…my childhood friends, saw the poorna Kumbh (once in 12 years), travelled in what could called a bus, but a tin with wheels suits it better, boozed for a lifetime, saw new places, new people, new culture…that’s probably one of the best thing that has happened in my life so far.

My fourth job was with a Green Energy Development Company based in Hyderabad. Okayish company, great boss, okayish money (enough for chicken and beer), but I didn’t like corporate life! I felt chained, I didn’t life conforming. I didn’t wanted to be judged by the perfect pleats of my trousers or the shining tip of my shoe. Put up with it for 10 long months.

Now I am teaching in a college in Hyderabad. I am happy with what I am doing. I am not conforming to anybody, I have a very decent pay package, I bought a good television for myself, shifted into a beautiful house, probably the first proper house ever since I left home and it looks like I will stick with this job for a while…its all very good! But you know what, I am slightly freaked out. I got so used to uncertainty that the sheer feeling of certainty is freaking me out! Maybe its all for the better, maybe that’s how things change as I grow older. But as of now…its slightly overwhelming and that’s confusing…

Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a rolling stone’ fits me the best I guess…
“To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone…”

Monday, August 29, 2011


I have often wondered what exactly ‘passion’ is. The word never appealed to me much. I like many a thing, in fact a lot of things, I like music, I like travelling, I like books, I like speaking, I like good company, good stories…I mean the list goes on, but I don’t know if I am passionate about any of this cause at the end of the day I have to survive and once I started for fending myself, I understood that big difference between life and living.

I had the opportunity to run a marathon yesterday, the Hyderabad annual marathon. For me it was a matter of a challenge. I have never run 10 kilometres at one stretch in my life so far. When my ex colleague rang up and asked me if I was game for a 10K run, I thought why not.

I reached the starting point at 4.15 am in the morning, I was stunned to see at least a crowd of a strong 600-700 people assembled there. I saw people of all age groups, but what stays in my mind is the number of what I would call ‘oldies’, people way beyond their 40’s and 50’s. In the newspapers, I read today that the eldest to run was an 81 year old! I was humbled to say the least, but beyond that, I saw what passion was. They had a passion for running. While I was struggling to finish my 10K I saw a young man (55 years old) striding on his way to finish his 42k!!! It was passion, a passion for running, a passion for better health, a passion for proving themselves…maybe I know now what passion is.

It could be that thing what keeps you going when you’re all alone and the distance seems so far.

It could be that thing which makes life more challenging.

It could be hope.

I know not, I am still confused over the word, but I know one thing, if I really love something, that could mean the world to me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mamu with a smile

There are some people you come across in life who make a huge influence on you. There is a Mamu I know who sells chicken fry outside a small residential colony in Hyderabad. His wayside bandi is not the most visible thing on the main road nor is he the kind of guy whom you would give a second glance. It is out of pure adventure spirit that I once went to his small bandi to get some chicken for one of the booze parties in the campus. That’s it, I became a fan of his chicken fry! Its probably one of the best things I have had in Hyderabad and that remains true till date. Then as fate had its way, I moved into that same residential colony and his chicken fry became a regular affair for me and my friend who were major poultry fans.

You know how it is, once you buy it from the shop, you’re a customer, twice you’re a customer…everyday you’re his most faithful customer. The bond grew beyond a customer and vendor relationship. I used to chat with him almost on a daily basis and he used to love having a chai and sutta with me. We talked about life, about relations, bikes, religion…the years in his life had taught him many a thing and I started to respect him for that.

He was a man in his early sixties, each day early morning he would start his preparations for the evening. 6 o clock, he is there in front of the colony gate catering to each and every one. There is a small paan shop beside his bandi which he manages at times if not for his son who hasn’t impressed me as much. Rain or shine, Sunday or Monday he is there with his bandi.

On one fine afternoon I met him with 2 big packets in his hand waiting for a rickshaw. As part of the usual socialising I said a hi and asked him whats all the luggage. He said he is off to his hometown for Ramzaan and that there ain’t any chicken for the next couple of days. I wished him an Eid Mubarak. To my astonishment, he put down the bags on the road and gave me a hug and wished me the same, I was quite taken aback at that unusual expression of love, but when I looked into his face after that…It was probably one of the most genuine smiles I have ever seen, it was one of the most genuine hugs I have ever received.

Hardly a day went without greeting him or seeing him on his stool sitting outside the dome and smoking a cigarette. Once when I went back home very late at around 12 in the night, he was there outside packing up. I walked up to him and filled him up on the details of the day over a chai. When I was about to leave, he said “its been weird not greeting you at least once in a day, I have been wondering where you’ve been, now I will call it a day”.

Days passed too soon, the chicken had grown on me and Mamu had become an inevitable part of Hyderabad, but life has to go on. I got a new job (Yes, again!!!) and the commute was too much for me to handle. Finally one fine day I bade farewell to good old Gulmohar Park, my lovely penthouse and above all...the toughest, Mamu. I shifted on August 1st and that evening is not something I would forget so easily…Mamu had a sober yet smiling face and he offered me some chicken to munch on the way. He blessed me and said “Har ek ko apne zimmedariyon ka khayal rakhna hain aur bus jeete jaana hai…”

I am penning this more than a month from that day…I miss that old man with a smile on his face each and every moment. Life has not been very good to him unlike to many of us, but he never had a smirk on him. He reaffirmed my faith in people and my faith in humanity.

