Friday, December 22, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
I remember the first time I found Metallica’s Garage Days in one my brother’s room. I was about 11-12 then, and very much into U2 and Bruce Springsteen. Metallica was loud, Metallica was noisy and I didn’t like them one bit. As far as I know, Guns N’ Roses was the band that bridged the divide between the softer and heavier bands. After that, there was no turning back. The words, the music, the talent, the attitude…I just love them.
There are songs that send a thrill down my spine whenever I hear them. There are songs that amaze me with their beauty and simplicity. 2 guitars, a drum, and an inspired/tortured soul – that’s rock music. The music’s for the dreamers, the believers, and the outcasts.
Somewhere on the way, it became “cool” to listen to rock music and all the wannabes came along. And everybody wanted to learn the guitar. And everyone bought the guitar, and that’s when most of them got fucked coz they were never passionate about the music. More importantly, they could never understand or identify themselves with the music.
Their interest dies at the F chord. Believe me; I’ve been with a fair number of wannabe guitarists who doesn’t know a thing about ROCK MUSIC. These people think they know a band after listening to only one or two of their songs - Pink Floyd after “Another Brick in the Wall – Part 2”, The Doors after “Roadhouse Blues,” Metallica after “Nothing Else Matters,” Guns N Roses after “November Rain,” Megadeth after “Countdown to Extinction,” Nirvana after one of their slower unplugged numbers, Fear factory after “Cars”, Lacuna Coil after “Heaven’s a Lie”….and the list goes on.
The first guitar I picked up was a borrowed one from a friend. Everyday I would play it, and if I played it at night after school, my room mates would ask me to go outside as I was just a beginner, and there was no melody at all but just a lot of noise. I would then go to the roof and play till I was sleepy. In that
After I learned the basics, I didn’t touch the guitar for another 4-5 years. My first guitar, a Givson semi-acoustic was bought when I was in PG. I still believe I'm a beginner and I've a million more things to play and learn.
You will feel a daughter’s pain when you listen to Motorhead’s “Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me”, a rejected and neglected kid’s angst when you listen to Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”, life on the road with Bob Seger’s/Metallica’s “Turn the Page”…. No other form of music has caused riots, mini-revolutions or suicides.
Seen Easy Rider? Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper riding their huge modified Harleys on the highway, with Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” in the background? That’s the spirit of Rock Music. And I just love it.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The streets, filled with people and vehicles, looked quite normal and harmless. Being normal, that’s the default value everyone takes unless you are crazy, or inspired by something or someone. You don’t want to stand out; you can’t fit in either, well almost.
But we never bothered about an “image” or “being normal” when we were kids. We did what we wanted, and we just said whatever we felt or whatever came to our mind. Even our prayers were so simple, sometimes ridiculous but we had a lot of faith then. Faith in almost everyone and everything around us.
I was born a Hindu, but I began to fall in love with Christianity at a very early age. I used to tell my parents that I want to marry in a church, that I want to be buried in a coffin in a beautiful cemetery and everyone who loved me would visit me and lay flowers on my grave. Mom would just look at me and say something like, “Oh my God!!” whenever I talked about these things.
I don’t believe much in any religion anymore, but I still find Christianity a quiet and beautiful way of life.
In my pre-teens, I began to talk about girls with my friends. Virginity was still a very strong issue in those days and I used to declare my opinions and beliefs quite strongly. And it shocked my friends, and later, my parents. I used to tell everyone that I would marry any girl if we love one another – let her be a young girl my age, let her be a kid or an old woman, and let her be a divorcee or a widow. Nobody can or will stop me, if we love one another. And everyone would say that I was goddamn fucking crazy. Come to think of it, still now I can never figure out where those ideas came from. All I know is that I still believe in them.
And my prayers when I was a kid…God must have uttered just one word whenever I closed my eyes and folded my hands, “GOD!!!” I had asked him to make me a martial arts expert, Superman, a Casanova kind of a man whom women will find irresistible, Mandrake the magician, and so many other superheroes and adorable villains. Maybe, I stop believing in him when he absolutely and stubbornly refused to listen to my prayers.
You and I, we were kids then. But each one of us was so unique – from the little scars on our over-active bodies to our small silent prayers. Society and the whole concept of an ideal and civilized society made us scared. And then came time, the great leveler, and we find ourselves unable to recognize or differentiate one another, anymore.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Never been interested in bloggers who search the net, copy & paste statistics, lines, paragraphs, ideas and opinions from websites/webzines, and then put in their co-called opinions after every quote. Bearable once in a while, but people who make this a full-time profession…no thanks!!
Wanted to leave my comments on this post but on seeing the circus, I decided not to participate.
