rarefied air


Tuesday, March 30, 2010


You ask me to turn my face
So that you may see its contours
Photographed in your mind as they are
From the time you created these fears
The sharp nose, plunging down to eternity
Reassures you and you smile with security
Of the knowledge that I am the one I pretend to be
You serve me with your love and prosperity

But some day you will forget my face
As today you did my name
Some day I will not be able to convince you
That I am the one you seek to trace
There will come a day when you will yearn to talk to me
When all the time I will be in front of you
But you will refuse me, treat me with disdain
Call me a cheat and perhaps slap me for the deceitful strain

When you are clearer in the head I tell you this
You promise to try and remember me
You say you cannot guarantee
But you will try to recall me
It reassures me, soothes me little
My compounded fears run amok unabated near
I persevere to get the best of the moment
That is real, within my reach and without any tear

I cuddle I caress I touch your skin
To imprint my touch and seal the connection with you forever
If not my face, nor my name seem familiar to you
Place my face next to yours in the mirror

My precious you test me, ask me questions again and again
And then you yourself pronounce the indictment
That I pretend to be who I am not
That I am a planted seed in the garden of rot

It happens again and again like a recurring nightmare
It digs under my skin
Makes me bleed copious tears
I tear up my dreams
And offer them to you as sacrifice
I pray after an eternity to Him
And beg for your peace and calm
He mocks me calls me a fool
Says in denying me you have given me legitimacy
I ignore the sarcasm
Continue to prepare for your peaceful sleep
I pray to the pillow even to be silent
Not disturb your dreamless repose
But it sings a new song each night
Follows you like a stream of dirty water
Captures you in its clawed grip
Makes you go insane
I fight it erase it every morning
Clean the bucket, throw it outside in disgrace
But how long? How long will we sing this song?
How long?
What else can I do, to redeem you bring you back to me?
Teach me, I will adopt the strategy
Let eternity come and go and yet I will remain
Devoted to you, I am prepared to go insane.

i am sick of the world
i am sick of the weeds
i am sick of the adulterous lives we lead

i am sick of the sly
i am sick of the games
i am sick of the days you spend with the dames

i am sick of the loneliness
i am sick of the cries
i am sick of the aimless time that flies
i am sick of the darkness
i am sick of the crimes
i am sick of the nights i spend with you artless

i am sick of your orders
i am sick of not being ordered around
i am sick of your attention
i am also sick of you not being around

i am sick of the job
i am sick of sitting idle
i am sick of being homeless
i am sick of the t'waddle

i am sick of the travel
i am sick of the train
i am sick of the journey
always being the same

i am sick of myself and
i am sick of you
i am sick of everything
that you pretend to do

The Smile

Direction-less i spend my days
in rituals, dreams and spiritless ways
waiting for i do not know what
my sad eyes keep constant watch
Perhaps waiting for the agony to end
perhaps for the super man to descend
perhaps for the music to play
that would make me sway,
and awaken
the laughter that has hollowed inside
The smile that is so still
So still it is, in it's pretense
Oh! it almost makes me cry
It hangs there loose
as if on a noose
so erect and yet so pale
like the recital of a gallows's tale

The djinn revisits

it just pains me to know that we cannot communicate any more
....why oh why must we talk through the door?
when there are no hidden lies
and no truths to be put to question,
what have we to loose,
if not our pretensions...
come talk to me
....talk to me as a friend
....lets find new meaning
....for this old steadied end....
is it me?
or is it you?
or is it our combined suffering
that keeps us mute
...keeps us from talking/ being sane
....keeps us alive
...but yet defamed
breathe a new life
....sing a new song
....if not for you or me
....for the days gone wrong...
yes it pains me
...it pains me still
....to not be able to speak to you
....despite the old djinn
because djinn was who he was
....and genie with her bane
....and a wonderful play had been enacted
....as the worthless came to be slained
...encore encore they shouted!
and burst through their skins!
come! take me yonder!
let me escape from this spin!
the spindle of the tale
...that you have been weaving
....and i have been holding
...the spool of the shame...
is going round and round
without direction or taste
and creating a shadow
that will be hard to replace
whether you like it or not
whether you want it or not
there will be no end
no end to take you home ever again
this is your bane
and mine too if you please
the darkness is for ever more
replete and complete

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Avoidant Personality Disorder
Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
-Patricia D. Barry

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Legacy of Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is not as 'nobel' as Alfred intended it to be. Although it has awarded some very deserving people, it has always been very controversial and accused of being politically motivated. All of us were shocked that Barack Hussein Obama received this award and raised a hue and cry as to why he is getting the award. But do we really think it to be so sanctimonious that we are shocked at its shortcoming now?

