Sunday, July 11, 2010

Don't answer.

Have you been swept off your feet by a stranger? Have you felt a tickle in-between your ribs when someone looked at you? Have you disliked social conventions pertaining to human interactions? Have you felt great respect for someone whom you barely knew?

Have you felt your temples throb and send a chill down your body whenever you thought about someone? Have your thoughts drifted away when music played? Have you wished that your life were like a musical where you could cast the lead ? Have you considered learning how to play a musical instrument so that you could play for someone special ? Have random Blues artists on ReverbNation made sense all of a sudden? Have you felt that you need a creative outlet for the beautiful thoughts in your head ? Have you ever been jealous of poets who can put into words whatever they felt?

Have you read something and, in the end, understood what suspension of disbelief meant?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This post is incomplete. It is politically incorrect, highly opinionated and i assume a high ground throughout. However, this page has always expressed opinions which are objective unlike what you are about to read. I am, therefore, leaving this post incomplete. The conclusion is what you take out of it. If you suspect that it is actually complete, no it isn't.

The following is a graphical representation of the results of a poll conducted by India Today among Chennaiites.

Of course, I made that up.But i'm trying to establish something graphically.

I have always hated window shopping. I think it is plain stupid to go to a mall, stare into glass enclosures and imagine owning things which you won't buy in your lifetime. You don't even have to take a look at something to buy it these days, if that is the reason why people stare.You can google information about absolutely anything. (I found info about a used toothbrush on eBay) I do understand that the place is air-conditioned, which is great in a city like Chennai but sitting on the stairs for hours and clicking pictures on a VGA camera phone in the dark is taking it too far. I have and always will, scorn them.

This outburst, though, stems from a recent visit to a mall. I was there for business. By business, i mean serious business. My appointment was at 3:30 pm but i reached there by 1:30 pm. I had my lunch and found that i still had more than an hour to spare. I know for a fact that a lot of people hang out in malls and so figured that it won't be difficult to kill time. I roamed around but couldn't find anything remotely interesting or worth purchasing. I kept glancing at my watch as i walked aimlessly from one shop to the other. After about 10 minutes i gave up my attempt at being a mallrat.

I went inside a coffee shop and took a comfortable seat opposite to a television. By then it was 2:45 pm and i decided that i'll have a nice hot steaming cup of coffee before the appointment. The shop was, surprisingly, not empty. I was sitting there waiting for someone to come up to me and ask for an order. But nobody did. I looked around and saw a middle-aged man reading Sidney Sheldon. It was 2:45 pm on a Tuesday. Clearly, he either made a lot of money or nothing at all. Sitting directly across was a shabby obese guy. He mistook the couch and pillows for a bed. For a moment i thought he was fast asleep. But then, i noticed that his eyes were wide open and he was gazing unblinkingly towards a group of people across the room. There were about five girls, all of them in their early twenties, sitting on the couch with nothing on their table. They were all dressed up for a party and were very loud. I can't stress loud enough because i was sitting on the opposite side of the room and i heard that a certain Khushi's boyfriend Abhishek broke up with her! I looked around but couldn't find a single waiter. Meanwhile, the man in front of me was getting too 'comfortable' in his 'bed'. It was 3:00 in the afternoon. There was a man in a coffee shop getting 'comfortable' !! (Thankfully, he didn't get too comfortable). I began to wonder what these people did for a living.Rather, i hoped these people had something to do which paid them.

I looked around anxiously and finally found a waiter. He walked up to me with a menu card and almost flung it on my table. I picked it up and looked through the menu. I noticed that he was rather nonchalant and a tad arrogant.

