Friday, November 12, 2010

Absolutely 666 Street

There are these small, very small interruptions in life that come around and go. Yes, they are small and they are just as fast. The only reason I can think of for us not noticing them is that they do not make a whooshing sound. But, the other day, I was in a train and I actually noticed one or rather, heard the whoosh so to speak. When you have been sitting idle for 4 hours and you don’t even get to drive, you get to or start noticing things around you, be it the people, be it the places you go by or be it the scar that you believed never even existed. What I actually noticed was a beggar standing just next to me and he was looking at me. He did not say a word; he just stood there and looked at me. That freaked me out a little. I figured he must be dumb. Nevertheless I kept looking through the window, until I noticed his leg, the only one he had, that is. Being dumb on one leg seemed too much to me. I gave him 2 Rs and looked at his face. He spoke, and he asked me to give him 5. Money ‘talks’ trust me when I say that. I refused and told him that 2 were enough. He walked away, and all of this reminded me of a quote I had read some time back,

“If you lend someone 20$ and never see that person again, then it was probably worth it.”

Ten minutes later, another one came up and asked for some money so that he could buy some warm clothes for himself. If he was faking it, he was doing a darn good job because I did give him a rupee. He didn’t say anything and walked away. In the next one hour the rate was around one beggar every 15 minutes. This suddenly made me wonder about the passenger to beggar ratio on the train. After a while all of this started to get a little irksome. There was no more sympathy for them, no matter how torn you are, I wouldn’t, I just wouldn’t. I actually abused one in my head when he stepped on my foot. When all of this subsided, I was back to my music and the window. But, after a while I was actually interrupted by this strange thought that I was all heart for the first two beggars and there was nothing, nothing at all for all the other ones. They were just as much in need of money as the other two or the other two weren’t just as in need as all the others. This made me wonder as to how did this so called sympathy in me hide all of a sudden. Not that I was more humane an hour back than I was later, or maybe it was. There was suddenly, this side of me that I had never noticed before. One moment I would try to sympathise with a guy who was standing on one leg pretending to be dumb, on the other I wouldn’t mind abusing them. This small little beast in me was a little something new. I tried remembering whether this would happen all the time and the answer was a resounding Yes. I tried remembering whether this happened to my friends. It sure did.

I tried looking at the bigger picture after that. This beast in us actually surfaces so many times during a day, while driving, while watching a hot girl with someone else, while at college, while watching cricket, while playing it and trust me when I say while being with family too. There are these number of instances I could remember myself being a schmuck for no reason whatsoever. There is this corner of my heart that is so evil and so shrewd that it didn’t even let me know about it. I would wish ill for someone, I’m sure we all do that so many times. I wouldn’t exactly respect the freedom given to me by my parents by doing something or the other. I wouldn’t really listen to a friend just because I know what ego feels like. I wouldn’t listen to my mother just because she is my mother. This is insane. This sure is bad, I guess. This is something I never knew could interrupt me from being a fool that I am. The only thing that I doubt is that this is something I might think about only once in my life and never again. This is something that I don’t think I or anyone for that matter can change. This is what we are. This is what is meant to be.

Today, we swear not by Jesus, but by Lucifer.

666 is the mark of the beast.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The revenge of the LOL cat

He stood there, gazed at it long.
It looked back, longer.
Three of us, looked on, gravelled.
It walked off, searching.
He stood there, searching, for a man to pass.
I looked on, gravelled.
I thought, “LOL”, and raised my hand.
The day following, was forgettable.
I wondered, if it was the four legs.
If it was the LOL.
If he had a red letter day.
If my luck had switched sides.
I declared four legs.
I headed back.
Saw it again, the same place.
It was six feet under.
It was the mind.
It was the ignorance, not the luck.
It was a way out.
We crossed it.
We are the cat.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Green Dunes

There are dunes, and then there are hills smelling green.

There is pink, and then there is the colour of the sea.

There are palaces, and then there are the ones redefining the shape.