I have not posted anything for long, and this is my 50th post, not a huge number, but a mark for me. This is a dedication to Chand Pasha a.k.a My Chicken Mamu, one of the finest people I have met in my life. Thank God, I had time to chat with him, have a chai with him, eat his wonderful chicken and to have met him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Coffee House, everybody's Coffee House - The ICH

Till the age of 20 I have loitered in and around the little town of Trivandrum. It is a charming town with beautiful beaches, a wonderful railway station, a bunch of engineering and medical colleges, a not too terrible International Airport, some really good schools and a lot of small way side eateries which is a food lovers delight. But I should warn you that there is no subway where you can spend a lazy afternoon or a mac donalds to take your kid out for a quick snack. Subways, Pizza Huts, Mac Donalds were all a new phenomenon for me once I reached Hyderabad. But there is something very unique to Kerala which I believe is something every malayali is proud of – The Indian Coffee House.

They are spread across the length and breadth of this land. After very long, today I had the fortune of going to an Indian Coffee House. In a fast moving world where I can’t even be sure if a two way road in the morning is one way by evening it filled me with a weird nostalgia and delight how the ICH (Indian Coffee House) hasn’t changed a bit. The chairs were still the same, the uniform of the waiters were still the same white and they still wear the Nehru caps, even the curtain drapes were the same.

For those who don’t know the ICH, let me give you a small description of the place. Each Coffee House looks different, but it does give the feel of a place which has an intellectual air about it with many a guy sitting in a corner stroking his beard and having a Malayalam weekly in his hand. The tables are plain with no fancy mats on them or fancy glasses atop to please the aesthetic. The walls have their special dishes plastered on them which I don’t think has changed ever since inception of the ICH. Anytime of the day, the place is lively with discussion and chatter. One can see crowd of all strata, be it the coolie or the white kutra clad politician or the young college goer, they are all there having their chai and talking.

If all these people are there, you can imagine what the pricing could be. It is damn cheap. Where else can you find a cold coffee for 15 bucks? A masala dosa for 12 bucks? I don’t think that’s quite common, and mind you…its damn tasty, don’t think its some cheap stuff. Ever heard of something called the mutton omelette? That’s their speciality, a well cooked yellow omelette draped around mince fried mutton which can give any non vegetarian a palatal orgasm, and again – damn cheap. A decent tasty meal wouldn’t cost you more than 20 bucks. Ah…ICH, the poor man’s Taj.

True, in my early youth I did not know who Ronald Mac Donald was or what was the latest addition to a Pizza Corner Menu card, but I can say I have had the fortune of having a chai, spending time with a select few friends and munching on the wonderful mutton omelette of The Indian Coffee House. This I believe is an experience no High funda eat street can give you. For me, the ICH holds a very special and fond memory too, during the days when I used to freelance for the Hindu Metro Plus, I did the interview of one of the top college bands in Kerala during those times in a corner of the ICH sipping chai and discussing Heavy Metal. During my Uni-Y days (The university wing of the YMCA) after a heated debate on topics ranging from politics to porn, we would all go to the ICH to have our tummy fill.

There are some things unique to a place, The Indian Coffee House is one experience. You have to be there to know it. Felt good to see that structure still up and alive catering to the common man. Hats off…

Thursday, May 26, 2011

That thing called beauty

When I saw this competition on Indiblogger about "what real beauty means to you?", I didn't think I would write about it nor did I think I would be sending it to them. I just wrote down what was fleeting through my head when I was going back home after a late night movie with one of the best people in my life so far. I was in a cab and the weather was just perfect. The roads had a deserted yet mysterious feel to it. The breeze was pounding on my face with a vengeance which only nature can so softly inflict and there were the world's best musicians playing into my ears, as if they created that song just for me.

Beauty is that which reaffirms my faith in the sheer existence of love and humankind.

Beauty is what makes me want to believe that God exists or at least existed.

Beauty is what makes me smile when things around me seemingly goes wrong.

Beauty is what makes me as belligerent as a kid.

Beauty is what gives me that extra jive to write when I am not able to.

Beauty is what makes me want to be with someone even when we are loggerheads.

Beauty is what makes some unpleasant truths bearable.

Beauty is what makes me dream, lets my imagination far and wide.

Beauty is hope personified.

Beauty is truth.

Beauty is what makes me want to see her smile and for which I would sacrifice many a thing.

Beauty is what makes me never forget someone, something, some place.

Beauty is music, beauty is nature, beauty is all around.

Beauty is my muse, my whore, my beloved.

Beauty is what made me write this...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A very fond memory...

Till I left Trivandrum, me and my younger brother have always shared one bed. It was a habit which has been there for as long as I remember. Even though there were occasional fights for wanting the whole bed to oneself, we would somehow squeeze in and fight for the better pillow, for more space, for a ear phone of the Walkman and all sorts of fights possible in a hushed tone and in a small bed. After a while, we stopped listening to music at night before sleeping. Instead my brother wanted me to tell him stories. I used to read a lot more during my lesser responsible times and I could narrate it pretty decently too.

My brother loved to listen to stories. I would tell him stories ranging from Tinkle to Mario Puzo to Sidney Sheldon and Jeffrey Archer and anything which I thought was interesting. He would listen to them patiently. Sometimes I might not have finished reading the book, but he would want to hear half of it and the rest after I finish it. He used to manage his sleep timings in such a way so as to go to bed around the same I also do, so that he could listen to stories. Sometimes I would be so engrossed in the story telling that I wouldn't realize he has slept off and those small hands are hugging me. Sometimes the story would be so gripping I can feel him gripping my hands. There have been times when he kicked me when he didn't like the villain in the novel. My mom has woke up at the middle of the night coming to my room and asking whats the murmur going on inside. When we have a family get together and somebody mentions a book, my brother who was very young even then would get up and say I know the story to people's astonishment. I would secretly be glad.

