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 walking...my 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? Ah...so 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 things...like 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 beast...man 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 do...it 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 ;-)