Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Am I the only one that thinks its a little offensive that people still associate cowardice with a skirt? So much for women's lib?!

If you're wondering what brought this rant on, it's quite simple really. I was reading what the The Romantic Realist (Go read the post. Good fun, I promise) had to say about a recent dispute on whether or not an IAS officer can express dissent on government policies in a newspaper op-ed piece — under a pseudonym.

Now, I personally think it's best to call it like it is, and have no qualms about using a pseudonym when i think appropriate, so naturally, I HAD to take offence at a comment which berated the author of the piece, who goes by Arthreya, calling him/her a coward for "bitching about his PM in open media space and behind a skirt, sorry i meant a pen name."

The funniest thing, is that this comment was left by a visitor who goes by KMN. Did I hear someone say hypocrite? And I asked earlier, why is cowardice STILL being associated with skirts?

I'd have thought that people, at least after all these millennia, would have figured out that women are no cowards. And cross-dressers, even less so :D

(Ps. The Romantic Realist is the editor of Mint. )

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It's really strange how often I feel the urge to write, without actually having anything to say. These are the times i usually go with the whole stream of consciousness thing... except that today, even that left me staring at a blank page...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's the season to be jolly. So we were planning on going visiting. Sometime this week. Too bad "sometime this week" wasn't good enough. I'm going to her funeral later today. I've been meaning to visit her fr more than four months now. But the timing just never felt right. Do I feel guilty? I don't think so. Sad? Yes. At least I think so.
I'm wondering if I should be feeling guilty for not meeting someone I knew had been bed-ridden for months. Someone who'd reached out to me when I was a 13-yr-old, happy to sit in a corner at a party, reading. Someone who helped me realise it was ok not to be super-serious all the time. Someone who helped me — the new kid for three years — fit in in the most important circle... the one inside my head. Probably. But my rational mind reminds me I can't really do anything for her now. So I'm doing the next best thing. Hoping I can help those she's left behind, instead.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm not quite sure why, but I've decided I like these songs... among my fav discoveries in the past cpla months... yea yea, i know.. at least one of these has been around long enough... but have fun anyway

"I guess what I be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanities and just go with the seasons"
— Jason Mraz

Monday, December 01, 2008

As much as I hate to admit this, I'm just not cut out to be a bitch. Each time I try to be mean (and that's often enough), it rebounds on me... Sure, it feels great the first 5-10, even 15 minutes, but after that, I'm left wondering, what it got me, other than a temporary high and some bad karma. So, yea.. Why does it cost me so much to be nasty? Even, and especially if, I'm dealing with some opinionated prick I've never met, nor would want to meet, ever... So much for righteous anger... Even that passes... Or am I just more strange/enlightened/bored than I give myself credit for?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Here's an old nursery rhyme i was recently reminded of..

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

Jack ate all the lean,
Joan ate all the fat.
The bone, they picked it clean,
Then gave it to the cat

Jack sprat was a-wheeling,
His wife by the ditch
The barrow turned over,
And in she did pitch.

Says Jack, "She'll be drowned!"
But Joan, did rply,
"I don't think I shall,
For the ditch is quite dry."

Why did I put this here? just because I can..
TWO current thoughts:

1. Why is so difficult to find the line between attacking an expression of an idea, and attacking the person whose idea was expressed in a manner unacceptable to you?
2. It doesn't matter what you want to do with your life. The universe has its own plans for you. So, the smartest (and possibly the only) thing to do, is make contingency plans