There are people who walk, and then there are people who make them realise the fact.

There is a ‘Safa’, and then there is a culture going beyond.

There is a place to live, and then there is place to live and let live.

There are jewels, and then there is a place where they shine.

There are temperatures that rise, and then there are women who become the reason.

There is a Her Highness, and then there are women who can play one.

There are spices that conquer, and then there is a ‘Sena’ that tries.

There are forts of awe, and then there is a necklace that compares.

There is a John Lennon who is Rajput, and then there is the other way round.

There is a sky without clouds, and then there is a sky if we can see one.

There is majesty, and then there is charm.

There are transitions, and then there are journeys that bring you home.

There is a place where I was, and then there is a place where I am.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Inn of Eight Happinesses

The Inn of First Happiness
Feel the umbilical cord being clamped.
Look at all the weird faces staring at you. Some, with wet eyes.
Everything’s alien. The only familiar matter you knew until now, was nothing.
Look at the weird faces again.

The Inn of Second Happiness
Get ready to be enlightened. Get ready to play.
Get ready to eat letters.
Get ready to mould clay.
Get ready to stay happy for just about everything. Even for bad scores.
Get ready to cry for an ice cream, and cry louder for another one.
Get ready to smile.

The Inn of Third Happiness
Make your parents happy. Study more.
Make your parents think. Make excuses.
Make your parents to buy you a phone. Score well.
Make your parents pay. Talk until late night.
Make your parents see the good side of you. Get nagged for the shady one.
Make your parents see the good side of you, again. Smile with them.

The Inn of Fourth Happiness
Look at her. Look at her again.
She’s the one.
No, she’s not.
Look at her friend. Look at her friend again.
She’s the one.
Smile at her. Make her cry. It feels good.
She cries. She cries for your friend.
He’s the one.
Smile at her. She feels good. Stay with her.
Make her happy.

The Inn of Fifth Happiness
Spread out. Start applying.
Start worrying.
Start earning bread, if not butter. Start earning.
Start wearing masks. Start sucking up.
Start flattering.
Start talking money.
Start earning. Spread out.

The Inn of Sixth Happiness
Decide on a face.
Decide on a caste.
Decide on a career.
Decide on a complexion.
Decide on a girl.
Do not decide. Fall in love.
Have a monsoon wedding.

The Inn of Seventh Happiness
See the umbilical cord being clamped.
Make weird faces in anticipation. With eyes wet, look at it smile.
Everything’s alien now. The only matter familiar to you now, is that smile.
Make a weird face again.

The Inn of Eighth Happiness
Thank God for making it to the eighth inn.
Thank God for making clay.
Thank God for making parents.
Thank God for making her.
Thank God for the earnings.
Thank God for making monsoons.
Thank God for making it smile.
Thank God for making Sachin Tendulkar.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Fate and Destiny are probably two of the most enamoring terms in the world right now. People who do not believe in them seem to be more interested than the ones who do, simply because of the reason that they might be waiting to experience them by (not) achieving what they’ve always wanted in life and call it their Predestination. Predestination basically addresses the concept of destiny or fate which means being determined in advance; especially the school of thought that God has foreordained every event throughout eternity.

The last time I remember myself thinking about my destiny was when I scored low in my examinations despite of the fact that I had worked really hard. “Maybe my destiny”, I thought to myself, disregarding the fact that maybe a little more of that ‘hard work’ could have done the trick. This very situation could have conjured many different reactions from me. Had I succeeded in achieving what I wanted, I would have said to myself, “I worked hard and scored well, hence I am shaping up my destiny pretty well”. I could have used it as a means of displaying my modesty too,”I did not do anything, maybe it was in my destiny to do well, that’s it.” Had the result gone the other way, “maybe my destiny, hence I did not score well”. Garbled? Yes, I think so. As for me, I haven’t really experienced the ‘shaping up my destiny’ part that often in my life, so at times I use it as a means to hide my failures from myself.