I didn't think this would have any impact on him. Everybody likes to listen to stories. But when he was in the 9th standard, he read the 'Godfather' because he thought it was one of the best stories he has ever heard and that he would like to read it himself. I couldn't be more happy. A few days back when I was getting back from an unusually weary day, I received a text message from my brother asking me if I have read 'The God of Small Things' to which I replied, yes. His reply was “How can people write like this, its so bloody awesome”. It might be the pride of a brother who finds his younger brother growing up, it might be the secret pride that its me who introduced him to the world of books and stories...but I felt so damn good!

I don't know how much my brother misses listening to me or if he even remembers, but I miss my li'l brother who was quite shaken for a day or two when I left for Hyderabad to pursue my MA. More than my mom or my dad, he was the most affected. After all, it was a time when he was still in school and I was his best friend...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thus Spake Buffaloes

Hyderabad, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand...each place is unique, but one thing is common, Buffaloes. They are quintessentially Indian and they are there everywhere. I was just wondering what they had to say if the could speak.

Hence, here it is...'If they could speak' :

# They call us cattle and animals. Look at what they are doing, drink something which looks like what we pee and then they puke it all over the roads. Just that the point of throwing out is different. Very interesting...

# You might have a Merc, you might have a BMW, but you better stop when we are walking on the roads. Its not just yours because you've a car. Its our home.

# Yes, we are black and we might not take a bath as regularly as you, but at least we don't smear paint over our body like some of those in the posters on the walls.

# You poor pedestrians on the streets...when you have to cross a road, how long do you have to wait? You have to be at the mercy of some soul who might slow down for you to cross or till the light on the pole turns red. Look at us, its either our way or no way.

# Yes, when we die we might not get a burial or a decent cremation. Our soul is left to wander. But at least, nobody will fight or kill each other after we're dead for what we have left.

# The white of our species, the female ones give milk and they are worshiped. So do we, but we do not complain or go on hunger strikes or not give milk right? No...

# Sometimes late night, we can see your lot, staggering on the roads and eventually walking like us on all fours. We sometimes laugh over it, sometimes we just go crap and watch the fun.

# We crap on the roads, yes. If you can, please build us a toilet. We'll try putting it to good use.

# No, there are no cannibals amongst our lot. We love each other too much for any such antics.

# And No, we don't worship cows. We just hit on them.

# We acted in a Tamil movie which was made into many languages and is many other movies. But we don't have the arrogance of a film star or anything, let us remind you.

# We heard somebody by the name Kancha Illaiah has written a theory with our name. We would like to meet him someday for a chai party, of course our own milk.

PS: The post is in bold just like the Buffaloes, BIG, BLACK and BOLD.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I am a Bachelor

Yes, I am single and a bachelor. Till very recently I have been living alone in a penthouse where all I had for company is my laptop and some books and some things I wouldn't wanna reveal. I am a happy bachelor living in my pad and I love it because:

# True, sometimes when I wake up in the morning and I find the tooth paste is over. I might have to adjust with an orbit or some other chewing gum. Its okay, its not like I am going to kiss somebody.

# What if my clothes are not washed for a while? How do you think deodorants survive in the market? They should actually, as a token of respect and appreciation for all the non cleaning provide bachelors a year's free supply of deodorants.

# Yes, papers might be spread on the floor and I might be spread on them. Any issues?

# I might go home late night or not go at all. So what? There is nobody waiting there to share a dinner or to welcome you home. So let it be.

# Can you imagine playing Pink Floyd or The Doors in a faint decibel? Music is meant to be played loud. I will play it as loud as I like, so what? I don't speak to myself much to hear me.

# Sundays are meant to be spent with the 2 B's and 2 M's, Boxer shorts + Beers and Movies + Music.

# Yes, I am a social being. People will come home, and since they are all humans, they'll laugh, sing and dance too. As long as they don't hit on the neighbour or hit the neighbour its okay.

# I might wake up in the middle of the night and start watching The Departed or Pulp Fiction again, am I disturbing anybody?

# Realised utensils are a waste of space and cleaning them is a lot of effort. Beer, you can drink straight out of the bottle and so do other fruit juices and sodas which comes in tetra packs and plastic bottles. For everything else, there are disposable plastic glasses.

# There is nobody to tell me, do not walk on the terrace wearing a boxer shorts. In summers that is a real comfort, if you want to know, try it out yourself.

# Food eaten out of the packets they are packed in is the tastiest. Plates are a major pain once used till next use and the effort between the cycle, phew!

# Spreading waste materials on the floor is very bad, accepted. But who said, crumbled papers, plastic covers, beer bottles, news papers etc are waste? They are very useful. They are all sources of money. Go green, recycle your waste.

# Sometimes I do try to cook, I cook everything and find out the plates are not washed and I am too lazy to do anything after cooking. Ever tried having chicken curry out of a pressure cooker? If not, try it. Its amazing and tasty.

# Yes, I might wake up in the morning with the lungi (a mallu attire resembling a bed sheet) over my head or it could be used as a bed sheet. Frankly, who cares. If you've a problem do not walk into my room during my sleeping hours.

# Hair, it grows on you. The more you try to curb it, the more it grows. Leave it to its own pace, when others really want to see your face they'll do something about it.