To make a long story short, let’s leave out what the left-wing, right-wing or chicken-wing influenced newspapers, websites or politicians say. Just wanna ask a very simple question to all those who were saying such nice things about the Kashmiris, who were summing up and generalizing the whole people of J&K as ‘namakharam’ and even justifying it too.
How many of you have lived in Kashmir? How many of you have seen and experienced the struggles there? How many of you have really close friends from that state, friends who have told you their stories?
I’ve not been there too, nor do I have many friends from that state. But I can understand a bit coz I believe their story is not much different from the people in the north-east states. The only difference is that Kashmir has always been in the headlines while the people in the north-east can thank their lucky stars if they can find a 3 line para tucked away in some hidden corner of the newspaper.
I dread to think what these educated people who commented on the above mentioned post must be thinking or knowing about the people in the north-east. ‘Educated’ would be a wrong term here, ‘literate’ would be a more appropriate word.
It’s so easy to talk about change and sacrifice, about being patriotic and any damn thing. But to see and feel, to experience all the pain and fear, and to go on as if nothing bad has happened in your life. And to take life as it comes, that’s tough. Imagine…
Imagine having dinner with your family and loved ones. Imagine hitting the floor when the shootings started.
Imagine sleeping peacefully. Imagine being awakened by your mother and sent off to a neighbor or relative’s house in another area/locality to escape the beatings, arrest or killings at the hands of the army.
Imagine a kid playing with marbles, like every other kid. Imagine the same kid knowing the difference between the sounds of an 1A SLR (self-loading rifle) and an AK-47.
Imagine your fathers and brothers, your mothers and sisters. Imagine them being harassed and threatened by the terrorists and the army coz both parties think we support the other one.
Imagine an ambush. Imagine the army firing indiscriminately at the innocent civilians coz they couldn’t find the terrorists. Imagine the army having absolute immunity under the AFSPA to torture, arrest or kill anybody in an entire state.
Imagine your hard-earned money and your family’s. Imagine handing them out to the terrorists coz the other choice was death. Imagine the politicians, the police and the army doing nothing about it coz they all get a share.
Imagine schools without libraries, labs, cafeterias and proper toilets. Imagine schools and colleges that close every other day because of the violence and the politics. Imagine exams being delayed and losing precious years. And imagine these same students coming to the metropolitan cities and competing with the students who never had to go through all that shit.
Imagine the innocents caught in the crossfire, everytime. Imagine the innocents being stripped of all their basic fundamental rights. Imagine…
I, and almost everyone in my state grew up like that. So tell me whom do I blame. The terrorists? The politicians? The police? The army? Or the ordinary people, who are tired of everything and just want to be left alone?
Should I search for the culprit? Should I end up bitter and defeated? Should I just get on with my life, with whatever I’ve got? Or should I play a Hero and end up being just another corpse on the streets?
Do you think someone in New Delhi has done a great thing because of the ‘special status and economic packages’ you guys talked about? Are you that stupid or just plain ignorant to know that all kinds of ‘special status and economic packages’, grants, concessions, and subsidies mean nothing? Forget about Kashmir, it doesn’t mean a damn thing to any state in India. It never reaches the intended people or the targeted segment.
If you, with a happy carefree childhood, with all those years of smooth uninterrupted education, in places free of bullets and bombs, in big cities where people from all over the world live and learn together…came out with such stupid and biased opinions, I can only pity you.
When you haven’t gone through even a millionth of what these people in these troubled regions have lived through, what was in your fuckin’ head when you generalize the whole population of a state?
For your information, I don’t think Afzal should be hanged. I think he should be beaten and tortured every day, for the rest of his life by the families of the victims in the parliament attack. All terrorists, and I mean ALL terrorists become legends or martyrs after they are killed. Doesn’t matter if they are hanged or killed in carrying out an attack. And for almost all of them, that is their ultimate dream. If he has to be killed, let it be so shameful that those terrorist organizations won’t even talk about it or mention his name.
And the next time you wanna write or comment on something, please spare me all that shit collected from this newspaper, that magazine, this website, or that TV program. Just tell me your own story in your own words, and that, will be something really interesting, and worth reading.
Monday, October 02, 2006
solace on the pavement
dream a little more
dream a little more
before the battle begins
you and I, we are
the unclothed and unfed
the broken mirrors
everyone turns away from
back to back, we’ll fight
we’ll fight to live
in the cruel light
and we’ll lay, side by side
in the dark, my brother
my brother in arms
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
- Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Words, sometimes they hit you when you least expect it. And truth, we stand in the shadows whenever it approaches.
