Monday, March 12, 2012


Of all the awesome things in life,
This surely is the best:
The dizzy happiness from spinning too hard,
None other can contest.

The objects in the room run behind each other,
Only to never catch up.
Until your knee crashes in the table,
And everything stops with a hiccup.

All you need is a swivel chair,
The stuffing matters not.
Neither matters age nor colour
Nor does a full stomach, though it ought.

Unlike most other wondrous things,
This simple pleasure discriminates not.  

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Putting up another post so soon is so out of character for me but I really had no choice, I had to write this. If you  have read the previous one then by end of this one you will totally understand the sentiment.

I am back from a surprise pre-21st birthday party my friends gave me at 'Candies', Bandra. I have just taken out all my gifts and gushed over them in front of everyone at home and the stupid, happy smile that I can feel on my face must be wide enough to give the Cheshire cat and inferiority complex, I am purely, blissfully happy.

I should actually be a little sad because today I realised that one of my childhood ambitions is totally out of the window. I maybe somewhat of a local authority on detective fiction and flicks, but a sleuth I am not. I am not only absent minded but also practically dumb at deciphering little clues. It is no wonder that when B crept up behind me and closed my eyes, my brain told the little voice in my heart to shut-up and be reasonable, "How can B be here?"

Instead it doesn't matter. Ok, I am not James Bond or Sherlock Holmes or Dalgliesh or even one of the Famous Five but I am so much more. I am ME. The one whose friends planned a surprise for her 20 days before the exams, whose friends remembered  that what she loves more than books is buying them whimsically, whose friends were (or pretended to be) not embarrassed when she did Hawaian dance in the middle of a restaurant and who only remembers hearing someone scream "Take a pic, Take a pic" while she stared open mouthed at a voucher for Landmark.

International spies may have a lot of cool gadgets but they they won't have friends like Ariel who get lost trying to reach the party venue and still come. Definitely not memories of telling Nemo that she needs a wildlife photographer to take a flattering snap of a jittery one like her. No one makes them humongous cards telling them 21 reasons for loving them and tries to make it smell like lavender even if all they get get for their trouble be "I smell only glue."

So I say "Mr. detective, up yours!!"


This post was written on 4th March after a long chat with spectacularly sad friends with an acute desire to be anywhere near them. 

Okay, so life sucks, and everyone you are related to by the virtue of that very qualification is utterly useless when you need real support or intelligent conversation. The saving grace of this insufferably flawed system- friends (some would argue for the utility of siblings but for lack of experience in that area I shall not consider those objections.)

I know, I know, If I were smart I would make full use of this observation by making a huge number of friends. But there lies the catch- it takes work, a LOT of work. As if life didn't have enough conundrums, you are talking about trying for an understanding of another person so complete that you just know it when he/she is down and also the right thing to say or do. Then there is the whole in-it-once-and-for-all funda, you just can't live happily when if your friend id in trouble. I mean, who would be masochistic enough to spend perfectly nice nights tossing and turning by their own volition? The real sucker is once you sign up for it you actually take it, want it, with all the baggage, willingly. Sachchi. It also gives you all sorts of new personality traits. I am a pacifist by nature, pakka promise, but dare you mess with my friend in front of me.

Now you would say smarter thing to do would be to not put in all that effort and just find someone really selfless (Surprising as it sounds, it is possible.) Well it is stupid of you to think that I haven't thought about the lazy way out, the truth is it doesn't work that way. You can have access to the best friend material in the world and it still wouldn't be of any use if you are not willing to care. It just feels too criminally selfish to open up to them and add them to your little list of friends.

So naturally my own list of friends is pitiably short compared to the huge list of people I talk and am nice to. But hey, despite all barriers to entry and my attempts at keeping people out, it exists! And damn it, the ones I am really grateful to to the universe for manage to get in one way or the other.

And then whenever life does suck, it doesn't seem to matter that much because someone knows all about it and still takes your side. It is the perfect antidote to being nothing more than the happy, chirpy entertainer for the rest of the world. 

Monday, January 17, 2011


A waxen moon wrote to his mom,
And in the letter he said,
"Mum, I'm cold and naked all night long,
Please sew me a coat instead.
That sun goes out only in the day,
When the sky is deserted and warm.
Personally, I am almost sure he is gay,
For no star is ever near him despite his sunny charm.

Look at me I've grown so white,
For all the stars to see,
And I have to go out in the night,
With no clothes on, poor me.
On new moon night I have a day off,
Should I come down to you?
Any style you choose I swear I won't scoff,
Just sew me a coat or two.

His mom's reply was short and kind,
She pointed out a problem
That had not crossed his mind.
"Dear son", she wrote, "I would love to get you a dress,
But sorry, I am not that good a seamstress,
One day you are slim the other you're round,
How is a proper measurement to be found?
I do not know if you are fat or thin,
Your shape changes with your every whim,
So before you ask me for a coat,
You eat a lot or hit the gym.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I am mad at you by the way. Really, really mad. You missed my 18th birthday, and the 19th and the 20th. I don’t suppose you could do much about the 21st? Seems trivial doesn’t it, to think that I used to get mad if you were not home by 7 on my birthdays.