# Mirrors for girls. Leave it, its of no use to people who don't shave or comb their hair.

# Last but not the least, Intoxication is not a crime, its just a way of life.

Ah, I am a happy happy bachelor...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My city, My everbody's city

While drinking a mug of cold beer at one of the many joints in the city, somebody whom I met very recently asked me, “How do you find Hyderabad after being here for a while now?” to which, even before I opened my mouth my friend replied “Oh, he is in love with Hyderabad”. The person who asked me the question looked quizzed and asked me rather sarcastically “What do you find here? I personally like Bangalore or Mumbai better and so do my friends”

I have thought the same and many others have asked me why I don't leave Hyderabad. The answer is very simple – Just like there is no reason in many of my likes and dislikes or in many of my actions, I don't have a reason as to why I love Hyderabad.

I reached this city by the fall of 2007 as a student of Hyderabad Central University. I don't consider the University as part of Hyderabad at all since that 2500 acres of land is an entirely different experience. It is once I started working that my real stint with Hyderabad started. In between, I did I leave Hyderabad for Delhi. Delhi was accommodative, but not too benevolent. The winters were beautiful, the summers just as harsh, and the people... just like the climate, extremes. I was not a very happy man in Delhi I must say, but each time I go there I study something or the other as I have mentioned in one of my earlier blogs. Fate is very weird, so there I was...back to Hyderabad again by mid 2010. Its April 2011 and I don't see myself leaving this place for another year at least.

Now, I am determined to find reasons and justify why I love Hyderabad. Here are some:

(1) Hyderabad has the charm of the old Nizam ruled state and the fervour of a burgeoning Metropolitan.
(2) Hyderabadi people are one of the most friendliest lot I have come across in my travels across the country.
(3) The cuisine is mind blowing and its a meat lovers close second to paradise, the first being Kerala.
(4) The winters are lovely, mild and beautiful. The summers are hot and cranky. But better compared to Delhi.
(5) It is the place I left home for. The place where the University is, the place where I have had probably what could be called the best time of my life till now.

These are some reasons I tried to list just for the sake of convincing others why I like a place. There are reasons which I don't know.

Maybe it is because all my people, my friends are here
Maybe because I can go back home at 2 o clock at night without fearing lack of transportation
Maybe because I haven't had better beef shawrma from anywhere else
Maybe because I know if I am in trouble, there are people to bail me out
Maybe because I know where and how I can get my work done
Maybe because it is close to B'lore and not too far from Trivandrum
Maybe because I know I won't get lost here in this city

Beyond everything, I am a very happy and free man here. I have known what I am after coming here. I have never felt lonely in this city. How much ever I fight with auto drivers or with anybody for that matter, I have never felt hate or repulsiveness to the people here. Its been very benevolent and caring towards me. It is a choice I made, the city, the people and my people here haven't disappointed me yet.

As much as the city has grown on me, I believe now I have grown on the city too and it doesn't want to leave me...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Of Amul Babies and Kumbakarnas

Here is a small conversation by some big people:

Mr Rahul Gandhi: “If voted to power, Kerala would have a 93 year old Chief Minister by the end of 5 years”

Mr Achuthanandan: “A gray head is not a sign of ageing, neither is lack of gray hair a sign of youth. The refusal to bow my head before tyranny is the sign of my youth. He has fielded some 'amul babies' in the poll arena and is an 'Amul Baby' himself”

Mr Antony: “Achuthanandan was sleeping like Kumbakarna, blind to scandals during his tenure and was raking up cases of past governments”

Mr Achuthanandan: “Antony was sleeping like Kumbakarna when terrorists from Pakistan landed on a boat and when the Adarsh housing scam broke out”

After having seen all this slandering and not so becoming behaviour by the elite and senior politicians of the country, today i.e April 13th Kerala is going to the polls for the Assembly elections. That was an indiscreet comment for a young lad to make after coming to a state where Mr VS is the chief Minister. Just when you think, a CM would react in a matured way, he blows it all by calling Mr Gandhi an 'Amul baby' and asking him where he was till the age of 40. Not to forget, Mr Achuthanandan is the only CM to be dropped from the party politburo while in office for slandering and for being caught in a war of words with his fellow Comrade and senior party member Pinarayi Vijayan.

Our Defense Minister is somebody who usually keeps a low profile and avoids such controversial statements, but this time even he blew the top. Maybe because, this happened in his state where he was the Chief Minister or maybe because he decided to express his never dying loyalty to the Congress and the Gandhi family by calling Mr Achuthanandan, Kumbakarna.

After witnessing all this through all possible mediums and laughing at the politicians, we are going to chose who will rule us, the so called 'amul babies' or the 'kumbakarnas'. My heart weeps for the voter who has no other choice but to select one of these. Let the lesser evil come to power.

It is in such circumstances that I miss the grand old man of Kerala politics, Mr Karunakaran. If he was alive, we could've expected a more than funny retort to all this. I am sure he must be twitching in his grave and dishing out retorts after retorts.
I am also waiting for the tweet from Tharoor regarding this, or has he realized its not worth it?

Our politics is the least to entertaining and worth a laugh.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Standing on the Clouds

Let me tell you a story, not a new one, an old one which keeps enthralling me whenever I think about it...

A trip, a journey to the lap of nature, wandering and trekking in the wild hills of Chembra.

I walked 4 kilometers into the sky with a bunch of friends, dragging every inch of myself toward the summit. Eventually, after a 4 hour trek uphill, I reached the destination. The experience was to say the least, exhilarating...Nature held a surprise for me. When I looked down to the foothills from atop, all I could see was an ocean of white mist covering the entire area. It was as if the firmament had descended just to bewilder me. I felt I was suspended in mid air, somewhere between Heaven and Earth. And once the mist cleared I could see miles of greenery and rivers...