I ordered a cappuccino and a pastry. The look on his face changed. He hurried across the room and brought me my order with great haste. As i was sipping my coffee, i kept thinking about the look the waiter gave me. I felt rather insulted at that moment. I felt that i should have walked out the very moment I was treated with such disrespect. It is inexcusable to treat a customer that way. But when i took a close look at all the people in the room i realized what was going through his head. For most part of the day, he offers menu cards to mallrats who hang out in the coffee shop. I noticed the forementioned Khushi's gal pals saying 'No' to the menu card twice before i finished my cup. The waiter didn't even bother looking at Jabba. I figured out what the waiter was thinking. He mistook me for a mallrat! I ended up feeling even more disgusted! I walked up to the counter, paid the exact bill amount and left the place vowing never to visit a coffee shop ever again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

About Blank

I've looked everywhere for it. I read books which a few people suggested, even the Bhagvad Gita, but couldn't find it. I wandered for hours on the streets of Chennai, watching people go about their lives, and checked if i could find it in their lives. No.

I stared at the girl crossing the road to the other side, hoping to find it in her eyes when she turns around. I waited for her to, but she didn't look back. She was on the phone.(With her boyfriend, probably)I stood for hours on the seashore to see if it was in the sea. No. Not there. I left my home and went far away to a distant land hoping that i would find it there. The end result was knowledge that things which can't be found at home are seldom found away from it. I came back and watched my parents go through their grueling routines at 50. I spent hours trying to put myself in their shoes and figure out how they manage to do the things they do. I was left with a headache and a very poor image of myself as a son.

I looked at the less fortunate on the train. I searched their corroded plates and my HDFC salary account. It was pretty much the same but not the thing i was looking for. I listened(mostly) to Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, U2 and Coldplay. I read their lyrics on the internet for hours,but couldn't find it in their lines. So i stopped for a moment to write this to make sure I know what I am searching for. As it turns out, I don't. Do you know what you are searching for?

Friday, April 30, 2010

18 when he died

It all started when i bumped into a childhood friend of mine after 7 years. I said 'Hi! Whats up?'. She said ' Dude, know what? I'm getting married!'.

Yes. Marriage. Something which is associated with grown-ups. Something which people do when they're done experimenting with their lives and want to settle down. An agreement which requires the masculine party to have a 7 digit salary, two professional degrees and a house to be able to get a good deal. Something which a guy seriously starts to think about when he sees his hair-line receding. A sweet deal which can ease the EMI payments on the housing loan procured earlier using two and not one salary (this one came from a married man in his 30s.) And now, people who are my age are doing it!

I tried convincing myself that the system works differently for men and women. Women in our society are married off early when compared to men. So i figured i have a good 8 years before i get tired of living and take the leap. I convinced myself that i was still young. But fate conspired. My parents found a girl for my brother.It feels like only yesterday that my brother kicked me on my balls and locked me up in the terrace under the scorching sun over an under-arm cricket match . Now, he's getting married. Even though it's great news that my maa's wish of having a daughter is finally going to get fulfilled, it turns out i am actually growing old.

I looked at my class XII group photograph and i saw an innocent kid in myself, so caught up in his dreams that he hardly paid attention to the people around him.(I found someone in the picture whose name i couldn't recollect for a bit!) I saw a kid who was filled with optimism that one day after he is long gone, children will study about him in their text books. I saw a testosterone-driven teenager who wanted to make-out with Sharon Stone. I saw a cricket fanatic who idolized Harsha Bhogle and wanted to become a Cricket Commentator. I saw a child who'd tell his mother everything he did. I saw a dreamer who wanted to eradicate poverty, adopt children and stop old people from begging on streets. A kid who dreamed to change the world. And then he grew.

He realized that the world can sometimes be a rough place. Sharon stone is 50 and she looks different from Basic Instinct. The text books kids read today have stuff about Sania Mirza. He no longer wants to be on text books. He doesn't know if he can tell his maa everything. He no longer feels the lump in his throat when he sees old people on the street. He has understood the dynamics of the society and has no hope for a positive change.He also notices other people in the XII std. group photo and quietly smiles to himself.