This would have been the time around which I would have started dropping you hints that you ought to get me something for my birthday, no demands, but it would be very nice if you did. I was surprisingly non whiny for a teenager, wasn’t I? Well what was I supposed to do? Someone had to be firm and responsible. You are not supposed to give young girls everything they ask for, someone needed to make sure that I didn’t turn into a greedy and bratty person. Left to your discretion I would have been totally undone.

Still, there is only so much I could do. Maybe I did get a little spoilt because I miss… it. Do you remember that time when you came back really late, maybe 9 or something, and dinner was very boring and I had not eaten? I told you I wanted to eat wedding food…huh. How we went through all the invitations to find one for that night, and failing at that, how we just drove around town to find a wedding party we could gate-crash. Now I think that you were not really planning to gate-crash, you just wanted to make me hungry enough so that I would settle for a pizza at ‘Hot Stuff’, but I guess I will never know, after all we never really found that wedding party, did we ?

Oh and the red pants? The one and the only time I did my diwali clothes shopping with you and we went to that new shop. You just went along with all my choices and let me buy those funny red trousers. You-know-who would have fought tooth and nail against them. Maybe they didn’t appear so horrible to you too, but if they did, you really should have given some constructive criticism.
I loved them. Love them. They just don’t fit me anymore.

It is possible to take indulgence to the level of stupidity you know. There are better ways of apologizing for leaving work late and making me wait than letting me drive the car. Okay, so what if I was a good driver, it was still very irresponsible, especially since you couldn’t have done anything about it if I had lost control.

I have a piece of good advice for you, I have learnt it firsthand.  It is not good to have only one person at the center of your life. It is certainly not healthy. You should not love a lot, just a little bit, just enough, but not a lot. Never. But if you are stupid enough to do it then you should not love just one person. There should be a number of people who know you who you can love with the same fervor. For there is nothing emptier than the space left by that one person. How can you claim that this is who you are, if you do not have corroboration from that one person who did know you? You are not sure enough yourself to make such a claim. I don’t just preach, I am trying it myself, but it is easier said than done. Instead, I settle for keeping that space filled with rubbish and stuff. It beats being perforated, beats it everyday of the week and twice on Sundays. But if you don’t even remember the old stuff, this new stuff doesn’t even have a prayer.

I don’t suppose you remember that poem I told you that night in the car when you were extremely late, as usual? Maybe you do, you always had a head for poetry. I still don’t have all the words down, just like I didn’t know that day, but I do know the part that was essential to my brilliant argument about you being 
worse than birds.
"...Bachche abhilasha mein honge
    Nido se jhank rahe honge
              Yeh soch thaka din ka panchi

              Bhi jaldi jaldi udta hai.

              Din jaldi jaldi dhalta hai..."

Yes, I am sure you don’t remember anything. Or I hope you don’t , because it doesn’t work like that anymore…the day does not fly away that quickly…not now.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The concept of a nation, so integral to the notion of identity for people, the ageless stimulant of loyalty and empathy, is the glue that holds together millions in the face of affront to national pride. Patriotism, when present, happens to be one of the strongest emotions. It can lead to or, in retrospect, justify actions from throwing plastic bottles at the rival cricket team to taking a bullet to the chest ‘defending’ national territory at borders. It allows Americans to criticize Iraqis, Indians to detest Pakistanis, the Japanese to envy the Chinese, and all of them to trade, negotiate, threaten or be diplomatic with each other. And all of this doesn’t even measure upto the toenail of the crowning glory of the concept of nations- immigration. For how on earth would an MBA graduate from India immigrate to USA if there were no India and USA when immigration is the process of switching countries?

Yet the concept of a country with its territory and its countrymen who with the rules and laws try to establish their individuality, may not be (even when executed with absolute perfection) as elysian as touted by devoted nationalists. Even if after countless revolutions and renaissances perfect harmony is achieved within a country how important is it to the bigger picture? While politicians shout themselves hoarse to further the causes of their adopted communities in the country and countries enter into protracted negotiations to control relative commodity price imbalances, the human...ahem...goes to the dogs. Democracy may be the fair system which has the interest of the countrymen at heart when government isolate's the domestic economy from the world's, but what escapes notice is that in all this vigilance there is no system to look out for unbiased human advancement irrespective of what piece of land one was born on. It still bears more than an uncanny resemblance to the medieval feudal system just that instead of segregation based on the governing monarch land is divided on the basis of language or religion or ancestry or just plain military occupation at the time of 'independence'. The degree of simplification in application and increase in productivity of collective world resources if there was no distinction based on nationality would be humongous to the extent being of virtually inconceivable.