Standing proud on the Wayanad Hill ranges of the Western Ghats, the peak held its head high into the sky at 2100 meters (6900 feet) above sea level.Chembra Peak might not be very tall compared to other peaks in the country. But nature beheld a green carpet for me to tread on, it quenched my thirst with water when I was tired from its many streams and it fed me its fruits and berries. To me the trek was nothing short of a 'Stairway to Heaven'

Going there from Hyderabad via Bangalore through the midst of the so called city life where I have to go in search of fresh air, Wayanad was a treat only a privileged few can enjoy.I felt a need to protect the forest land which is a rich source of flora and fauna. Beyond all that I would at least protect it for a self interest, that of going there occasionally and blending with the purity of nature.

I cannot but quote Robert Frost who once wrote in a poem 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' about the beauty of a winter forest charm. He wrote:

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

And I had my office and my responsibilities calling me back to earn my bread for myself, so that I can go on such expeditions again.

No words or descriptions can do justice to a nature's peak who stands tall braving all odds and witnessing generations pass by. You have to be there, feel the wind on your face, the mist upon your body, the trek in your stride and the mountain inviting you to its bosom... muse, my whore, my beloved.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Who am I...

Who am I...

to say the world is bad
and the people in it sad

to say life is cruel
all we work for is gruel

to say love is overrated
and hate is underrated

to say humans are selfish
and people care a fish

to say there is no god
and religion a sham

to say reality is an illusion
and intoxication is reality

to say hope set you free
and fear chains you

to say what is good
and what is bad

Who am I to say anything
cause I have the freedom to say

Who am I to speak for any
when i know none

I speak and fend for me
as I know me and I...

Monday, March 28, 2011

To Bhongir and back

I had the fortune of visiting the ancient fort of Tribhuvanagiri this Sunday which is located in the small village hamlet of Bhongir. So, I thought I would share this information of how to get there and whats in store for the wandering souls who would like to go there. Since I went there from Hyderabad, this will have only information on how to get there and come back from Hyderabad.

First things first, let us not compare the fort with the gigantic and colossal Golconda Fort nor the beautiful and enthralling Bekal Fort. This is a built on a monolithic isolated stone and that is its uniqueness. The way up to the fort is steep and rocky. The fort was built during the times of the Western Chalukya ruler Tri-bhuvana-malla-vikramaditya VI and hence the name Tribhuavanagiri which metamorphosed into Bhuavangiri and eventually Bhongir. The fort is atop a stone about 500 feet high and it covers an area of about 400 acres. There are no proper steps or paths, making the trek better and exciting. Maybe because it was a hot Sunday afternoon, the place was quite vacant, not crowded which gives one ample space and leisure to trek up. The entry fee to the fort is just 3 rupees which is as cheap as it can get.

Bhuvanagiri aka Bhongir is about 50 kilometers from Hyderabad. Getting there from Hyderabad is very easy. There is the Telangana Express which leaves Secunderabad at 8.20 hours in the morning which reaches Bhongir in 50 – 60 mintues. But since it is the Indian Railways, nothing is predictable. Once you alight at the Bhongir station, the fort is about a kilometer and a half. You get enough auto rickshaws which will take you to there, and unlike the city rickshaw drivers, they don't start with 50 bucks for such a small distance, it takes only 15 rupees. For the return journey from Bhongir to Secunderabad, there are trains at 12:00, 13:30 and 16:00. One wouldn't require more than 3 or 4 hours in the hamlet of Bhuvanagiri. The famed temple of Yadgirigutta is about 13 kms from Bhongir.

For all the souls out there who have an irresistible craving to travel, Bhongir is a safe bet and its a photographers delight as the view from the top is breath taking. The whole village of Bhongir is visible from there. For the adventure freaks, trekking up the monolith could be a good experience, it is a unique structure. Over all, its a place worth visiting.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of Travel...

Its almost a year since a bunch of guys packed their bags and went to the corners of the country in search of basically nothing. The places of visit might lead you to believe that we went in search of Salvation or redemption or dope or Charas (Rishikesh, Hridwar and Dehradun) but no, it was just a bunch of guys possessed by a fiery ambition to travel, to see places, meet more people, get to know their country better and beyond all...witness which is arguably the largest gathering for a festival in the world, The Maha Kumbh Mela.

This post is not a description of the trip nor a travelogue, it is just a dedication to my fellow travelers and the places which housed us. Ever since that 10 days on the roads and rails, I can say...I am not the same anymore.

I loved the trip majorly for one reason. I was not told to do anything...I was not controlled in anyway, I was free...I could hitchhike from one place to another, eat at the dhaba, wear a lungi and drink at some local bar, walk to wherever I wanted to, take a dip in the inviting stream by the mountain side...I was myself. My dear fellow friends also were just the same.

I wanted to get piss drunk, my friends didn't stop me, they just gave me company.
I wanted to wear a shorts and walk around Rishikesh, they didn't stop me, they just made sure they looked as bad (good to us) themselves.
I wanted to sleep on the railway benches, they didn't stop me, they just opened the bag and took out the bedsheets.

There a zillion things which they can also point out like this with which each of us were absolutely happy and fine with. That Uncertainty is what kept the trip alive.

Now, let me tell you...traveling is a cruel thing. It draws you towards it with its vicious claws and makes you a helpless slave of her seduction. It opens your perspectives like a fountain. You're transported back into your youth, questioning each and everything which you come across. I no longer live life as a reaction, I live life like a force...