Predestination, as a concept, has had me mystified for quite a long time now. I have wondered if it really does exist or not. My inclination has been towards the view that it does exist irrespective of the way in which we comprehend it. There would be many who wouldn’t agree with the thought. They would believe in the reasoning that if you have done it, it becomes your destiny (if you really want to give it a name, that is) and not that it is your destiny, which is why you have done it. I am not going to speak against the view in any which way, because this very view might have kept them going in their life, and we all should respect that.

Since we are talking over the concept of determining the events that could affect our destiny to a reasonable extent in ‘advance’, getting attracted to the subject even if we don’t believe in it seems pretty normal. There was a time when I used to deny the fact that any of the predictions about the events slated to happen in our lives and be ‘called’ our destiny can be true. Nevertheless, I used to get attracted to the whole construct and the ways by which various practitioners recite to their clients their fate by the all interesting names like face reading, palm reading etc. but my state of denial started transforming into a ‘confused’ one when I started encountering the stages of my life that had been predicted and which I earlier thought can only be ‘pure coincidences’.

Now, I have encountered a number of people who are firm believers of each and every word the prediction of their destiny. Sometimes people tend to take their predicted destiny to be word by word true the moment they hear it and start living their lives relying solely on that, which can pose serious problems in their lives. For example, I’m told by a practitioner that my destiny holds for me studies which cannot be termed even half of what we call average. Now, if I am a firm believer of the view that, since it is not my destiny, it will not happen, then these few words are more than enough to make me believe that I cannot do it. In the end, if I don’t believe that I can do it, then it cannot be done by any stretch of imagination and then whatever happens in our lives is in accordance with the predicted destiny which in turn will make us believe the line “my destiny, hence…”.

Most of us do not take it to be entirely true. We still want to believe that our ‘destiny’ has a lot more surprises in store for us or rather, WE have a lot more surprises in store for our destiny.

Friday, March 12, 2010

God.Or is He?

“God, you’ve become an atheist!”, mother bawled out. The expressions on her face seemed linearly related to the number of days I hadn’t paid reverence in the temple since the last month. My guilt-ridden heart impelled my head to start staring at my feet without any intentions of furnishing an explanation for the ‘wrong doing’. I decided to listen to my heart though there was this corner of my mind that was cerebrating the fact that I had done the same in the small little temple in my home and mother was very much aware of the fact. That very moment there were three questions that raised hands in my mind. Can a temple be ‘small’ and ‘little’ or ‘big’ and ‘large’? Is praying in a ‘small and little’ temple any different from praying in a ‘big and large’ one? Does ‘God’ attend to the ‘sinlessness’ of the heart that seeks his blessings or the ‘place’ where the heart comes?

I can be tagged as ‘ignoramus’ when it comes to the scientific knowledge of the existence of god. Thence, touching a section that we have little or no knowledge about and considering a subject as sensitive as this, it would certainly be no less than a ‘sin’ at bird’s eye view. I will try clinging on to the three questions as much as possible. First and foremost, the answers to all the three questions are based on the human psyche in the way I look at it and not the way the mortals look at it. Period.

Can a temple be ‘small’ and ‘little’ or ‘big’ and ‘large’?
For my money, the straight and forward answer to this question is a NO. If we look at it at the very outset without any designs of mystifying the answer, then the simple explanation would be that the size of the temple and even its location for that matter should be of the least interest and of no importance whatsoever to a soul who ‘believes’ in his ‘God’ or the divine power or existence as he considers it to be. With a true heart, the smallest temple can be considered to be the largest in the world. But the thought that makes me sad is that today, temples and their divine power is measured by the amount of offerings that a temple collects in a day in cash or in kind. That is what makes a temple ‘big’ and ‘large’ today which in my view is simply ridiculous.