There are many rumours regarding the unfairness of the award, especially its accountability in Peace, Literature and Economics has been questioned on several ocassions. I don't know how many of these are true. For example, one such rumour says that Dalai Lama was given the award during the time when US was riding an anti-China wave and wanted to irk China. Personally I am more than convinced that Dalai Lama deserves the award, but that is a different matter. (And please this is just an example of a rumour I am using, not in any way trying to start up another controversy or personal attack!) Today, Obama is meeting his beijing counterpart first before meeting Dalai Lama. There is enough evidence to prove at least that many Russians were given the award to irk its rulers. Boris Pasternak, Alexandr Solzenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov are some awardees that have faced many controversies. While going through Wikipedia (An extremely fact based and apolitical website much like my own newspaper, if you know what i mean) I came across this that I want to share :-

----------------------Pasternak was named the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. It has emerged thatBritish intelligence and the CIA secretly facilitated the accolade to embarrass the Kremlin.[6]On 25 October, two days after hearing that he had won, Pasternak sent the following telegram to the Swedish Academy:
Immensely thankful, touched, proud, astonished, abashed.[6]

However, four days later came another telegram:
Considering the meaning this award has been given in the society to which I belong, I must refuse it. Please do not take offense at my voluntary rejection.[6]

The Swedish Academy announced:
This refusal, of course, in no way alters the validity of the award. There remains only for the Academy, however, to announce with regret that the presentation of the Prize cannot take place.[7]

Pasternak had declined under intense pressure from Soviet authorities.[6] Despite turning down the award, Soviet officials soured on Pasternak, and he was threatened at the very least with expulsion. However, it appears that the Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru, may also have spoken with Khrushchev about this,[8] and Pasternak was not exiled or imprisoned.
Despite this, a famous Bill Mauldin cartoon at the time showed Pasternak and another prisoner in Siberia, splitting trees in the snow. In the caption, Pasternak says, "I won the Nobel Prize for literature. What was your crime?" The cartoon won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1959.[9]
The Nobel medal was finally presented to Pasternak's son, Yevgeny, at a ceremony in Stockholm during the Nobel week of December 1989,[10]where he said: "My father played no role in the publication of a Russian edition, nor had he any idea of the CIA’s interest. My father never expected to receive the prize. Sadly it brought him a lot of sorrow and suffering."[6] At the ceremony, the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovichplayed a Bach serenade to honor his deceased countryman.--------------------------------

There are several such incidents revolving around the Nobel Prize and I guess we should search deeper before expecting highest accountability from it, because it is as tainted as any other award.
Hope I have not hurt sentiments through this and hope to hear what you have to say if anything at all...cheers!

--Marie Curie is the first person to win a Nobel in both Physics and Chemistry. The other person being Linus Pauling for Chemistry and Peace.
--The deadline for submission of nominations for the Peace award is February 3. So, Obama was nominated for the award, within 15 days of becoming President. Nice!

What Our Cops get Paid To Do

In a bizarre incident where a US journalist was beaten up by the Delhi police for apparently no fault of his except not knowing Hindi perhaps or being confused; he has asked for a compensation of half a million US Dollars for the 'torture' he underwent. How many times is an Indian treated this way? For us Indians, we would consider it lucky if the police would let us go with only such beatings and not charge us with some unheard of crime as well.
I hope the Delhi police has to pay the price and are taught a lesson. They should realise that this is no way to treat anybody, be it American or Indian.

Also hope that it does not get twisted into an 'Indian/ American' issue! 'A big noise is made only when an American is beaten up, what about Indians?' kind of argument would be futile and achieve nothing.

Copy/Paste the link below to read the statement of the American with photographs.Warning: Graphic Images.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apocalypse of Love


The world is turning turtle
what's wrong with you my man?
You are spinning in a circle
stop! or i will go insane

People are acting funny
No not the ones that make you laugh
These here will make you sit up and stare
squirm till you become daft

Girls leaving their husbands
to rewrite their unpleasant love stories
Let go! Let go of him! They shout
after you have made him feel sorry

Women calling off marriages
to step into the dark
Oh! He was being so nasty
I let go and enjoy the foot fall

Men losing their sanity
to wither into dust and grain
Live in eternal tragedy
for the one who showed them pain

Women and men coming together
to live- in and live life afresh
I am shocked at the similarities
that differences have begun to furnace

Men aging quickly
choosing the life they dread
Letting go of women
who promise to take them ahead

What is becoming of this world
Why are peers loving sorrow?
Where have gone the days
When pigeons flew on the farrow?

I have fallen into the trap
of rejoicing my fate
Enjoying the pins and needles
that make me like hatred

I sing aloud in ecstacy
at another failed and hollow
love that was imagined
and died a pale shadow

What is wrong with the world?
When lovers refuse to sleep
and husbands migrate to fallow land
to ask, question and beseech

Where has the romance disappeared to?
in the darkest hour
I seek and get no answers
even in my randomest showers

The rain doesn't enrich
the soils of my land anymore
The stars don't shine enough
to make me dance on encores

The light from the sun itself
blinds me dims me narrow
The sharpness of its rays
has blunted my arrows

I wait and wait for somebody to arrive
on the scene and bear me through
To somewhereland that still creates
the magic promised for the Demi Moores

But i think i wait in vain
for the summer to change to spring
for this is the bleakness of winter
that has and will forever sadness bring

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

There is a limit to below average mediocrity

The human race is violent violent
The human race is violent

Oh great majority populace
Oh the benevolent
Oh the altruistic
Oh the charitable

When will you stop counting your minorities?