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jeez, that post got looong. But hey, i meant every word in it. So there!
I left work at 4am today. Why? Mumbai's been attacked. AGAIN. I mean, seriously, when will these people learn. U CANNOT keep a Mumbaiya down. Do what you want to them, they always bounce back.
Sadly, though, I think, think time, it may take the city a little longer to bounce back to normal.
News reports streaming in put the official toll at 90 people dead and as many as 900 injured. Then, came the distressing bit about 60 more bodies being found at the Taj, where a number (no one was sure how many exactly) of people had been taken hostage. Which makes me ask, for what? The group that "claimed responsibility" (why do these loonies think this a big deal? U want publicity, take out a freaking ad! Not like they can't afford to...) — the Deccan Mujahideen — sent major newspapers and (I'm assuming) TV channels an email that was psychotic at best, and totally brainless at worst (or should that be the other way around?)
Sure, the name indicates Islamic extremist forces, but does that mean the people behind last night's massacre were Muslims? If I were to start a militant group tomorrow (yea rt!), called my "group" the Saints Herded Into Training as Heroes Effectively Against Depressed Sisters (or, SHITHEADS), and sent out an email saying I was planning on killing all the men to make up for all the years women have been persecuted, who'd take me seriously? At the same time, if I called it Ulibaki Jihad... think that'd make a difference? (apart from the fact that I'd still be a lunatic of the worst kind, I mean) Who'd know the difference?
I know there's a lot of anti Muslim rhetoric doing the rounds... heck, a colleague of mine — senior colleague — no less, thinks as a group, they cause too much havoc and need to be eradicated (for want of a better term) but it really doesn't matter who plans these "terror" attacks, does it? Its innocent (even if they aren't all that innocent, who are we to decide who lives and who doesn't?) civilians. Which is why I called it a massacre. It was planned, and executed to (at least) near perfection, against a group of people who never knew what hit them.
Watching a recap of the whole thing earlier, it struck me that, starting with Leopold's and going on to the Taj, and the other fancy hotels, and the Gateway of India (let's not forget the 2 boats found moored there carrying explosives...), this was beginning to sound like Shantaram gone bad. Does anyone else think that?
Anyway, despite how completely brainless the violence was, one image is stuck in my head, revolting me. (And at one point, every news channel was running this footage in what seemed like a never-ending loop!) Just as reports of two terrorists being killed in an "encounter" — another word I hate, btw — came in, the TV-watching world was shown footage of a corpse being lugged around by a couple of camera-toting guys, obviously from the media... I mean, come on people, is that what we've come down to? Dragging a dead guy around so we can reposition him for a better shot (no pun intended, morons)?
It's not clear if that even was what remained of an alleged terrorist. For all anyone knows, it could have been one of the first hostages to go. Even if it was a terrorist (and maybe I'm weird here), I believe in dignity in death. Especially if there's been no dignity in life.
And, I know, as a country, we're still to get over our colonial mindframe where we love or hate the gora to extremes. Still, was there any logic to looking for folks with an American or a British passport? Or was there a converse logic at play here, which dictated that those with, I dunno, French, Portuguese or even Australian passports should be let off easily? Like I said before, it doesn't make any sense...
Which brings me to an important question: Most of those 'terrorists' were between the ages of 25-30. What makes anyone roughly my age want to go out and slaughter a few dozen people they've probably never met, or were ever likely to meet? Then again, what would make anyone, of any age, want to do that? Maybe I'm a little slow, but I just don't get it.
Of course, as expected, this event has led to a lot of discussion. Especially the fact that two senior anti-terrorism cops were killed. So far, the authorities have been picking up the small fry, the poor, those who are — in all likelihood — the modern equivalents of gun fodder, and patted themselves on the back. This attack wasn't random. It was well-thought out, showing that apart from the obvious — finances — those behind it also had a fair amount of intellectual ability. Where did that come from? Pretty big debut for a group no one's heard of, don't you think?
I mean, its so big a debut, 200 members of the National Security Guard — that's a euphemism for trained killing machines, btw — had to be called in, apart from the Army, the Navy, and a tonne of other people in fancy uniforms. I shudder to think of the bloodbath that's gonna be in tomorrow's news, as a victorious ( and you can bet on that!) team of folks in uniform (nevermind which one, the NSG's involved now...) announce that they absolutely trounced the enemy who will never show their faces in public again. Wanna bet there'll be more dead than taken prisoner?
Think about it. The dead are easier to handle than live prisoners who keep trying to a) escape b) get bail or c) get traded as part of some ransom deal or the other. Don't believe me? Think carefully about who the police arrested... 9 random 'suspects'.
Did I mention, as of 4am, 2 militants had been killed and only 1 hostage 'rescued'? This, when the 'official' death toll had already climbed past 80!
Sure, the elections are still a few months away, but do need to I remind you nice folks that its the same party in power at the Centre and in Maharashtra? And what do you think this gonna do for the party's rep? Not like we don't already know all politicians are hounds baying for each others' blood, is it? Hmm...I can already see the Gujarat chief minister "strongly criticising" the event tomorrow. Bet his speech-writers had a loong nite at work yesterday... and hey, Shush about 2002, okay? HE brought the Nano to the state!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've been told I'm a more-than-decent storyteller... Wonder if that's what kept me out of trouble all those times I escaped punishment as a kid? Maybe, except these stories were called lies then. Now, they called "fiction". It's all just semantics, innit?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some say this poem was found in a church in the late 15th century, while others say it's a product of the 20th century. Either way, I think it still makes a lot of sense...

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

And since we love this sooo much, Wildcat and I HAD to rework The Desiderata to suit our normal, everyday lingo... But we've put it someplace so safe we're having trouble finding it... Till we do, wait. and trust me when I say it'll be worth you w(h)ile :)
Amoeba and Soulmates

Me: ... realised the similarity between soulmates and amoeba

Over-smart brat: soulmates and amoeba? as in, neither exist?

