Monday, December 7, 2009

Something Funny

Endless cups of special chai (with extra adrak!!), a novel in hand and glorious winter sunshine.... Heavenly, right??? But why does it feel as if something is amiss???

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finding Nemo

Yesterday, I was coming back from a hospital with my dad after finally convincing him to get a routine medical check up done. The weather was perfect, a bright sunny winter mid day. The road was deserted and flanked by semi temperate forests on either side, and I found dad in a surprisingly chatty mood.

It was as if his guard was relaxed, he could talk to me about his childhood. We talked of his schooling, the difficulties he faced, the fun he had (and I was shocked my dad has done all this) and lots of other things... And all of a sudden I realised, he considers me a grown up man now. Someone he can share things with, rather than someone he has to take care of. And it was initially a scary thought, but later, it sank in somewhat. Not that it has yet sunk in fully- that will take quite some time.

But it gave me a tremendous feel good sensation- a high better than any other I have experienced till date. I am scared, conscious and yet extremely excited and happy. Is it all possible or am I just becoming soft in the head???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Sitting on my backside doing nothing throughout the day, I realised how empty it all felt... And then one more shock hit home- I wanted to talk quite a lot, but there was noone I could talk to. It was not the fault of my friends- they were finally getting a much deserved free personal time. And then, when I started looking back, I realised that this feeling of discontent had been inside me ever since I had gone to Bangalore, ever since my friends had got busy preparing for their own life's main event.

But if I am asked whether I feel unhappy with myself because of this selfishness, I would be hard put to answer. Cos there is selfishness, to that I agree. But I do not mind it. Maybe I am not very content with myself because I have let this chink develop in myself wherein I require someone to talk to. And that's why I have spent the last couple of days as far away from my mobile as possible. To see whether I can regain those good ol' days of yore when I could willfully shut off my connections with my friends for a week or so and sit back and enjoy my solitude.

And I think the treatment is working. Of course there is nothing to do and an empty mind is the devil's workshop and all that, but then my thoughts are straying only in two directions. Once I can control them completely, it would be great, for it would be like the days of old.

But maybe I do not want my thoughts to stop straying from the search of the missing phone number, for maybe I still seek redemption in it. My mind knows there is nothing in it, but what the hell to do with the thoughts??? Anyways, the next 10 days or 20 at the maximum should see all the pending issues resolved. And then, once I am back in Chandigarh, I should be a man almost as ood as new. Or so I hope....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Reality Check

Just back home after attending the marriages of two of my closest friends, I lapsed into what dear not-so-old Shantanu calls a moody silence.

The marriages were not the catalyst, but long train journeys indeed provided the mind with some free space and time to work overtime in. And of course, the starting point was that a friend (or someone who had been a very close friend not so long ago) who needed to curtly remind me that even though I may feel like talking, the other person just might not be there to listen. Things change, circumstances change. And so do people. I guess it is ok for them all to change. The only thing being, one must be more prepared to handle change. Because quite a few things came a bolts from the blue for me.

Anyways, preparedness for change is something that may or may not be a hypothetical issue, but moving on with life most definitely is not hypothetical. So that is what I need to do now. And even though I can draw sinister parallels from a visit home a year and a half ago, when started a train of thought and action that is partly responsible for all the ruins around today, I still think I will react to the change. I will try to move on with life. And I most definitely will not be cowed by what happened earlier. So come on, life- Bring it on!!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Day That Never Comes...

Yesterday, a funny thing happened. Funny in my own queer sense, i mean. Those without my warped sense of humour may find it slightly exacting, and since this part would consist of the world's population minus one, I suggest that the intelligent reader may skip the rest of this post as it is just about blabbering balderdash.