Waiting for an offer/confirmation. Listening to a lot of the Ramones and the Nine Inch Nails, I’m taking an extended break for the first time in about 4 years. The summer of 2002, that was when I got my first job offer.
Was in Coorg about a month back, got 3 leeches on my legs when we went up a hill to see a waterfall. It was raining there all the time and I had my first and last dark rum there since I left Delhi.
Reading Heavier than Heaven (the biography of Kurt Cobain) and Shantaram. Bet I can open a small shop for books and music once I retire.
The world’s getting funnier each day. Talk about OUR god and religion, and you have the masses at your feet. Talk about THEIR god and religion, and you are dead meat. We and them, you and I, ours and theirs, mine and yours – that’s the world, that’s life, philosophy, and the truth, period.INXS is coming to Bangalore and I’m not at all excited. Why do most of these rock bands/artists come to India when they are on their deathbeds? Why don't we have AudioSlave, Godsmack, Green Day, Dream Theater, Marilyn Manson, Radiohead.....instead? Maybe, we should have something similar to the anti-dumping laws...just maybe.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The new job almost destroyed me – personally and professionally. The last 3-4 months had been really tough. I learned on the joining day that my job content had been totally changed. The analytics project/process for which I was initially recruited hadn’t come to the company. As the department head who conducted my telephonic interview when I was in Delhi put it, “The project was in the pipeline.” But neither he nor the HR manager had bothered to inform me about that when I was in Delhi.
I was asked to manage a team of 15 people – 13 survey programmers and 2 Team Leaders - in another process. And everything was wrong with that process - the transition hadn’t been done properly; the client had taken full advantage as there was no one with the relevant Market Research knowledge when the SOP/SLA was put in place, the whole team, and especially the programmers were being exploited, and almost everyone was playing dirty politics to save their own asses.
After the first few weeks, I learned that I don’t agree at all with the department head on so many things and our management styles were poles apart. Nor did I like the client who was very unreasonable and inhumanely demanding. They even expected us to work on weekdays and their national holidays. As far as they were concerned, we were dirt cheap Indians who had been bought with their dollars.
I started fighting for everyone in my team, I fought with the clients, I fought with the senior management but soon realized there was nobody behind me. The programmers and the team leaders were just too scared of losing their jobs and I understood. I submitted my papers the day I completed my probation period of 3 months.
I know I’m taking a huge risk. I currently don’t have any job offers in hand and 3 months at a company’s not going to look good on my resume. But I’ve this gut feeling that I did the right thing and I know that everything’s gonna be all right, very soon.
The sun’s always mellowed, almost always. The weather’s heavenly in this city that had remained elusive for as long as I remembered. Now it’s with me, breathing and living with me in perfect harmony. And sometimes, totally out of sync.
I can hear the quiet of this city in the midst of the traffic jams. I can see the subdued colors in the neon signs at the over-crowded malls.
The last 2 weeks have been just amazing, and so very peaceful. I’m now enjoying everything in my life, like the old days – I can now smell the coffee, I can now sleep, I can go out and feel refreshed and happy, I can read my books without thinking of anything else, I can play the guitar and get lost…I can do anything I like.
Am talking with a few companies right now, 2 of them’s showing INTEREST. Wish me luck folks. Lotsa, lotsa luck :-)
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I had planned for this trip and booked the tickets about 2-3 months in advance. It was supposed to be a 2 week vacation. But everything changed after I got an interesting offer from a company in Bangalore. I came to Bangalore, joined the company, cancelled the old flight tickets and booked new ones. The 2-week vacation became a 3-day trip; I was going to be home for about 24 hours.
My sister’s wedding, and I was going home after 7 years. Many of my friends asked me, “Do you still know the way? Haven’t you forgotten it already?”
And I ACTUALLY forgot it as I came home from the airport, all alone in an auto. I forgot the lane on the left, the lane that led to a place called home. Once upon a time, there was this rice mill on the left side of this lane, and it was the landmark as far as I could remember. But so many shops had come up, so much had changed and I missed the lane. I asked the auto driver to take a U-turn and finally reached home.
There was this long line of kids standing near the steps, right in front of my house. Something like an identification parade and I could hardly recognize any one of them. The last time I was here, most of these kids were waist-high, some were playing in my lap, and some hadn’t been born yet.
I saw Joshua for the first time too, my youngest nephew, the one I named. Cute and small, and with all the answers in the world, he clung on to me like a long lost friend.
And then I saw my brothers and sisters, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. I’m the fifth in this main series and the fourth in the male sub-series. As I look at them, something else dawned on me. All 7 of us were home together for the first time in 13-14 years. 2 brothers and elder sis at home, one brother in Chennai, kid brother in Pune, and little sis in Delhi.