Monday, August 10, 2009


He came this morning.Out of the blue.And made me sign a note to the Gate Keeper allowing him to come into the complex. He calls himself a 'Maali' or Gardener, but in modern parlance, he is nothing more than a middle man. He gets plants from the 'Laari' or push cart that is parked outside the gates of the complex. My guess is that he charges us more than what he pays the owner of the push cart. He is from a town near Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh. I do not know his name, but I do not that he was away for around six months undertaking his marriage in his town. That is why our plants died, due to lack of fertilisers. That is why he came today, out of the blue. He came to replace the dead plants with fresh ones. He replaced one for free. The other plant had gotten infested with ants and so my mother threw away the pot. So the made us buy another pot and charged us for everything. He is a smart man. He says there is money in Gwalior but not enough work to get by on. That is why he has left his newly wed bride at his home and returned to the city. My father says he saw him on Ghodasar Road, selling plants. But he denies it. He has to show me (his customer) a clean one tracked business profile. There are many like him who come to the cities from the villages in search of work and visit their towns or villages with lots of cash once in six months. Most of the people in transportation business are migrant workers. Almost all rickshaw drivers and taxi drivers in any city of India do not belong to the city they work in. They hate this life. "My life is like that of a dog" said Shabbir bhai, driver of rental cars who took me to Sabarkantha district. He has driven all types of cars ranging from luxury buses to Indica to Taveras but he says his life is terrible. He has to be at the beck and call of his rental service owner, there is no fixed working hour. He works non-stop for 48 hours, sleeps for 4 hours and then again works for 24 hours straight. Such is the life of all of these migrant labour that runs in the transportation industry in cities they don't belong to.
Ahmedabad attracts labour from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. People from prosperous cities in these states come and work as menial labour in the city. Gorakhpur is the biggest town in its district in Uttar Pradesh. It feeds hundreds of families from the surrounding towns and villages. People will always migrate from villages to towns, towns to cities, from cities to metro cities and from metro cities to other countries. But the order is not rigid. People may also travel from a village to another country directly. It all depends on the level of risk one is capable of taking. In such a reality, the cities cannot not take responsibility of its migrant labour force. A big city is big because by definition it is supposed to be able to support a bigger population and primarily a population from outside. Bombay cannot say no to UPites, Delhi cannot ban Haryanvis, US cannot say no to Chinese, Australians cannot ban Indians. Restriction cannot be permissible, as it goes against the basic nature of human beings, that of migration, travel, in search of better opportunities.
Cities should constantly revamp their infrastructure in order to provide facilities to people from outside. Government hospitals, for instance, are the second biggest draw of this population from outside, after transport services. There are no hospitals in the rural areas and so villagers from Khalilabad will always go to Gorakhpur for treating their illnesses, people from Murshidabad will go to Kolkata or people from Dignagar might go to Krishnanagar. Government hospitals complain of not being able to bear the load. Government hospitals in India are built on vast expanses of land. How difficult is it to add more beds? For years now, every government hospital knows that it is going to be over burdened and under staffed, beds are going to be insufficient. Why not add those many beds that you already by now, know will be needed? Why not build those facilities that you are lacking? You keep complaining that we need 1000 beds but we have only 200 beds so the patients lie on the floors. So why not go ahead and build those buildings that can house those beds? Ambumnai Ramadoss' who come and go, who divert their energies and resources in targeting celebrtities are the ones that should be banned. The Ghulam Nabi Azads should know that Swine Flus will also come and go, why not build permanent infrastructure?
This does not mean that infrastructure should only be increased in cities. Infrastructure and opportunities should be made available in villages and towns as well but with the knowledge that more and more people are bound to go to the more developed areas every time and settle for less dignified work, but nonetheless. Does that mean at some point the villages will be desserted? No, certainly not. They will become thinner but there will always be people who will stay back to till those fields. And then there will be the parents, women and children who will live there. Only the young men of the villages might no longer be found there. They will come back every year during the sowing period to take care of their fields and then go away to the cities to build bridges, carry water and clear garbage. Indian youth of the cities, women included will go to the Americas, The Londons and Singapores of the world similarly and return home for the Pujas, Diwali or New Years. Or when there is a death in the family. They rarely come for marriages unless of extremely close people.
Cities cannot wash their hands off its migrant population.

Sunday, August 9, 2009



We shifted here a year ago and other families are still moving into the complex.Many people have moved to this 'developing area' that is considered one of the most sensitive zones in view of communal riots in the old city. Our builder, now afflicted with throat cancer, is applauded for his bravery in entering an area that nobody chose to go before. The Bangladeshi people's ghetto is right across the street, on the banks of the Chandola Laka and it is alleged, by Hindus that all bombs ever blasted in the city, have been made there. There are very few shops in the area, and we have to travel miles to buy a potato. So our brave builder decided to do further good and leased some land for 12 shops to be built outside the complex. Two kirana shops have come up till now, both selling identical goods and competing against each other by giving customers of the complex heavy discounts. Nobody is complaining, least of all me. I am getting used to living here. I avoid talking to people here, but sometimes one cannot escape too soon. As a journalist I interact with diverse people daily, but am distanced disinterested in my own backyard. People are curious.They ask questions. Sometimes pointedly, like the other day this woman asked me if I was the wife or sister of the boy with whom I live and whether the woman was my mother or mother-in-law. Mostly I avoid talking to people, but the shadows behind you are constant. That is why I end up wishing that services such as hair cutting, buying stuff, etc would become automated and one wouldn't need to interact with people in order to get them.Because, from where I stand, it is becoming difficult to credit the person providing the service rightfully. For example, my two-monthly visits to the Parlour woman for waxing are very uneasy for me, for though she is providing a very intimate service, I do not like talking to her, in fact, when she begins to get chatty, I discourage it. It is not for any other reason but just the fact that she wants to tell me what the best shopping deals of the season are and since I am unable to respond to the kindness appropriately, she must feel put off. Or she wants to discuss some recipes from the kitchen, that I have simply no knowledge of. Or a cookery or singing show that I have never heard of. But it becomes tricky because I think its wrong to not talk to somebody who you are so associated with. Practically speaking, she is rendering me a service and I am paying her for it, but somehow, this logic is uneasy as it is materialistic and selfish. This compels me to sometimes enter into awkward conversations with her,that do nothing for her or me, while knowing fully well that we are simply saying what we are either from boredom or due to the linkage of service. Below is an excerpt, not very interesting, but hopefully telling, which might or might not explain my discomfiture.
It took place in Gujarati so there is an original version, followed by a translation in English below that.