And that is the force which draws me into it again...the wanderlust has entered my soul.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

World is a stage...

There were people all around me, I could feel multiple stares at me from all possible sides. But I was alone. I didn't know where I was or what I was doing there. I just had to keep on walking, walking to an unknown place in no specific direction. My legs were giving away to the weariness of a tiresome day and intoxication was blurring my mind. I don't know if it was the effect of long hours of work and no sleep or the pegs of whiskey I had as part of some meeting where I again was in the midst of unknown faces and people, looking important.

I kept on mobile was vibrating, yea I had put it on silent since the ring tone irritated me. It could be a call or a message. It could be my mom or some friend calling or it could be my friend messaging for some unknown reason. I was wondering to myself, why do people wanna talk? Can't we be just by ourselves? How does it matter to my friend if I had dinner or if I reached home? Why is there a need to know what or why or how? right was Jim Morrison, “People are Strange”

Now after long hours of walk, I can see some familiar place or is it an illusion or a distant double of a place I know but not necessarily this. Whatever I decided to get a pan from some pan shop and disguise the strong stench of whiskey with the smelly red fluid of chewed pan. Why would I want to do that? Don't people drink? Some drink and drive, some drink and walk, some drink and beat their wives, some drink and make love, some drink and puke...but people drink! Then why would I wanna have some gross red fluid in my mouth after chewing some green leaf?

Oh...I forgot I had music playing in my small gadget plugged to my ear. I can't really remember if it was Floyd or Led Zep or Morrison...but it sounded good ever since I started to notice it. I was transported to different place from then on...I suddenly had shoulder length hair and was wearing a weird looking t shirt and was no longer walking, I was sitting among some familiar faces, but I don't know if they know I am there...they seemed to enjoy. One dude across my table was pretending to be one rock star and woo the chick next to him. I think he offered her a drink. She was also pretending to be a babe...I was also pretending to love the 'do'.

Everybody pretends, puts up an act and tries to cover up showing that you care, that you don't drink, that you are cool...who is original and who is not.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I am not capable of writing anything comprehensive now, but still I want to write. My mind is cluttered, its confused and whirlpool like, there is nothing concrete in it, but still I want to write. So here goes some rambling...

I was the ocean...I was one of god's best creations, but now I am contaminated. I am the mountains...I was one of God's strongest creations, but now I am also belittles. I am the wind...I was one of God's best creations, I blew hard, but now I am taken over. I am the fire...I am man's creation, I could eat it all...but now I am also doused. Man..thou art a fierce creation, but thou can also be doused just like the fire, conquered just like the mountains, blown away just like the wind...

He is necessarily savage, there is an evil streak suppressed in him, it will manifest in some way or the other. Some know how to hide it, some know how to channel it...but it'll. You leave the devil out, you unleash the is a product of his circumstances, he creates them unwillingly or willingly, but in the end he gives in to his circumstances.

A man's only enemy is himself...he gotta break through to the other side, explore his hidden angle and let it go...unleash the monster inside or cherish the angel outside...a black him as well as the whited him, painted by him for the world...

My brain is like a scrambled egg. I don't even know if I should believe my gray matter is gray in colour. Is it possible for me to see my own gray matter? Maybe just a sliver will might even be yellow from all the shit around, or maybe even red from anger and jealousy or maybe white from the disillusionment around or the good in me painted it white or before I forget, black, not the shiny one, but much like pith, full of evil...why can't i accept my gray matter is gray?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Who is to be blamed?

I read in the Hindu Sunday Supplement a few weeks back, an article about the decreasing childhood. I nodded to it, messaged a couple of my friends whom I thought would be interested, to read it. There lay the matter. Long after that, a couple of days back, while skimming through the pages of a daily, a small snippet caught my eyes. The heading read '16 year old girl in the city commits suicide'. Like any other newspaper intro, the reason for the suicide was mentioned in the first para. And you know what the reason is? She was scared about her approaching 10th board exams...She was so scared about her performance that she decided to escape the torment and end it once and for all. The newspaper said, she had missed some classes and was skeptic about how she would perform, how her grades would turn out. All I can say is – DEPRESSING

She sure was in a phase of life where she could be molded or led to believe what is wrong and what is right, what is bad and what is good. Who is to be blamed here for the girl's untimely death?

Is it bad parenting?
Is is peer group pressure?
Is is the pressure put on her by her school?
Is it the perceived notions of the society?

One could argue, it is a confluence of all the factors put together. That its the mindset of the society, that children are growing up too soon, that the world is bad and its only the survival of the fittest. But I think, it has got a great deal to do with Parenting. Now, I cannot talk about parenting authentically since I have never been a parent. There are some serious problems with our value system I believe.

There is this line from the movie 'Thank you for smoking' where the protagonist is the spokesperson for the tobacco industry and he defends smoking in front of a jury. The jury questions him about teen smoking and how its is destroying young children. His answer was “Gentlemen, its called education. It doesn't come off the side of a cigarette carton. It comes from our teachers and more importantly parents. It is the job of every parent to warn their children of all the dangers of the world, including cigarettes, so that one day when they get older, they can chose for themselves”. That made a lot of sense to me. Upbringing is what it takes I guess. How you bring up the child.

If the girl was open and confident about her parents, I don't think this would've happened. If the parents gave the child that confidence about her academics and about what true performance is, I don't think this would've happened. Its the values that you impart to one's children that is called education. Whatever the society is or whatever happens in school, if the kid has that fall back confidence at home, thats a child's pillar.