I met cousin N too, the closest cousin I ever had. We grew up like brothers. The eldest son in his family, he was an old man even before he entered his teens. I could only nod my head when he said, “R, I try so hard to make life better for everyone in the family – parents, brothers and sis, wife and kids, myself - but you know something? Something or the other comes up and snatches everything away. And it’s so much worse when everyone in the family depends on you, for almost everything. The money I bring in? It’s never enough; it’s never enough for the whole damn family.”
Tales of another broken home, another case of parents screwing up the lives of their children. It was not fair. It was the same story with a lot of my friends; they would have been leading reasonably good lives if their parents had been more responsible. They have fought and struggled, fought and won the battles on their own, and all they do now is pay for the sins and laziness of their other family members.
Oh, I revisited Calcutta too. For about 10 hours, I was there in that warn humid city; a city so full of noise, and so full of life.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I’ve come to talk with you again
- The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel
There are 2 sides to a coin. There is good and evil, black and white, and there are dreams and nightmares.
Some days I see happiness through the eyes of other people. Some days I see people who will live their whole lives seeking attention, acceptance and admiration from others.
I have my dreams too, just two dreams. The 2 sides of a coin.
I dream to grow a bit richer, have a woman by my side, have a daughter, and live in a house of my own. I would love to grow old with them together; sharing things, and living and loving each day of my life. Not the Middle Class Dream, not the Indian or American Dream, it's the Universal Dream. The Universal Dream that has been handed down from one generation to another, with very few modifications.
But when the sky's moody, I dream of another thing. I don't want anyone by my side, all the time. There's nothing called "humans." Women and men - we are all animals. Monogamy's not for every species, most of us will always remain a wanderer. After a few months or years of togetherness, someone is looking for somebody, or thinking of somebody, or have found somebody.
The sanctity of a relation or a marriage? It doesn't mean anything to a lot of people. The "I love you", the sacred fire, the garlands, the rituals and vows - they will never stop a wandering heart or a mind. They are just for show, done for the rest of the world and not for the two people who really matter.
I'll go through so many phases in this lifetime. Sometimes, I even go through a 1000 different moods in a single day and I don't expect anyone to love or understand me, all the time. I don't think I can understand someone for a lifetime, either.
I have been living alone for about 3 years. Though I feel lonely sometimes, I feel reluctant to give up my independence too. I prize my independence; I love to go to the mountains whenever I feel like. Sometimes, I enjoy the quiet of my room for days at a stretch. Sometimes, I live on lemon tea, bread & jam or soup alone. Sometimes, I read or play the guitar the whole night, without having to hear someone asking me, to switch off the light or turn down the volume. And on most summer nights, I love to sleep in the nude. I watch a lot of movies alone too.
Once I walked all around the ghats in Varanasi, absolutely alone. When I was totally famished and exhausted, I went to this nice looking alfresco restaurant and had a heavy sumptuous lunch. As far as I'm concerned, that's happiness. And not exactly LIFE, but very close.
I'm getting fed up, fed up of people who are confused all the time, who can't make decisions, and who are so damn reckless with the hearts and feelings of others.
I wanna be alone, all over again. I wanna go back into that silence, into that familiar world, all over again.
Monday, May 08, 2006
He couldn't take up singing as a career because it was considered too unconventional by everyone except him. And his parents couldn't afford to send him to college for higher studies. His two passions in life, and they were both closed to him.
He took up a job as a tailor, cutting and sewing clothes all day in the dingy backroom of a small clothes shop. He withdrew himself into his own world and gradually lost interest in everything. He started drinking.
He wanted to live and die a bachelor, but his mother and sisters found a girl for him. So he got married like everyone else. And he got kids like everyone else.
He never left his tailoring job though everyone was sure he could do something better. His health was deteriorating fast, and he was just too tired all the time. Or too bored. Or maybe, he saw something that the stupid doctors and the rest of the world had failed to see. He never left drinking either.
Two young kids and a wife. And two brothers - his sister's sons. That's what you left behind.
And my memories, with you and my elder brother...lying on a mat on the roof, listening to the stories of the sun and the stars; huddling around a fire on cold winter evenings, listening to the romance and tragedy of great kings and beautiful princess; sipping hot tea on rainy afternoons and playing cards on the balcony; seeing you in the crowd after school and coming home with you and brother on my father's old scooter...
For once I'm glad that there's a distance of more than 2000 kms. For once I'm glad that I haven't seen you for almost 7 years. If the distance and years had been lesser, the tears would have come freely. If they had been lesser, this would have broken me in pieces.