Kirana Store Keeper Woman-A
Kirana Store Keeper's Helper-B


C: Dahin chhe?
A: Ha chhe ne. Ketlu aapu? Saat rupiya na pouch waadu aapu?
C: Ha. aapi dyo.
A: Tame su...job karo chho?
C: Ha.
A: Kyan karo chho
C: Chhaapa maan.
A: Chhaapa-maan? Etle..kaya chhaapa-maan?
C: The Hindu-maan
A: haen?
C: Hindu-Hindu
A: Oh! Hindustan!
C: Ha Ha...eej.
A: (To B) aa chhaapa-maan kaam kare chhe...pellu Hindu Times chhe ne...eman
B nods head in approval
C smiles.

Day2 Morning:-

C: Dahin chhe?
A: Ha.Dabbi-waadu aapu ke pouch-waadu?
C: Pouch-waadu.Dabbiwaadu monghu hoe ne?
A: Ha.Khaali 250 grams aave dabbi-maan.
C: Hmm.
A: Tame..em toh...hindi bolo ne?
C: etle?
A: matlab ke..ghar-maan, hindi....?
C: Na, Gujarati boliye. Ame Gujarati chhiye.
A: Oh! Evu chhe...achha...
C: Kem? Jova-maan gujarati nathi lagta? Bhasha alag chhe
A: Ha...em nai pan....maari jem hoon gujarati phata phat bolu chhu, tamaru em nathi aavtu...
C: Ha.Thodu alag chhe. Ek toh ame Kathiawad na chhiye, ane upar thi Kolkata maan motta thya chhiey, etle bhasha thodik alag chhe..
A: Oh Kathiawaad na...kayu gaam?
C: Rajkot.Amdavadi toh nathij
A: Achha...evu chhe....toh theek.

Day2 Evening:-

C: Kheeru raakho chho?
A: Ha rakhiye chhiye ne.
C: aapi dyo...ek killo. Ane nariyal chhe?
A: Ha baare padya e-ne.
C: Ha ha ej. (Picks one up from the sack)Ketlanu chhe?
A: dus rupiya
C: Oho. Bou bhaav chhe tamare toh
A: Haha. Aatlu toh hoiyaj ne. Toh ketla be rupiya-maan venchvanu?
C: hmm dai dyo chaalo
A: Aa kon banavse? Tame...ke....tamara mummy?
C: ?.. Koi pan banavi lese...banne banavi lesu..khabar nai
A: Na...tame job par thi aaiva chho, pachhi thaaki...
C: Na, eman su chhe
A: Tame banavo em..,,?
C: Hmm.Kaale banavsu



C: Do you keep curd?
A: Yes we have. How much should I give? The pouch worth 7 Rupees?
C: Yes Please.
A: Do you do...a job??
C: Yes.
A: As in, where do you do it...?
C: In a newspaper
A: Newspaper? As in, which newspaper?
C: The Hindu
A: huh?
C: Hindu -Hindu
A: Oh! Hindustan!
C: Yes yes that one
A: (To helper) This here works in a newspaper...that one...Hindutva Times
B nods head in approval
C smiles

Day2 Morning:-

C: Do you have curd?
A: Yes. Should I give the one in the pouch or the one in the cup?
C: Umm.The pouch please. The one in the cup is expensive no?
A: Yes, that it is, you get only 250 grams in that.
C: Hmm.
A: So...you ..generally...Hindi no?
C: Waht?
A: No as in....you speak Hindi at home....no?
C: No no.We speak Gujarati.We are Gujaratis.
A: Oh! Is that so? Ok.
C: Why? We look different or what?
A: Yes, not like that...but....the fluency with which I am speaking Gujarati, that you still don't have
C: Ya it is a little different because we are from Kathiawaad and been brought up in Kolkata
A: Oh Kathiawad! Which village?
C: Rajkot.
A: Oh ok! and kaalkutta!
C: Ya. Born and brought up there
A: Oh! That's why!
C: what?
A: Thats why the difference! Then it's ok.

Day2 Evening:-

C: Do you stock batter?
A: Of course we do.
C: Please give one kilogram of it. And do you have coconuts?
A: The ones kept outside, those?
C: Aah, yes, these. (Picks one up from the sack) How much is it for?
A: Only 10 Rupees.
C: 10 Rupees!That's a bit too much, isn't it?
A: Haha. Then what, you want me to sell it for 2 rupees?
C: ok ok give it.
A: Who will prepare this? You or your mother?
C: Both of us...I dont know
A: Ok...you return from work....and must get tired....
C: hmmm
A: so you cook, eh...?
C: Hmm..sometimes i do
A: oh! so you work in office and you come home and cook, eh?!
C: ...sometimes
A: so it is you who will be making idli with this batter? or dosa...?
C: i am not sure, really....
A: (to helper)This here cooks!
Helper nods in approval
C picks up batter and leaves

Friday, June 5, 2009

The American

W: Where is the American Consulate here?

American consulate?

W: Yes. I want to make a compliant.

A complaint??