Thank God, I had it all during my formative years and more importantly...glad to have such amazing parents.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I have faith

At the outset itself let me tell you, I have faith. Faith in what you might ask just like I have asked myself many a time.

I have faith in politics. How much ever people say, its ruining the country and its going to the dogs...I have faith. I believe that for every corrupt politician, there is a dedicated leader. If things can go terribly wrong in a household of four people, here we are talking about a group of people working for a country of a billion. I have faith I say...

I have faith in the media. One could argue that the Indian media is running after sensationalism. We live in an era where even the top media people of our country have been exposed. But I still have faith in the media. I believe the Indian media is a manifestation of the huge democracy this nation is. I have heard many ask about Independence day “what have we got independence from?” “Aren't we still chained by several other parameters?” I have only thing to say, We were born in the post independence India, we never have known how it is to be under a dictatorial government. So I have faith in democracy.

I wrote in a previous blog about the indifference affecting people, a kind of cancer. But again, there are a couple of people who are damn good. People who genuinely want to make a difference, people who mean only good in them and they do more practice than talking. Malice doesn't have a place in them. I believe someday things will turn out to be better. I have hope.

I have faith in faith. People have different manifestations of their faith, some go to temples, some go to mosque's, some manifests it in the form of hope, its differs. I have faith in some power which keeps the world going.

Beyond all...I have faith in myself, I wouldn't call it self righteousness nor egotism. I have faith in my life, my love, my relations, my people, my parents, my friends, my writing, my beliefs and my principles...

To quote Abraham Lincoln from a letter he wrote to his son's teacher “ My son will have to learn that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.” This to me can be written only by a person who has complete faith in humanity and in life.

Faith I have in many many things...just listed out a few.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Imperfectly perfect

This blog is dedicated to all the cynics around or at least people who are considered to be one...

A few days ago, somebody who knows me for long called me a 'cynic'. Now a cynic is not something which you would like to be called! Words are just a matter of interpretation and each one could do it in his or her own way. A cynic has many meanings which an Oxford dictionary will tell you, like a cynic is a pessimist, a negative thinker, a person one who smells flowers looks around for coffins, a person who looks at the dark side of everything. Now I have never fancied myself one and so I decided to do a small research on it. Post that I feel its not that bad after all and thought it should be up on my blog...

Cynicism was a philosophical school of thought which believed that the purpose of life was to live a life of virtue in agreement with nature. They were against all conventional desires for wealth, power, and fame, and by living a simple life free from all possessions. They believed that the world belonged equally to everyone, and that suffering was caused by false judgments of what was valuable and by the worthless customs and conventions which surrounded society.

Now thats quite a thought isn't it? There is more to this way of life...

The word Cynic came from the Greek word 'kynikos' which meant 'dog like'. This apparently is because of their indifference to their way of life. Like dogs, they eat and make love in public, go barefoot, and sleep in tubs and at crossroads. And yet another reason is that the dog is a good guard and the dog is a discriminating animal which can distinguish between its friends and enemies. The Cynics were considered the watch dogs of the society. Very interesting to note that Jesus Christ was considered a Cynic by his contemporaries and by some historians later on.

Like any other school of thought Cynicism was also built on a couple of values. They are:

The goal of life is happiness which is to live in agreement with Nature.
Happiness depends on being self-sufficient, and a master of mental attitude.
Self-sufficiency is achieved by living a life of Virtue.
The road to virtue is to free oneself from any influence such as wealth, fame, or power, which have no value in Nature.
Suffering is caused by false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a vicious character.

I think the word cynic has been misinterpreted a lot. If this is what the philosophy of Cynicism is, then there is clearly a mismatch about how it is perceived now.Everybody loves imperfections or at least think imperfection-ism is cool. Then I guess we all should be in love with Cynicism...Its just so imperfectly perfect

I am secretly glad about being a cynic if people mean it this way ;-)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I was just thinking:

Two years back when a student in the university, I used to withdraw 100 bucks from the atm whenever I wanted money. With that 100 rupees my whole day would run comfortably. I could have food at the campus food courts, do phone recharges and be happy. Now I withdraw 500 and its over in no time and I am left with more need of it.

I used to go to class wearing a shorts and t shirt. Now I look the part of a professional all formally clad and executive like. But I feel I knew more then when I had my sartorial freedom...

I now buy a formal shirt from a well off place for my daily wear, but it doesn't feel as snug as the 100 rupee kurta I used to wear as a student.

I now have coffee at Barista's or Coffee Days, but it doesn't taste as good as the 'char rupaya ka bada chai' I used to have under some tree in the campus.

Now I meet people for dinner over a Mac Donalds or in a cafe outside in the city, but the conversation is not as good as it used to be while sharing a roti and some curry on some stone bench in the campus food joints.

I don't have any sleepless nights now as far as work is concerned, nor do I have the happiness I had when I worked on my seminars, edited my documentary, did my term paper not sleeping for 5 days at a stretch.

Now at the beginning of every month I have a good amount in my account, but it doesn't hold the same excitement as it had when the money was less than one fourth of it deposited by my parents when I was a student.

I go for long walks on some sequestered lane, but it just doesn't have the charm of a late night walk with some special friends on some long winding university road.

I now pay a ton and go for a movie at some multiplex, but I loved the local cinema with some creaky seats and no air conditioning near the campus which I used to go counting every penny before buying a ticket.

I now stay in my own apartment and have all the space I want in the world, but it is not as comfortable as the tiny room I used to share with my roommate in some dinghy hostel behind a rock in the university.