To put it in a nutshell, I have not been having the best of times with my dear not-so-old friend Shantanu of late. Basically, there were a couple of things, mostly professional and a couple of normal civil etiquette which I did not like about his behaviour of late. And a couple of days ago, I endeavoured to tell him about them over a mug of splendid coffee at Java Dave's. Now I know that the music being played in the place named above was capital, but it does tax one when one is talking serious stuff to a supposedly good friend and the supposedly good friend is looking at the roof, the floor and everywhere but towards one, all the while tapping his foot away to the song being played with the slightest regard to the piece of friendly advice being dished out. So to sum it up, I was piqued.

Then sometime later, this supposedly good friend decides to organise a bonfire on behalf of all bachelors present here, without having any discussion with the rest of the people who expect to be in the core group of things. As I have had the occasion to remark earlier, I was piqued, and then some more with this new act. So in spite of the fact that I would have loved to be a part of the festivities, I deliberately absented myself from the proceedings of the aforementioned bonfire. Now, the bonfire taking place almost right in front of my room, I had to be elsewhere at the time of the proceedings so as to avoid a scene. Hence I decided to leg across to Chandigarh Club.

It was there that I met this old gentleman, a retired principal of some college. We started talking and before five minutes were up, the gentleman became emotional and refused to take no for an answer when he ordered a beer for me. Over a couple of drinks, he came to divine that I was feeling piqued. And lo and behold, I was, probably for the first time in my life, on the receiving end of a verbal discourse over my pet philosophy- the philosophy of no expectations.

Listening to it like someone who is listening to some far fetched fantastical idea for the first time in his life, I realised I had forgotten my core thoughts again. And that is why I was feeling whatever I was feeling. However feelings being feelings and not chalk marks on a blackboard cannot just be rubbed off like chalk marks can be. So I was still kind of piqued, but U decided to come back to the bonfire and at least, bid a farewell to the friends going out of our place.

And as luck would have it, on the way back, my ipod started pouring in "The Day That Never Comes" by Metallica (Death Magnetic). Heavens sending signals???

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bucket List

Being the patient of inertia that I am, in that I find it difficult to take a step apart form the things I have to do to sustain my (I must admit evergrowing) tunny, I find it slightly inconvenient to go watch a movie. Even the harmless verbal barbs and the not so harmless kicks on my again evergrowing butt by dear old Swapnil and dear not-so-old Shantanu rarely makes me leave the arguably cosy confines of my room.

So it is no surprise that I have not yet seen The Bucket List, which by all accounts is a most excellent motion picture. Not only is it excellent but also from what I have heard, it is a rare person who is not forced to think after watching it. So as I observe the much bemedalled Baghel sir sitting next to me through a boring lecture, passing the time making his Bucket List, undoubtably having seen the movie last night, I also start thinking about my Bucket List.

Think as I might, I could not come up with anything to do. Tried scratching my head, my elbows, my knees, my heels - no bright spark, no eureka.

Conclusion- I was setting myself up for the wrong task. No bucket, no pail for me. I should have tried to prepare a Mug List- A Beer Mug List.

PS: This was jotted down by yours truly during a boring lecture in a more boring seminar a couple of days ago.

PPS: Wish you all and your family a very very happy and joyous Deepawali.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


One year has passed. Exactly. A few minutes more, to be precise. But the events of this day, that year would be etched in his life forever.

Not that he did not know what he was doing. Not that he did not know what results to expect. But then, she was such an unpredictable girl. So, having been the best of friends for quite a few years, when he decided to propose to her (again, as he had done so in veiled words some time back, only to get a veiled refusal), he hoped to succeed but expected to fail.

Why, then, was he still unable to get over her? Why would hers be the first name to come to his mind, when he was troubled by something he could not talk to anyone else about? And why, indeed why, was it that he was still not sure that what he felt for her was what they call love???

The sudden feeling of heat on his fingers told him that the cigarette between his fingers had burnt through the filter and was threatening his skin, but surprisingly it was with a sort of wishfulness that he stubbed it into the ash tray. The ash tray he had purchased from Happily Unmarried. Was he happily unmarried?? He did not know.