W: Yes. The Indians are torturing me the American

The Indians are torturing the Americans or the Indians are torturing you??

W: The Indians are torturing me. I am an American.

You are an American???

W: Yes.


W: They have made me an Indian since my birth.

So you were born in India right?

W: Yes

Then how can you be an American? Because a person’s nationality depends on where the person is born.

W: I was born here. But I am American by blood.

PAUSE as they STARE at each other.

W: Where is the American council? I should have gone there while I was still in the other town.

You want to file a complaint. What complaint will you file?

W: I will tell them how Indians are treating me. They are conspiring. They are trying to put me in a corner, not let me mingle with society. Indians are cultureless people, the entire family is simply a set up. The wives in families are treated roughly. They are simply used. Marriages are so unnecessary. They should be done away with. What’s the point of them anyways?

Yes you are right. I totally agree with you.

W: Marriages are farcical. Mother-in-law, sister-in-law sister. The Indian culture is a sham. I will tell the Americans. But there are traitors amongst them too.

So what will you do? There are traitors within Americans, within Indians. We should go to the British.

W: The British. Why?

Because both the Americans and the Indians are bad

W: No but I am American. So I will go to them

So you are a Christian?

W: A Christian? Why?

Because most Americans are Christians, and you are an American

W: Not really. They sometimes make me into an Afghan, sometimes American….

Hmmm…so what are you really?

W: I…I don’t know…I am what they make me into

So what are we? What am I?

W: You are also American. Because you are a part of me.

And him? What about him?

W: He is an Indian. But he loves us.

Hmmm. What language are you speaking in? Do they speak this in America?

W: I was made into an Indian the moment I was born, so I know this and not my language. I don’t even know my real name.

Do I also have an American name?

W: Yes you do. Juliet.

So what’s yours? K right?

W: No, not really. I don’t know. They named me W.


W: You think all this is a story right? But these are facts. The Indian culture has become very meaningless. There is no practicality. They simply use you and then kick you.

But nobody is kicking you. I love you.

W: I am alone. They want me to be alone

How are you alone? I am there, we are all there.

W: you should find out for me, where the America council is. Ok?

Alright. I will do that. What will you do the whole day today?

W: Abuse the Indians. Bloody.

You should finish the work.

W: I will write about the culture, how it is useless.

Here take this pen and paper. Write.


There are clothes in the bathroom you will take them right?

W: I will see. *mischievous wink


Ok I am late. Please take care of yourself. Take a bath, please.

W: I will think about it, let me see. *mischievous wink with gleams in the eyes

Hahaha alright. Bye.

To Be Continued...Again...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Indian Democracy

Why should we strive towards democracy.

Democracy might have been the umbilical cord for the people of multiple diversities in the newly freed Indian nation of the 1950s and thereafter, which the Congress party capitalized on successfully, but in the recent past, it has somewhat been diluted. A., because we realize that the country is not as democratic as we would have liked it to be. And B, more importantly, because we know that there is still rampant discrimination and vulgar in-fighting in the name of caste, creed, class, gender, geography, etcetera in our cities, villages, hills and rivers. But this is what you all know. And many of you like me, would condemn democracy and embrace anarchy at the drop of a hat. Perhaps it is the age, perhaps the nature of beings that anarchy seems so appealing to one and all. But today, while reading
I blinked, and when I opened my eyes, I felt that for the sake of the nation, we should embrace democracy and strive to keep it going. Why? Solely for the reason, that I am afraid unless we do that, the country might end up being the mirror image of Pakistan, which has become an Islamist nation, so easily, so quickly. Some of you might say it has not become, it always was, but that is not the question. The question is, to ask of ourselves, whether in criticizing democracy, we are allowing the non-democratic forces to do their bidding. It is very important to be a watch dog of society and bring it back onto the right track from time to time, when it goes astray. But to say that because democracy is not what was promised to us, lets embrace anarchy? Or something else? That, in my opinion, would be a mistake. And you do not have to be a patriot to do that you know, is what I have gladly realized. You liking this post now?
When I say India could become the diametric opposite of Pakistan, obviously, I mean, it might become a Hindu nation. And we all know that Hindu the religion and Hindutva the force are two different things, right? The thought itself is so scary. The thought of India as a country whose people worship only the ramas and krishnas is very scary. The thought of India as a country where everybody is religious, is even more scary to the likes of me. Anyways, lets not digress. The country has been, time and again, thrashed with a stick by the hindutva forces to take up their cause, which, for people who can see, is political majority in the name of religion. Every few years, the hindutva forces surface in the open and break masjids, kill innocents, burn houses and shout slogans to establish their supremacy. Somehow, till now, thanks to the other opposing forces, of the minorities, and not just the muslims, but the sikhs, parsis, Christians, dalits, kashmiris, adivasis etcetera the force has not been able to succeed. The forces this time around, did not spare even the women of their own religion, accusing them of blaspheming the culture by adopting a western culture. Now what is culture? What is your culture? What is my culture? Surely it is not the same, it cannot be the same. It should not be the same. Then how can these forces tell us what our culture should be? Here, more important than the question of moral policing or gender subjugation, for me, has arisen the question of the force gaining power. The other questions are equally, if not more important, especially the question of treatment of women, upper class notwithstanding. But let us once, focus on the question of the idea behind this force, that is so arrogant to think it can get away with anything, that it confidently roughs up the women of this society. I liken this force with the Taliban in Pakistan that sent 16 suicide bombers into Kabul to shoot and kill. As simple as that. Shoot and kill. In Bombay, shoot and kill. Throw a few bombs around. In Gujarat, slit open pregnant bellies. In Khairlanji, push sticks up their private parts. Let me stop, or else it won’t take long for this text to become another Lajja. If we do not take steps to reign in this force running amok, the day isn’t far, when this will attain the arrogance and gargantuan proportions of the extremist forces of Pakistan. If this sounds like a dooms day bugle, so be it. We need it. We need to curb this force, in order to retain our freedom. In order to give us the dignity of thinking and doing what we want to, in order to live. Now what can be done? How can this force be controlled? First and foremost, control it in your heads. I am not speaking to those of you who ‘know’ and ‘choose’ what you do but to those, who would rather walk through life blindly, remaining ‘a-political’. And then tell others. One awakened soul according to me, is equal to one million, because that is the number of souls it can touch. And for heavens’ sake, don’t say that you are apolitical. Because it doesn’t mean anything. The English dictionary has been found to be insufficient on many occasions, but the worst folly it has committed is in the creation of the word, apolitical. Because nothing, not even a stone can be apolitical. It is not necessary that ‘every force should have an equal and opposite reaction,’ yes, I know a famous man once said what has been accepted as the universal truth. But trust me, unless you begin from there, you will not be able to move forward. Because that’s the only way you should be going.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Go Torture Ur Souls