I say we started wrong. Focused on creating a national identity and its aggrandizement thinkers, who did bother to think about this, lost view of the higher order of things until it was too late to reverse the effect of national identity. Imagine a scenario in which there were no nations to begin with, just the earth. If at the end of feudalism the world instead of breaking up like mercury freed from a thermometer and turning into independent self governed different nations the earth had just turned into a congregation of free humans with no national allegiances, would not the sole purpose of each individual be the attainment of the best possible situation given his capabilities?

The policy making would have been entrusted to a Hegemony, (an elected body of course) federal in nature with comfortably sized wards and sub-wards for the smooth functioning of the political machinery. There would have been: no requirement of international policy and trade, just the unconstrained availability of planetary resources for optimum allocation; just a single currency to render the world economy nothing more than an exaggerated yet efficient barter system (if everything tanks together, nothing is tanking) and no foreign investment for there would have been nothing foreign. Government and laws would have been formulated at the planetary level while enterprise would have been at the other extreme- the micro, the individual level meaning equal opportunity the world over. Of course opportunity might not translate into equal prosperity but prosperity proportional to individual intellect and volition doesn’t seem like such an unfair alternative. Besides it would have been incentive for personal improvement, the only kind that spirals into any improvement at all.

Is this picture just wishful thinking of a mind divorced from reality? Essentially, yes. Even though territorial and ‘ideological’ disputes between nations while each one tries to protect its underprivileged might very well annihilate us all together, it (evidently) is not an incentive strong enough for humans to consider a psychological readjustment as drastic as I suggest. The threat apparently is not too imminent or ineluctable.

However, let none call me a cynic. I still live in hope that their does exist some technologically advanced sentient species somewhere in the universe who is just too busy playing a better version of X Box and eating fries (or equivalent). They are bound to run out of fries (or the yucky stuff they like) at some point of time and will get over their self absorption long enough to find earth and attack it. And then when everyone realizes that the scattered, quarrelsome, incompatible national forces (which can't act without arm-twisting a dozen heads of state) are simply a bad idea they might just use the opportunity for a new beginning to try out my idea. After all give them a common enemy and people will find new ways to coexist ( Dan Brown agrees). Establishing a Hegemonic office would then be more practical than rethinking hundreds of different constitutions again to factor in the possibility extraterrestrial aggression. All this provided that we are able to send the x box playing nerdy aliens scurrying to look for another planet, otherwise OOPS.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


If someone asked me the best part about the ‘future’, with my usual indecision I would be able to come up with a list of pros and cons and be stumped when it comes to picking one of them. That is until yesterday. Today, I know my answer. The best part is that it is the future, you don’t know anything about it and neither have to deal with it until it comes.

The scamming industry (or the mystic art if you prefer) of gypsies and psychics thrives on the hordes of people swamped in apprehension. The poor shmucks who are and have been sad are scared that the future will disappoint them similarly and the lucky and content are scared of their luck running out in the future. Desperate, desolate, nervous they all turn to tea-leaves, talons and crystal balls to relieve that squirmy feeling in the pit of their stomachs which seems to incite every other muscle in their bodies into erratic inexplicable movement.

I am not blessed with some Abhimanyu like pre natal experience which would make me the master of such pearls of wisdom. It is the crazy process of taking life-changing entrance examinations that has lead me to wrestle this information out of one-on-one combat with mind numbing uncertainty of results.

If I had not been at the end of my wits waiting for the 12th of January to just magically arrive and my results, I probably would not have fallen for getting my ‘aura’ read by my psychic friend (we will just call her Mystique. I am an X-men fan obviously). One more month and I would have escaped college a Mystique virgin, but it was not to be. I had resisted the temptation for the better part of my three years of college despite testimonials of her talent from all my other friends, but sitting only a table apart from her I broke down.

I think now I know how a pendulum feels. I too have been swinging between utter dejection at gloomy visions of my cheerless future and carefully faked nonchalance at the idea. In one such attempt at bravado I said it. “Tell me”.

The butterflies then had a field day in my stomach when Mystique told me to take off my glasses. She asked me the maximum marks and then with a smile as indecipherable as the ever-present twinkle in her eyes she said, “maybe 55 to 60 percentile”. I am sure some of those butterflies died when my heart plummeted into my stomach. Though every fiber of my very tiny rational self screamed that this couldn’t be true, my flustered deprecatory laugh was not effortless.

In all fairness, maybe this proclamation was nothing more than her failure to translate the colour codes of my aura into the ineffable percentile system (she never claimed to be good at math), but I had learnt my lesson. Before she could adjust her estimate or worse make more precise (and potentially damaging) predictions about calls from colleges, I begged “No more. Please do not say anything. Don’t tell me.” And judging by the effect her predictions had on my ever happy and imperturbable friend sitting beside me, it was the wisest thing I ever did.

I had tasted blood though and like moth to flame I was drawn back to the topic. This time I told her to give me the general works, but on no condition was she to utter the word ‘college’. Only after listening to her general deductions about me could I really appreciate the close shave I had had with potentially devastating news 5 days earlier than absolutely necessary.

The conclusion of this cardiac rollercoaster: “Don’t tell me” are the smartest three words I ever said. Beware of Mystique.