The phone rang. He did not know why, but somehow he hoped it was her. He hoped that like him, she also remembered that it was one year and a few minutes since they formally broke their friendship. And he hoped that she had had second thoughts.

He picked up the phone. The feminine voice from the other end said, "Sir, I am calling from Vodafone...". He disconnected the call and picked up another cigarette, as he got up to fill his glass with another large of Johnny Walker Red Label.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Strawberry Jelly

The boy was walking in the dark night, afraid and alone. And he had reason to be afraid. Who would not be, after being force to watch his own parents being hacked to death and his sister being subjected to a fate much worse...

But then, he was a criminal. His crime was that he was a Muslim. His second crime was that he was born in India, specifically in Gujrat. And his third crime was that he was living his young life at the time of the Godhra carnage.

Living his nightmare would be more appropriate to say than living his life. Yet noone was willing to rid him of this nightmare by sending him to the wide open arms of death either, because he was just a kid. Maybe people did not want kids' blood on their hands. Maybe the stains of kids' blood are long lasting as compared to those of adults.

The rain was pelting away on him, but he seemed oblivious of the fact. Strangely the only thing h was able to remember apart from his family was strawberry jelly. Red, viscous strawberry jelly. His favourite strawberry jelly. But now that he did not even have an assured bite, why was he thinking of that jelly??

All of a sudden, the dark street was lit up by the powerful headlights of a car. The car crossed him, and stopped. It reversed and came back to him. And stopped again.

A feminine face appeared from behind a rapidly sliding down glass of the rear window. A pretty, motherly feminine face. Her soothing voice asked, "Beta, what are you doing here, all alone in this tempestuous night? Go back home, your mother would be worried to death. Oh! You are soaked. Do come inside, I will drop you to your home. Ramdin, just follow the kid's directions."

He did not know why he followed every word of hers like a divine command, but follow them he did. He guided the driver to the place where his home was. And reaching there, as he got out of the car towards a home that would never be known to him a home anymore, he burst out crying again. The lady, with the intuition that comes all so naturally to the fairer sex, divined it all and held him to her bosom, asking "Beta, what is your name?"

"Karim."The boy replied incoherently between his sobs.

The lady said, "Ramdin, do the needful."

As the car turned back, the lifeless form of Karim lay where his home once used to be, a knife protruding out from his chest like an obtusely crude appendage. His blood was mixing with the rain water and coagulating. Strangely enough, it looked like strawberry jelly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reborn... Looking For The End Again...

It has been approximately a year now, when the beginning of the end started... Give or take a month or two, the way you choose to look at it... But what a year it has been!! Anyways, that I would come back to blogging I never doubted, but that the way I would come back would be thus was never expected.

Anyways here is something that touched a chord deep down somewhere, so let us all see what Saadat Hasan Manto has to say to the Almighty...

Dear God, master of the universe, compassionate and merciful: we who are steeped in sin kneel in supplication before your throne and beseech you to recall from this world Saadat Hasan Manto, son of Ghulam Hasan Manto, who was a man of great piety.
Take him away, Lord, for he runs away from fragrance and chases after filth. He hates the bright sun, preferring dark labyrinths. He has nothing but contempt for modesty but is fascinated by the naked and the shameless. He hates sweetness but will give his life to taste bitter fruit. He will not so much as look at housewives but is in seventh heaven in the company of whores. He will not go near running water but loves to wade through dirt. Where others weep he laughs, and where others laugh he weeps. Faces blackened by evil, he loves to wash with tender care to make visible their real features.
He never thinks about you but follows Satan everywhere, the same fallen angel who once disobeyed you.
Here lies Saadat Hasan Manto. With him lie buried all the arts of short-story writing...Under tonnes of earth he lies, wondering who of the two is the greater short-story writer: God or he.

PS- I was gifted a book of Manto's Collected Works, a book called The Bitter Fruit, by a special friend. This is taken from the rear cover of the book.