The severed head lies on the floor....blood rushes past the many feet...get a mop...or better still, a tumbler....
Blood from the severed head colors the feet...get a mop...or a tumbler...
The head is severed, the blood gushes out onto the floor....somebody get a mop, or a tumbler, I can do with a drink...
A single blood stream runs through the floor, making the pattern of the stream...somebody get a tumbler, I could do with a drink...
The blood stains refuse to remain, get a picture for me to frame....
Lust is writhing on the table in front of my eyes....somebody give it what it needs....blinded by the light coming from the altar, it struggles to find its feet......darkness is bliss not ignorance as they believe…for those who fear the blanket of darkness, they walk towards the light....

Monday, December 8, 2008

This Post is about Nothing, so expect Nothing


When you get an itch to post a blog entry, you just get an itch to post one..and there is nothing you can do about it...except post a blog entry. So here I am, with nothing on my mind, typing away a blog entry with nothing to say..Actually I have a lot to say, not melancholy things, so do not panic ;) But things...things about wanting to munch something other than Tiger biscuites, which my colleague and I religiously stack in the cupboard....which I hate but still buy every month...for no particular reason but for the fact that it has become one of those things, you do because you feel like you need to do and so do unquestionably, even when you feel in doubt and do not thoroughly enjoy doing it....And drinking something devine other than the cutting chai in the tiniest-of-plastic-cups-that-can-be-manufactured that under-age boys bring up to our office at a missed call by Dinesh, my gossip buddy and our one-man-for-all-jobs at the office...Initially I used to get incensed at taking the tea from them, as I felt I was encouraging child labour, but over time (over six months) I realised that there was nothing I could do about it and after asking them questions about which school they go to, conversations which reddened them, I try not to notice. There is no way in which I can either convince myself that by serving tea they are at least not begging or feeling with every cup that they are missing out on a childhood that every kid of their age deserves. I just live with my guilt and their misfortune. I have also discovered that I am too lazy to move my ass even for my own good, leave alone take initiatives to bring some change in others lives. Trust me, it doesn't make me feel good and I promise, everyday, that I will change. I will take an initiative and do something for the people around me. Not anything magnanimous or giant sized or front page dope but anything that can help cleanse my conscience. Yes, I know I am very selfish. And for the record, lighting candles and carrying banners do not form a part of the list of things to do, despite the boom it creates in our economy. Last I heard the candle industry was going through excesive demand situation and the stationery sector was withdrawing exports to meet the demand of the domestic buyers. I might be pro free expression and exhibitionism and all that but somehow sloganeering seems very superficial to me. There might be people who think otherwise and I can defend my point of view convincingly but just right now do not have the energy to do so.

The reason being that I have been sneezing and shivering non-stop since morning and feeling feverish. Now you know, I should tell you people about the kind of fever I get. It is a fever alright, but my mother refuses to believe me as my forehead does not feel hot. When after being unable to bear my attention seeking anguished cries and cribbings in the morning she touched me, she said I was very cold and there was no way there was a fever and I should get off the computer and get ready for work. This was at 12 pm. She added that probably I had a headache due to the permanently stuck earphones to my head and I could try removing them to see how it feels to hear normally. INSULT to INJURY. I felt being treated like a naughty kid trying to wriggle out of school and got up from the computer indignantly. But the fact was, that I WAS FEELING FEVERISH. Also, I highly envy people who look like they are going to die when they have temperatures of even 102 or 103. In my case, even when I run a temperature of 104 degree I appear calm and refreshed! WHY?! WHY>>>! I ask and noone answers. When I threw this question at my best friend from school who has successfully acheived her MBBS degree, she said, "Uhh..umm...it happens. It happens to a lot of people, you are not an exclusive case." Well...that helped. Another doctor when I was three had proclaimed and I quote, that "you have 'androoni taav'" meaning internal fever. Now every time my mother refuses to believe me, I throw this quote at her but today, just today, I felt too weak to do that. Most of the times it ends up in people suspecting that I am bluffing which results in me being packed off for whatever the day's agenda maybe, like today. I feel like I might turn to ash with all the heat but there's nothing I do about it. I have been sitting here since morning and sneezing my head off, but my colleague can only ask me, what 'virus' is this on your status? Your computer got infected?! %%^&*# at times like this, I become a believer and blame fate/ god/ holy spirit/ whoever's listening for not giving me at least an ability to act/ perform. The sad end to this story, if you are still expecting one, is that I cannot even fake my illness, which is not fake really, but only that it doesnt LOOK real and so needs to be faked or acted out or....uhh....never mind!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Pillow's Song