But deep down inside, I wish I were there with you, today. I wish I were there to see you for the last time, before you left us.
May you find the happiness that had eluded you in life. Above all, may you find peace.
Friday, May 05, 2006
It was shattered by a gun
Heard a scream, saw him fall, no one cried
I saw a mother
She was praying for her son
Bring him back, let him live, don't let him die
- Under the Same Sun by The Scorpions
Hard to believe but the social and political climate of a place can even influence the kind of toys, children play with. You can see that in the news reports on your TV, kids with guns and grenades. My friends, my brothers - we were not much different.
We played with guns when we were kids. Not the plastic ones, not the one with bright blinking lights, not the one that plays different melodies when you pull the trigger; we played with guns made with our own hands. Guns that can hurt or kill.
A wooden plank/board, about half an inch thick. Cut it out in the shape of a rifle, with a V-notch near the butt/handle. In the old bicycles, the brake wires passed through steel tubes, about 1cm in diameter. Cut out this steel tube, about 1ft long. Mount it on top of the wooden plank and fasten it tightly with strips of rubbers cut out from the tubes of bicycle tires. This steel tube is the barrel.
Take out a spoke from the wheels of the bicycle. Cut it into 2 pieces, one about 2-3 inches, and let the other part remain as it is. Take the shorter one and bend it in the shape of an "L" and nail/embed one end of it on the slope of the V-notch that is towards the butt of the rifle. This is your trigger.
Now you need a catapult. Take out the strong rubber strip with the leather patch in the middle and fasten it on the rifle. The two ends of the rubber strip should be fastened at the front just below the barrel or the steel tube. Pull it back and let the bottom of the leather patch rest on the tip of the "L" shaped trigger.
And the longer spoke? That's your arrow or bullet.
Though our parents would scream bloody murder whenever they found out about our "toy" rifles, we kept on playing with them. We would shoot at tree trunks, and wooden or earthen walls. Target practice.
I heard from mom that one of my elder brothers accidentally shot me just near my eyebrows. Luckily, his gun was not well made and the steel "arrow" wounded me just a bit. Mom told me that she thrashed my brother for that and I always grin whenever I hear this story.
Don't know how much life has changed. Don't know how much of "my childhood" has remained with the kids out there.
where human lives come cheaper
than a packet of salt
where the bombs thunder
and the bullets rain
where sentences are carried out
through the barrel of a gun
where justice is blind
deaf and dumb too
where the mikes and the cameras
never hear or see
where the fathers
cremate their sons
where mothers banish young sons
to safer worlds outside
Home is just not for everyone
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
I've finally got an offer from a company in Bangalore. And it didn't come out of the blue. I have been doing a lot of research on the net, making inquiries and collecting information about companies, sending my CV to companies or contacting the HR directly, making changes and posting my updated CV at Monster and Naukri...and it has finally paid off.
I have to join on the 22nd of May. I'm giving a one/two week notice period instead of the mandatory one-month notice period. I've to cut short my vacation from 2 weeks to 2 days, and that means I will be reaching home on the day of my sister's wedding and coming back to Bangalore the next day. There were no direct flights either; connecting flights at Kolkatta but I won't have time to revisit that city too.
The movers and packers have been contacted and I have chosen one of them to pack and move almost everything I have, to my new room/flat in Bangalore.
I'm leaving Delhi; no, it's not the capital of India, it's not the parks and gardens, the dhabas, the lovely winters, the wide roads and the monuments. It's not the rude abusive people either, or the rape capital. I'm just leaving a place I've called home, for about 9-10 years.
So many memories, and I know they are gonna haunt me for quite sometime, especially in my quiet moments. But then, I have got a new job in a new city, and I've got my girl waiting for me there. Moving to Bangalore because of a new job - that was the second reason. I'm moving to Bangalore because of love. I'm moving to that city because I wanna be with my girl, and that's the first and most important reason.
Straight from the movies - a friend told me.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Once I unmask the anonymous bloggers I will include them. Till then, this is a list of the bloggers I'm able to see, through their writings.
Alapana - One helluva sentimental woman, I think she cries easily too. But I can always feel the strength and optimism under all those beautiful and tender words. Can't still imagine what she looks like but I'm trying!!
Arunima - A bit of a mystery, someone who doesn't give a damn about anything. A bit ambitious, mostly in formals, lots of guys around her, and LOVES LIFE. One more thing, she wrote once that she cried over a Govinda flick but I really don't believe her!!