Where did the innocent dreamer run off to and where did the Seeker step in? Why can't i watch Test matches and read Cricket columns with the same vigor as he used to? Why can't i still think about changing the world for the better? Why can't i lie down in my bed and watch sitcoms the whole day? Why can't my brother come back from college and yell at me for lying down on his side of the bed all over again? Where did all the innocence go? Why can't i be like him?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Swami Gilamananda.. really?

Yesterday, television broadcast hit a new low in Tamil Nadu when private video footage of a certain God man and an actress of yesteryear was aired in a private News channel. People have been YouTubing the man like never before.( I wouldn't be surprised if was Googled more times than Megan Fox in the last 30 hrs!)

Angry protesters are setting fire to banners while fuel prices are going up. They're shutting down his 'ashrams' and 'retreats' because they don't have day jobs. Petitioners have filed a case against him under Sec 294(b) IPC(which relates to obscenity!) because there aren't enough cases pending in courts already.

Who aired the video ? What obscene act did the 'Swami' indulge in publicly? He scored an actress because he has the money and power to do so. Or perhaps he is even in a serious relationship with the woman. He should be the one filing a case here.He is being made scapegoat because we are too proud to admit we were stupid. It is a breach of his personal space and privacy. If it was a journalist who came up with the idea of wiring his bedroom,he must be sued!

Do any of us practice what we preach? More specifically,in this context, is it possible for any of us to practice abstinence(unless enforced)? Won't you bite the cake and eat it too when you get the chance?

All of us are hypocrites in one way or the other. We want our country to grow, but we don't pay our taxes because we want more! We crib about the system being corrupt and bribe the traffic police constable. We have change to fill hundials inside temples but have none for the old beggar outside. We associate ourselves with religions and philosophies which we don't follow, yet we fight for them. From fake smiles to our everyday prayers I can fill this entire page with our pretentiousness.

And when someone amongst us humans claims to be all that we cannot be as a species, we believe him. We shower him with largesses and worship him . Why? It is because we believe he can give us something that we don't have. We submit to his will and remain servile. Till one day when his humanness is exposed. Holy crap on my prashadam! The guy is HUMAN!

A friend told me that our religion stipulates Godmen to practice celibacy and be 'pure'. Well, our religion stipulates a million other things which we conveniently reject. The guy became a Godman because we believed what he said. Had we not believed in the first place, he would've probably become a successful Insurance salesman or a medical salesman. Instead, look what we did. He is going to jail and can't sleep with the actress for a while before he buys out his imprisonment.

Time waste money waste :(

Thursday, February 4, 2010


On a lousy Sunday evening, a few months back, I was sitting on my couch watching the 8th Season of Friends for the 800th time. Mathew wasn’t funny. Jenifer wasn’t hot. I looked at the clock and it seemed like someone was dragging the minute hand back when it tried moving in front. The walls of my house were closing in on me. There was absolutely nothing going on in my life which remotely excited me. The walls of my house seemed to get smaller by the minute. I had been reeled in by a meaningless routine which systematically destroyed my peace. I wanted to get out.But I didn't know where to.

I wore my sneakers, took my i-Pod and headed out of my house. I hadn't been to Elliot's Beach in a really long time. And before i knew it I was standing by the shore. With my earphones on I couldn't hear a thing around me. I looked around and saw that I was in the company of total strangers in the twilight.

You're in control, is there anywhere you wanna go?
You're in control, is there anything you wanna know?
The future's for discovering
The space in which we're travelling
From the top of the first page
To the end of the last day
From the start in your own way
You just want somebody listening to what you say
It doesn't matter who you are
It doesn't matter who you are

With the music blaring and the waves rising up till my thighs I felt alive. There was peace and calm. I felt the cold sea water on my feet as the waves receded. I wanted to dissolve in the water and flee. The water made love to my feet and I relished every single movement. I closed my eyes and the first thing that flashed in my mind was the Besant Avenue road. And without even putting a thought to it I was on the road once again.