W: The pillow was singing a song
W: It was singing “इस बार ऐसी आग लगाएंगे की सब ख़तम हो जायेगा!"
You must have been dreaming dear
W: No no…it often sings
You must have been dreaming that it sings to you
W: You don’t get it, do you? It often says stuff but I don’t bother…but if it says things like this, then, how can I ignore?
Hmm…no really, trust me, it was a fantasy of yours….Achha what else sings to you?
W: Hehe, nothing really…except for that switch board!
Switch board? Which, this one?
W: Ya..this and the one in the kitchen..
My my, they don’t sing to me! They must be having some special preference for you, when do they sing?
W: Hehehe…When I am working around the house…or sometimes when I cannot sleep at night and take a walk
But try and understand, it is not possible! You know, sometimes when I look at the photograph of lets say Kunal Kapoor in a magazine, I have a feeling that he is looking at me and that he knows I am looking at him.
W: Ohho! But a magazine is inanimate! That’s not possible…
Oh really? A magazine is inanimate and what about a switch board?
Hey you! Be careful with that pillow, don’t put pressure on it! You will hurt it!
Oh am so sorry….pillow-di-do!! Heheheh
W: Uff! You guys!! I want to go off to sleep!
Yeah, that’s a good idea…sleep off.
W: Ya so you go now….So I can sleep…

To Be Continued....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Woman: That is harassing me
W: That..(pointing)
The dustbin?
W: (shakes head)
W: (after a pause)...Blue
(fear in her eyes )
You mean......(softly)...U mean...?
W: Nods head vigorously, picks up cloth and wipes the floor
Blue is hiding things from me

Is this how it must feel to sit inside a pit with darkness and bugs for company.....to not know what will bite you next.....what crawls there....dont know how far the sound is coming from.....has it reached you, yet?

To Be Continued....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


J: Now they have started killing journalists, you know.
(Referring to front page news report of Saumya being shot dead in Delhi)
D: Yeah..but we still don't know whether she was killed for personal or professional reasons
J: Aah! As I see it, your personal life is also pretty messed up...

DISCLAIMER: Power of Observation and off-the-cuff accurate interpretations result from broken knees and a month long stint in bed. Drive Carefully.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Country My People

For those who understand the complexities in acts of tragedy that frequently occur everywhere in the world, and fight to find solutions that may seem unattainable, you may be able to relate to the below...for those who cannot be bothered to translate fears into words, do not read further.

When the medicines take over, it is the soul that begins to observe

Waiting lustily for the fall to occur any moment now...shhh...As the curtain falls on the drama of the night, the lights sway to the orchestra playing to the galary of desires and witnesses the enactment of the over arching emotions drooling from the cracks at the corners...cracks that noone can see, but every body feels...they are cold, yet non sinister in their approach to mollify...pacify...engulfing all that is blind and transforming the aura of the devil that reclines in his easy chair by the fire of carnage which spills over onto the residents of the forgotten city and evokes the mysticism of the poets who repose in their solitary cells, filling sheaf after sheaf of enraging literature that can only flow from aggression bottled by the neck into the abysmal slates of treachery and humiliation felt by the sisters gorged on muscles and chewed upon bones rotten yet sweet...sublime...divine...the irresistible mirth is unbearable, laughter impossible as it flows uncontrollably from the mouth of the hang man beheading the soul before it is dead smirking of blood long before it is due to depart removing from it the last few seconds of life that it was destined to live and ending an age of unbent trudgery towards the end he had unforeseen...lust lust after thy craziness, call the dark night...scream for the master that shits on the green monster's one eye..gorge the throat that dares to suppress a giggle that chills the very nerves at the endings and they fray before it all begins...the end! The End id here!! I can see it! As clearly as i saw daylight fading into a purple haze of dewy sunshine that was not sun any more as it chilled the oceans and invoked smoke to screen our eyes and disable sight. Teamed with arrows that pierced unseen they marched to the graves dug beneath our very feet..We claimed ignorance of the fiesty scenes even as they dined before us orgied on our open streets..my house was safe, untouched by gore..so i slept with my two children nursing the sore..but they came in droves, scampering like tweeds..and my kid fell off the bed in his dreamy repose...i prayed for him to not know or feel the angst but could not stop the blood that was pounding his thigh...he clutched it, so tight that it tore once more, for the last time as flesh does not split once it is born to stave the fires of hell...coz heaven remains no more....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Narendra Modi is the Chief Minister of Gujarat, elected by the masses for the second time in a row. Why aren’t we surprised? Because even before he won, everybody knew what was going to happen. His election campaign posters covered the length and breath of the state and the saffron supporters roamed the cities shouting victory slogans for the man. While in camparison, Congress did a no-show in the run up to the elections. The party, which had been conspicuous with its absence during the riots of 2002, almost did a similar vanishing act once again.
A friend of mine gets great pleasure in taunting the Gujarati psyche and its thought processes and the outcome of the Gujarat elections provided him the perfect opportunity to have fun at their expense. He had a field day taunting their ludicrous and cruel intentions that must have made them vote for the ‘dictator.’ I did not try to stop him.
When I visited Ahmedabad last month, I came to two conclusions- the two communities of Hindus and Muslims, were both going to vote for Modi this time, one out of ignorance and the other out of fear. The predictions having been proved right, it did not give me great pleasure, mind you. Also, the dilemma I was needling of how the educated upper class Gujarati could be blind to Modi’s hand in the ‘carnage’, as the riots came to be called, intensified with no logical reason coming to light. What did emerge out of my discussions with some of them- the upper class Gujaratis, was that during the riots, they witnessed horrible things happening to Muslim families, sometimes directly in their neighbourhoods. But they, the Hindus, were safe. They were safe because Modi and his supporters ensured they remained safe. (Remember, Modi’s sole aim during the riots was to wipe out the minority community but he saved his own community.) Now, the thought that they were safe because of Modi, has remained in their heads, making them blind to the horror faced by the ‘other’ community. Also, it seemed to me that they were aware of the horrors Modi was capable of unleashing and were glad to be on the winning side of the battle, and would go to lengths to remain there. I do not want to defend the thinking adopted by them by calling it the self-protectionist strategy. It is nothing but sheer insensitivity towards human life and illogical selfishness leading to a dehumanisation of the self that they are not totally aware of. Worse were the middle-class inhabitants of Maninagar, Modi’s constituency, who refused to acknowledge even a single speck of dust on their enigmatic leader’s name. He was God for them, in the least. All these experiences made me come to a very racial typical conclusion, which made me cringe. That the Gujarati people had lost their human nature and thinking capacity to turn into the leader they epitomised- Modi himself. Or perhaps they were always like this? Or perhaps every people are like this when the opportunity to be awarded when behaving in a dehumanising manner shows itself? Now, now, I was generalising too much!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