Ash - Here's a woman so full of questions but someone who loves with everything she has. Petite, very fair, has a quick laugh but a bit moody. For some unknown reason, I always see her with short hair:-)
Blow - Gothic. That's how I see her. A bit dark, nose ring, long black hair, very direct, very quiet but with a temper to reckon with. She then put up her pic on her blog, which is not so different from what I'd imagined:-)
Chandni - Someone in a business suit or formals, but I bet she changes into her favourite Tees and jeans as soon as she's home!! Very active, not so quiet, and cries noisily too:-)
Dreamcatcher - Pics in her profile - a girl with flowers and a girl sticking out her tongue. For some reason, I like the second one better. Looks very young for her age, a bit small, moody, and pouts a lot:-)
Elf - I always see her as a child but someone who's wise beyond her years. Very quiet, prefers to be alone most of the times, and has a very cute ever-ready grin:-)
Flickering Flame - Always imagined her as this dusky, no-nonsense woman with curly hair. Someone who observes and thinks a LOT. And then she put up her pic:-)
I've become a bit busier these days. Hunting for a job as I want to relocate to Bangalore very very very badly. I'm also going to post/read blogs on weekends only.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Searched for answers
on the dirty window pane
of a rickety inter-city bus
Looked at the world outside
That side's yours
This side's mine
And what about truth?
Hope's that weak
sporadic street light
Shining down self-righteously
on this street of busted dreams
Lives quickly turn sour
And passion grudgingly dies
inside those matchbox apartments,
scattered all along the highway
Everything's cut and dried
There are rules to follow
There are images to maintain
And the naked truth
on a teenager's T-shirt
"Freedom's just another word
for nothin' left to lose"
Friday, April 07, 2006
This number is based on a scientific formula that compares how many questions you answered correctly on the Classic IQ Test relative to others. Your Intellectual Type is Visionary Philosopher. This means you are highly intelligent and have a powerful mix of skills and insight that can be applied in a variety of different ways. Like Plato, your exceptional math and verbal skills make you very adept at explaining things to others — and at anticipating and predicting patterns. And that's just some of what we know about you from your IQ results.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
There are nephews and nieces I have never seen. They know my name and I know theirs, and that's all we know about each other. Sis told me they have repainted the house when one of my brothers got married last year. She asked me in good humour, "Will you be able to recognize our house?" Heard that one of my nieces cried when I told my folks that I may come home in December instead of May. She couldn't wait to see me and she was scared that I wouldn't be coming at all.
Kids and dogs - I will never be able to understand why they like me so much. Ever since I was a kid, I had been the favourite of every single dog that we had. Sometimes, when I went home during the holidays there will be a new dog but in a few days time, i will become the favourite.
And during my teens, some of my cousins along with a few kids from the neighbourhood would come to me for their studies. Somehow, they never liked going to my elder bros. So it was me for their assignments and all their other questions; all the questions that had nothing to do with their studies.
I was the quietest one in the family and mom would always say, "Make some noise!! We never know whether you are in the house or not." I'm gonna talk this time mom, I'm gonna make a lot of noise:-)
Can't wait to see everyone. Can't wait to be with my family. Feeling homesick for the first time in ages.
You know I’m a dreamer
But my heart’s of gold
I had to run away high
So I wouldn’t come home low
Just when things went right
It doesn’t mean they were always wrong
Just take this song and you’ll never feel
Left all alone
Take me to your heart
Feel me in your bones
Just one more night
And I’m comin’ off this
Long & winding road
I’m on my way
Well, I’m on my way
Home sweet home...
- Home Sweet Home by Motley Crue
Thursday, March 23, 2006
on these pebbled streets
closed your eyes
and breathed the scents of life
you have danced
on those dainty feet
opened your heart
and embraced the love
you have cried
and you have laughed
you have loved a lot
you have hated too
you have given a bit
you have taken a bit
and now i walk with you
on these pebbled streets
and on every street
and on every corner
you remind me
of the love you once had
the love that was thrown around
the love that nobody really cared for
i still walk with you
i still hold your hand
as you look back every second
at the love that is no more
at the love that was thrown around
i will still walk with you
i will still hold your hand
but don't be surprise
if you find yourself, one day
all alone, on that street of dreams
all alone, on a corner
with the past,
the present and the future
impossible to see, anymore
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
H - You were a dream. Beautiful, intelligent and caring, you were lovely beyond imagination. But our love wasn't enough, we dreamt big but we were just too far apart. Two hopeless romantics in two different countries. I have to let you go coz I didn't have the heart to make you wait; wait for me to grow rich, come to your country and work there. I remember your last words, "I will never be able to love anyone as strongly as I love you." I believed you then, and I still do.
From you, I learned what "lovely" means. From you, I learned what being faithful is all about.