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can't deny it
Can't sell it or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

Bono's song supporting Aung Suu Kyi's struggle in Burma suddenly seemed like a carpe diem written out to me. I kept walking. The long road leading into the darkness of the night opened my eyes to the fact that in all these years of living in Bessi I haven’t once stopped to see the beautiful trees on the side of that road. The cool breeze sent a chill down my spine. (I also noticed a small idol on the side of the road and wondered who on earth placed it there!)I still wasn't sure where I was going or what I was going to do next. But my feet kept moving and the music kept playing.

The day can never happen waiting for the hurricane
If we look to far ahead today is gone
You will always miss the moment waiting for the hurricane
Cause the fear of future hides the sun

If you can`t seem to find new oceans and a little bit more
Slowly we will fall if we lose sight of the shore
In the race to be the better or best
Don`t miss it, the joy of being, or you will never rest

So unchain your mind
Unchain your mind

Before the voice faded out I was near Malar Hospital en route to Vidya Mandir. Why? No reason.

Yeah, I know nobody knows
where it comes and where it goes
I know it's everybody's sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
is in books' written pages
Lived and learned from fools and
from sages
You know it's true
All the things come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

After about 2 hours I came back home all drenched and high on life. I was in a state of meditation. I had discovered something I love doing. Wandering.

' Dude what's the fun in walking to some place pointlessly?' That's the point! The pointlessness!'

I get a kick out of wandering to some place. I rediscover the beauty of places I have seen already. While wandering I can listen to music on a completely different level where my mind, body and senses are in tune. It makes me see beauty in things which people see every day but can’t appreciate. I live the moment and feel so much more alive.

Let the music never stop.. Let the road never end..

Source -

Song Lyrics in the order of their appearance in the post

1.Square One- Speed of Sound

2.Walk on - U2

3.Waiting for the Hurricane-Enigma

4.Dream On- Aerosmith

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


The bus rocked to a halt on the dusty road. A handsome man in his early thirties appeared from within wearing a proud smile on his face and a uniform on his chest. As the dust settled down and the smell of wet mud greeted him the story of his life played in his head. Born into a peasant family as the first of five children, he lived a life filled with pain and strife. His family lived in abject poverty. He had even seen abba attempting suicide at one point when the family was under a pile of debt.

Being the eldest son, it was incumbent upon him to rescue the family in its hour of crisis. His idea of a steady income was a government job in the army. For a poorly educated 6 footer with broad shoulders and the heart of a lion, joining the army as a sipaahi didn’t take much. A couple of physical exams and he was in.

With the little money they received every month and privileges the family subsisted. Initially, he visited them once in a year. It warmed his heart to see his family in a better place than before, because of him. He was a proud son, both of his house and the country. But one question he couldn’t answer for himself was whether, being a sipaahi in the army was a service to Hindustan or a profession. If it were a profession why wasn’t he looking out for something which paid better? If it were a service to the country why was his family’s welfare involved?

Years drifted by and he found himself married with children. The days were long and he literally counted down days left to meet his children. The idea of ‘service’ seemed more like a delusion which the exuberance of youth had cast over his mind. He wanted to get back home to his family. He’d much rather do what his father did for a living than live his life. But the government had other plans for him. He was commissioned to fight the war. There was death all around him. His buddies had been killed. They were his brothers in all the years that had gone by. He felt a rush of blood in his veins. The will to serve his nation drove him day and night. He fought bravely among men who were ready to face death head on. He lived to see the enemy slain. But all did not end well.

Euphoria over the victory soon died down and the shine of the badges on his sleeve began to fade. He decided that life needs a change for the better. Leaving a part of himself behind, he packed his bags and bid adieu to the institution which parented him through his youth.

A shrill noise brought him back to his senses. It was the bus driver honking. He dragged his bags down the steps and pointed to his seat. The bus conductor reached under the seat and took out a pair of crutches. The cripple balanced himself on the staff and set out towards his village. A young boy stuck his head out of the bus speeding past him and waved at him crying ‘Hero!

This post is inspired by an incident a friend narrated.