MY body perishes with the dough of your affection.It bleeds into your hardened and sly soul.The wicked split of your mouth opens to mock my desire,your eyes look faraway with a glint of emptiness which you will not let me fill up with my water.But, your tongue and throat combine to speak a language I survive on,knowing very well of its hollowness. My childlike heart rejoices in your cruelty.It follows every rise and fall of your emotions like a slave.The most content slave in existence.The slave craves your whip.It belongs to you and you alone.Yours are the only fingers that ever entwine it.Strike.Strike it with all your might.Your slave will feel unsurmountable joy in its pain.The pain has to be complete.Only then will the soul rest.The body perishes.Its limited in its physicality,its controlled,it is bounded by restrictions.But the spirit of the mind is free.If you look into it, your ego will get an alltime high boost,to know you are the master of a worldly soul.But you will mock me.Play around with the whip till you lose interest.Once you are bored with the game, you will move on leaving me with my shame.

If you chose to study the soul of your slave,you will make a strange discovery, one that you may or may not like, because it is almost like yours. But its safer this way.Staying within the boundaries created by self-proclaimed stalwarts of the heart.


Just beyond the busy thoroughfare of Bada Bazaar, one of the busiest markets of Kolkata, if you take a casual left turn into a side lane and continue walking, you would reach Kumartuli. But it is also very much possible that you would pass it by and not realise it. The entrance to kumartuli ( if it can be called an entrance), is an extremely narrow lane in between two old houses. Once you enter the lane, you expect it to broaden into at least a road, but it never happens.

Kumartuli is a thriving idol makers’ village where there is more space for the idols to rest than the men living in it. On both sides of the narrow lane, there are idols in various stages of completion. Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Ganesh. They are all there. They are straw, clay, paint and then garments. They are omnipresent. So are the smells dominating the limited space, smells of sweat, clay, open drains, paint and the river. The air nfrom the nearby Ganga hangs loose in the air, nourishing your senses. You suddenly feel awed. You are in God’s kingdom where he is created and he is staring down at you, in different forms and shapes.
There are idols of different Gods, but the most revered and beloved is that of Durga. The craftsman’s experienced fingers move expertly to give shape to her many forms. He will always carry his own clay from the ‘ghat’ (the bank of the river Ganga), water it, knead it and then plaster it onto the human form of ‘Maa Durga’(mother goddess). As he waits for it to dry, sometimes for two whole days, there are rains and there are storms. He fights all to protect ‘Maa’ from harm. He covers her room (an 8 by 8 feet area) with huge plastic materials, while his own hut gets flooded with water. He takes his own fan to her room and continuously breezes her, so that she would dry faster. When it happens, he is ecstatic. He paints her in vivid colours, but leaves the eyes blank. They are painted last and it’s momentous. With single brush strokes , he replicates the features of expression.

The craftsman knows that the time to bid farewell to Durga has come and he dresses her up in the most elegant finery. He leads her out of Kumartuli to be put onboard a truck with a heavy heart. But he is proud, his creation will now be displayed in the city pandals ( big tents set up across the city during Durga Puja). He is ready to wait patiently for a year, before his Durga comes back to be reborn. He does it year after year, making the same idols and yet the period of waiting is too much for him. Making idols is a passion as well as a livelihood for him. Kumartuli is where he eats, sleeps as well as works. There are no fixed timings. He works tirelessly so that his family can get two meals a day. Beside Durga in the tent room, he has two small framed certificates in English and a framed photograph of himself in The Gaurdian. He has twice been awarded for his skill by respective London and German cultural communities . but his world is Kumartuli. Its his home, his art, his life.