J - You were that cute li'l girl, so easy to fall in love with. You tried so hard to impress me, to like the things I love. And your lies, those small lies that grew so big that both of us couldn't manage in the end.
From you, I learned how to flirt. From you, I learned that the most innocent looking face can mask a heart full of lies.
T - You came like a comet in my life. We collided; we both exploded and gave up a part of ourselves to each other. You were the first woman who challenged my beliefs, the first woman who cried when I said I love you, and the first woman who love and drank dark rum more than me. We had to let each other go because there were too many obstacles, and the rules of society that need to be broken, they were just too many.
You taught me how to love a woman, and everything beyond.
L - You were the one with a TEMPER. Tiny and so fair-skinned, I could never imagine what was underneath.
From you, I learned that a woman can be so stubborn and egoistic.
J - You were the most overgrown kid I've ever known. Scarred by your first love, you were so confused and so vulnerable. And I could never be the perfect love that your heart wanted.
You taught me how to deal with a woman's endless, ever changing moods.
Like everyone else, I remember all of you sometimes. But unlike everyone else, I will never look back, nor have I ever looked. You were there in my life, once upon a time. But like the view from the window of a car, moving along a highway, you are all behind me now, gone forever. And those moments we shared, and the love and happiness we felt - they have become hazy, neglected and forgotten like the old faded photographs in a family album.
I'm a pilgrim; I'm a tourist on this planet. What I have right now, what I see and feel today, and where I'm going tomorrow - that's all that matters to me. And you, my woman, you are the love of my life. And you, my sweet, you come above everything and everyone else.
We are going to be together, forever, very very soon. Goodnight and sweet fragrant dreams, my love.
Thursday, March 16, 2006
When I was doing my engineering in Tamil Nadu, there was this small library near our college. I used to go there once a week and borrow 3-4 books at a time. In a few months, I almost finished the FICTION section and the owners were so pleased that they started ordering coffee for me whenever I went there. And once in the hostel, I came across a very rare book, written by a prisoner about life in a notorious penitentiary. I also found out that my friend had borrowed it from someone else and had to return it the next day. I read the whole night, finished it at 6 in the morning and gave back the book to him. I was tired and sleepy, but very very happy.
Lately, I'm beginning to learn that the rate at which I'm buying new books and the rate at which I'm reading them - they are too far apart. Take a look at all the books I haven't started reading or haven't finished:
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey
The Best Loved Poems of the American People (Publisher - Doubleday)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson
Songs in Ordinary Time - Mary McGarry Morris
The Complete Stories - Franz Kafka
The Birth of Tragedy - Friedrich Nietzsche (complex compared to "Beyond Good and Evil" and "Thus Spake Zarathustra")
The Magic Mountain - Thomas Mann
I seriously need to do something about this. Maybe I need to buy more!!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
I was born in the northeast, I grew up and lived there for almost 15 years. I've been in Delhi since my 11th class and in between, I was in Tamil Nadu for 4 years. I've also been to numerous places, all over India.
It happens almost everywhere in India but no place can beat the northern states of Haryana, UP and Delhi when it comes to the sheer rejection of women's equality and the utter disrespect for them. For the men folks in these regions, being manly or macho is a matter of life and death. And at the expense of the women.
It's how they speak; if you are a real man, every phrase, every line has to be punctuated with the infamous BCs and MCs. Doesn't matter much who is around. In every house, there is a husband, a son, a brother or an uncle who uses these expletives every time, everywhere. And no one in the family will protest, men or women. It's a manner of speaking for the guys; it's a way of life out here. It happens in the colleges and offices too.
It's how every family views incidents of molestation or harassment. When their own daughters, sisters or wives are the victims, very few families will come out and report it. Someone passed a lewd comment, someone felt you up, it's silently accepted. Maybe with a bit of indignation, but not because you have been victimized or scared to death but because someone has violated their property or shown disrespect to it. Coz this is India, families own all the unmarried women and the husbands, the married ones.
Someone rapes you and the verdict is - you have done something wrong, somehow, somewhere. Forget society, forget the man-woman divide and look closer. Most of your family members, your relatives and your neighbors will have this opinion.
Don't believe me, do you? Ask yourself then, why do these people keep quiet? Why do they talk of the whole thing as if you were to be blamed? Why are they ashamed to talk about it or report it? Why do they make you ashamed of yourself? Ashamed of being born a woman in this Goddamn country?
You and I are going to write about this. You and I are going to light candles and stand together in front of the Parliament or India Gate. The laws may be changed and we may congratulate each other. But will it really change much?