I can now buy the beer of my choice, but I enjoyed the one which I bought in campus skeptic if that beer would deprive my mobile recharge next day.

I can rant on and on like this. Life seems so much more simpler back then, even though I had more deadlines than now, when I had 100 rupees left in my account and a week left before next grant from home, when I had no sleep for days at stretch and had no hope for it in days to come...

Just like the places and nature seem to be zip by when you travel in a train, Life zips by and you are supposed to do your part.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How long will it take...

A few days ago I was traveling by the local train here. A lady was asking for alms along with her daughter in my compartment. When they were walking one lady in burqa stamped on the little girl's feet with her heeled footwear. The child held her tears, looked up at the mom who was busy begging and continued walking along with her. Her feet had become reddish and blood was coming out. I don't think she even had the freedom to cry. How could the lady who stamped her treat the kid so inhumanely? without any consideration for a human being?

A lady in Delhi lay down on the streets of Cannaught Place and gave birth to a baby. The lady was there on the pavement for 5 days apparently. Nobody offered any help or even bothered. Finally after 5 days she gave birth on the streets. It caught the attention of a shopkeeper as there were dogs circling around that pile as if there is a feast in the offing. Anybody who knows Delhi knows how busy CP is. There are people walking in and out, day and night, but nobody cared a shit about who was there or what was there.

How bad should it get before somebody raises a voice?
How much more callous can people get before it becomes a point of no return?
Is indifference such a cool thing?
Would s/he have reacted the same way if it was somebody of his/her own?
If humans are this, then we need to rethink about the word 'humanity' or 'humane'

One of my friends/ confidant/ big uncle once told me, “Its not necessary that for helping out people you should join an are the ngo” I guess that responsibility is needed in each. It is not philanthropy, it is not big heartedness, it is not for rhetoric sake, but for making a difference. If i can put a smile on one person before i go to bed for the day I can consider myself a happy person.

I have talked to many a person about this and the feedback I have got is “somebody has to take it up. Somebody has to do something about all the injustice around” I have only one question, why can't that 'somebody' be you or me? How long can you wait for something to happen? I believe if one can inspire one, that will in turn inspire five, and that five a ten and it goes on...

Monday, February 7, 2011

It is all very weird, yet so beautiful...

Oh freedom
what do you mean...

As much as I have the freedom to question
Doesn't she have the freedom to silence

As much as I have the freedom to give
Doesn't she have the freedom to refuse

As much as I have the freedom to talk
Doesn't she have the freedom to not

As much as I have the freedom to write
Doesn't she have the freedom to not read

As much as I have the freedom to hug
Doesn't she have the freedom to resist

As much as I have the freedom to love
Doesn't she have the freedom to hate

It is all very weird, yet so beautiful...

Monday, January 31, 2011


How can one define success?

“Be successful in life” is something I have been hearing since I learned the word and till a few months back I had notions of what was successful and what isn't.

I am somebody who left home after my graduation to a central university in search of so called 'success' and much to my surprise, I found the same lot in the University. Everybody wants to be successful in life and everybody has different notions of success. I remember my cousin brother crying the day he got his CBSE results stating he didn't get a 90% but only 87, whereas others who scraped the 90 percent mark were the cream of the lot and the most successful. For some it is the number of medals that adorn the wall, for a journalist it might be the number of bylines s/he can gather, for some it might be the pay he or she gets, or it could be the car they drive, the grandeur of the house they live in...there are so many notions.

I define success now as satisfaction or happiness, not huge money, not owning a top end mobile, not having money to travel by flight...its just plain happiness.

Yesterday I talked to one of my old friends over the phone. She was my classmate during graduation. After graduation when many of her friends including me chose to leave their hometown of Kerala and go to any corner of the country in pursuit of success, she decide to stay back home with her mom and brother and be a dutiful daughter/sister. She did her B ed from one college in the city itself and started teaching school children when others boasted of jobs in MNC's and post graduation degrees from the best colleges in the country. Now she is married, teaching in one of the better known schools in her hometown, taking care of her husband and ready to welcome another life into this earth and be a good mother...she is damn happy. To me, she is a success in life so far and I pray she remains this way...

This post is dedicated to her who made me rethink what success and true happiness is...

To quote one of my other friends “Why do we work? Why do we have friends? Why do we travel? Why do we do whatever we do? So that at the end of the day when we go to sleep we have a smile on our face...”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ranting of a confused mind

I have 6 to 8 unfinished blog posts in my laptop
I have changed 4 jobs in less than 1 and a half years of working
I have quit a job in the United Nations
I have changed cities in between that too
I have been working in this company for months now and dunno how long more I will

And people knowing all this ask me “whats my aim in life?” “whats my ambition in life?”. I have been asked this question way too many times under various circumstances. Right from the day I completed my matriculation, right after my higher secondary schooling and many a time during my graduation and post graduation. The question has popped in many forms and types. Now when I think about it, let me reassure you I STILL DON'T KNOW. I have no clue whats my ambition/aim in life.

I don't know what I am doing.
I don't know where I am heading
I don't know what I want to do
I don't know if I will earn enough ever
I don't know anything...

I ask is it necessary to have an aim? That makes life much less interesting. That is like closing your eyes to great temptations in life and going on a single flight up, not knowing what would be the scene if not.

On the contrary I have started to believe in the concept of 'nihilism'. Maybe there is no purpose in life. As long as you can make ends meet, as long as you take care of your responsibilities life has to go on. Maybe you are just another brick in the wall, maybe you are just another cog in a machine.

Let me end this in a positive note:

I know I am confused
I know I am caught in the crossroads...