Is praying in a ‘small and little’ temple any different from praying in a ‘big and large’ one?
Guessing from the above mentioned it is reasonably simple to figure out my answer to this question, NO. Let’s complicate things a bit for this one. Going by the psychological essence of it, it can be any one’s guess that a majority of the section of the society does believe that they feel a lot better when they visit a temple (which is not in their home). This spiritual sensation is very much understandable because the ambience and the environs of a temple are such that you are bound to feel unstrained. This eyeshot has been embedded into almost every being’s mind that for blessings a public or a so called big and large temple has to be the place. The thought that God sits in all his glory in a hallowed ‘looking’ structure and not in a dilapidated and a fractured one in a destitute’s house is just outrageous.

Does ‘God’ attend to the ‘sinlessness’ of the heart that seeks his blessings or the ‘place’ where the heart comes?
Having answered the above two questions, answering this one would be a two line affair. If you respect the Almighty with your purest of thoughts he will bestow upon you his choicest of blessings which will help you transform ‘your’ small and little temple into a big and large one.

I am not against visiting a temple and whatnot. It is very important to pay one’s reverence to God but I just want to urge you to not to demean that divine power by even taking into account the place in which it resides for at the end of the day we all are answerable to him and not this society.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Nondescript

This, this is the dénouement of what you have been working for, for the last two years. The reverie that you have been chasing in the pursuit of what you call, success. You are slowly falling into an uneasy state of mind for this is the moment that can make or break your dream of being called the Extraordinary. You want your heart to stop the ever increasing noise of its rhythm for you want to hear your name. Does your dream End? Or does it see the light of the day? Well, let’s go for the End. The next thought that takes a safari through your mind is capital O Ordinary. That is what you are. The Nondescript.

What is the definition of Ordinary? Well, the very first thought that comes to mind is a person who cannot spell Over-Achieve. The formal definition is “Not exceptional in any way especially in quality or ability or size or degree”. Both the above mentioned ‘definitions’ pretty much coincide.

Is success the only touchstone to label a person Extraordinaire? In worldly concern, it IS ‘to an extent’ the only yardstick, for we never see a person from the streets of New York being tagged a ‘hero’ for spending 30 days and 30 nights in temperatures which could be as low as -2 degrees centigrade when a magician just got his name infixed into the world records book for spending 63 hours and 42 minutes (to be precise) in an ice block. But when there is a ‘to an extent’ there has to be the other side of the coin. Not taking anything away from the people who deserve it, there would a number of mortals who would be proponents of the theory that Success in fact should not be the measure of potential in a being.

The mere thought for a highly focalized being of not being able to make it to where he sees himself sometime from now can give him the quivers and if he actually doesn’t, Depression, which sometimes leads to suicide. Suicide is a leading cause of death for people worldwide, and one of the three leading causes of death for young people under 25. Every year, approximately one million people die by suicide - one death every two minutes. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that mental disorders (particularly depression and personal unhappiness) are associated with more than 90 percent of all cases of suicide ( That pretty much sums up the importance of not giving success the God like stature. So the theme of being a Nondescript is far more unplayful than it seems.

All the souls need to understand that it is OK to be ordinary. In fact, no one has to be ordinary. The skill needs to be shown the sunlight so that it can find its way out. Clichéd? Yes. In worldly concern, the view possesses little rationality, as many would say. There could be a number of reasons that preclude them from believing the fact (view, rather). One would obviously be lack of cognition. Every 6 out of 10 would be of the view that Kangchenjunga and K2 are OK but Everest it has to be, not to undermine the fact that one should always try for the Everest or try to excel in his field. But that field has to be of one’s interest. Proper tunneling would be decent thereafter.

Another agency that could well serve to the purpose is school. Yes, the grass root level.
Parents need to understand the meaning of The best things come in small packages. Take success one step at a time. Do not burden your children to become the best in the future. If he’s interested in what he is doing, he might well do it, but gradually. There are a number of modes of doing this, and force is definitely not one of them.

This could well begin one’s transition from the ordinary to the….(any guesses?). By the end of the transition we will have noticed that the spread between the two provinces has been boiled down to cypher.

This effort is not intended to undermine the value of success. This is just an effort to fortify at least the face-value of what we call dreams.