Why don't we start with a little bit of education instead? Start with the men in your lives; your fathers, your brothers, your uncles, your boyfriends and your male friends. Whenever they use some expletives, pass a derogatory comment, make a judgment or ogle at a woman - don't you dare accept it silently. Say something that will make him ashamed, slap him if you have to but don't you dare let it pass.
Women's day will come and go, the blanknoiseproject will be forgotten in time, the interests and enthusiasm will dry up and the flowers will wither away. But the girls will remain, the girls with the same old scars and fears.
Won't it be far better to change the attitude of the men in your lives than to change the laws of a country?
Friday, February 03, 2006
that warm december morning
a silent prayer escaped
as he saw her below
a vision crossing the street
not a stranger, not a lover yet
but his heart ached so pleasantly
when she was with him
he was not going back
he had to let her know
the words came out
long after his touch had said it all
and as she reached out
he pulled her in his arms
and closed his eyes
nothing else mattered
Venus de Milo with a grin
child woman, light and darkness
shy and tender, hot and wild
fresh and fragrant, wet and musky
she was a dream, she was life
thought he had grown older
thought he had seen and done it all
but as she came in his thoughts
he had never felt more alive
he was at peace, he was in love
he was finally home, with her
Friday, January 27, 2006
- play in the mud, get wet in the rain
- learn to fly a kite, learn to fish
- sleep on the roof sometimes, watching the stars
- experience life at a boarding school
- live alone for at least a year, doing everything on your own
- travel in a train, 2nd Class Sleeper, at least once in your life
- look someone in the eye when you are talking;doesn't matter whether you
are demanding or begging
- for a boy: don't believe it though all the girls say they want someone tall,
dark and handsome. just make her feel loved and very special. she'll be yours
- for a girl: you don't have to do much, just pick your choice from the line outside your door
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
But sometimes, I drink plain milk with extra sugar and I normally do this in the office. Once the HR Manager saw me.
She: What are you drinking?
Me: Yes, milk. Milk alone.
She (smiles suddenly): You are a baby...!!!
The next time, both of us were in a meeting.
She: Wanna have Pepsi?
Me: I don't drink Pepsi alone.
She: You want to drink it with someone else?
Me: Don't know, but I drink Pepsi with dark rum only.
She didn't say anything about milk after that.
I will be 30 in a few years and my last wisdom tooth (hope it's the last one) came up about a week ago. My girlfriend asked me what I'm going to say if her dad asks how many teeth I have.
I don't know but I'm regularly drinking milk in the office these days. Someone told me long ago, milk is good for the teeth.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Now, if we go back to that article we'll find that this "entrepreneur" or "achiever" is also the son/daughter/nephew/niece/wife/..... of someone who had actually done something or someone who's RICH. That's when we all begin to wonder, what else has this young achiever done besides studying in the US/UK/Australia, donning some nice formal clothes and inheriting the family business?
Entrepreneurship?? When you've already got millions deposited (not earned) in your personal bank account since the time you were in diapers, you don't need much gray matter or the never-die-spirit to take risk. You don't need them to inherit wealth or take what's already been handed to you.
Amazing India, where the cow still rules even though we have the tiger as the national animal. Slow and heavy, with a "who cares" attitude (if you've been in a cow induced traffic jam, you'll know), no other animal comes close when it comes to representing our country. Respect this animal for cow politics can cause riots or decide which party's gonna rule our country next time.
Temples. We build the biggest, most-expensive goddamn temples almost every month, almost everywhere. And no government will ever have the courage to say "enough!!" No government or political party will ever say, let's spend the money on schools, hospitals, low-cost housing schemes or roads. Because to utter these words means you are signing your own death warrant.
We talk of the IT boom, we talk of Indians in INTEL and NASA, we talk of the sensex hitting 9000 but we continue to spit on the roads, we continue to urinate wherever there's a wall (doesn't matter if there's a single brick standing) or a tree, we continue to talk about women's rights and pray to female deities though we ogle at every other woman and jump to conclusions or form opinions when a woman does anything.
We talk of unity in diversity though we continue to think and feel Indians are Hindus, Indians are Hindi-speaking people, Indians are north Indians (or people of Aryan origin). Indians in the south are still 'Southies' or 'Madrasis.' Indians in the northeast are still 'Chinkies' or 'Chinese.' We talk of equality but we continue to have, and demand reservations based on caste, religion and gender. Most of us will spend a lifetime paying monthly installments on our homes and other things but our weddings, our sons' and daughters' weddings have to be extravagant, something to dazzle our neighbors.
Somewhere underneath all the colours and the costumes, somewhere far away from the fireworks and the loudspeakers lives the real India; my country, my beloved India.