Me: no they both supposedly can exist thru millennia..in spirit of course
see, the amoeba thingie's pretty straightforward

Over-smart brat: uh, amoeba cant... they live maybe for an hour

Me: in the beginning, there was one amoeba

Over-smart brat: i see, amoeba as a general concept, not a single specific amoeba

Me: which then split into two.. which then in turn split into four and so on.. so the genetic makeup of the first amoeba continues to exist through u the ages with minor alterations maybe...

Over-smart brat: unless you're accounting for genetic and environmental mutations... depends on the time period you're looking at

Me: too many, n it'd evolve.. but yet, there are amoeba.. ergo.. some strains do not evolve... same thing with soul mates
the one BIG soul started mitosis..
then each of those bits also split.. except, what's called evolution in aoeba is nirvana in souls

Over-smart brat: ooooookay.. lets see, is it, why yes, it IS time for your meds! its meds-o-clock, thats what it is!

The idiot didn't let me get into the actual crux of my theory - that sometimes these leftover strands of amoeba DNA are stronger than soul-mate bits.. the soul bits need to connect and come together sometimes.. . "because they get weak on their own" according to a popular author... Can u imagine what would happen if the amoeba bits would combine in an attempt to form the proto-amoeba? Would that be the end of life as we know it?
And most importantly, why am i even thinking about this? It's past 3 am, and most sane people are asleep by now.. aahh.. there lies the answer.. I just said sane... lol

(Ps. yes, this was an actual conversation between two sober, if sleep-deprived beings — one human, and one gloria)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Die, sir? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!"
— Captain Mosey of the good ship Lasagne

Praised be his Noodliness

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I don't like conflict. Especially not in MY life... And I try very hard not to intrude into other people's lives, so I can't figure out why people insist on telling me how to live mine... Unless I've asked for help. In which case, i still reserve the right to ignore all advice and make my own mistakes, so please, world, leave me alone. Thank you very much.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Snippets from the THE party

I've never been very fond of heights... but then, I'd never actually been 'birthday bumped' either. I guess that's what made me go with the flow... which is why i didn't start kicking and screaming when they lifted me off the floor (I'd also never realised how strong these guys were, rt till that point!) and started swinging me around, or when they decided to hoist me onto their shoulders and give me a close up view of my ceiling.. I did, however, start yelling when someone suggested chucking me off the balcony... Think it worked. After all, I'm still here, aren't i? They were nice enough to lower, and not drop, me onto my bed.

It was threatening to become a slightly boring affair once the first round of cake and wine had been served and consumed. Then came the entertainment, courtesy my sister, XHEO, (yes, that's her new name, and I'm spelling it the way she pronounces it.. more or less) and Carpethead.
I mean, what better to break the ice than a skinny 20-yr-old guy in a skirt and a denim bikini bra, rt? How about one straight guy pulling another straight guy's jeans off, only to get his boxers off as well... sorry Jeepus, but as traumatic as it was for you, it WAS funny... and don't worry.. none of us saw anything we shouldn't have!

What's the most important thing while hosting a theme party? Keeping to the theme, of course! And I'm muchas grateful to all my friends who helped me do that... Since it was a Halloween party, we had little ghostlets (thanx chris and brat) dangling from the ceiling, 2D jack-o-lanterns making faces off the walls and bats and ghosts and generally spooky things (thanx XHEO, Jeepus and C-Loafer) to loitering around. Mum even managed to arrange the pieces of choc cake (that I'd baked) into a tower of some sort, and we had bugs and ants and cobwebs coming out of it.. uber cool..

Speaking of cake, since i was too tired/lazy to making the icing, one my brilliant friends decided to "decorate" my face with candle wax.. and i mean the liquid stuff that was still hot! (Thanx a lot, Chillar) So, i walked about with streaks of blue wax all evening.. thankfully i was wearing black and grey, so it didn't look too odd...

BTW, what do u call a witch who uses a feather duster instead of a broom? Travelling light! ok fine.. don't hit me.. even metaphorically :)

While I thought keeping the food to theme was basically a good idea with the witches' fingers and tombstone sandwiches, (special thanx to Brat, XHEO, Carpethead, Jeepus and Shanu for the help on that), I MAY have gotten carried away with the alien pee.. although it was a purely innocuous mix of Sprite and Mountain Dew, the name and the color combined to gross more than a few guests out.
That, and the frozen hands in my freezer!
And before you wonder, no, i haven't gone all Hannibal Lecter on you.. While I'd meant to float a coupla hands in the drinks, they were just gloves filled with colored water, which unfortunately didn't freeze. So, instead of spooky hands, they became gross, yet fun things to play with... One of my colleagues (senior reporter, pl note) sure had fun... I think he may own/have owned a cow... the milking was very believable :D

On the topic of the glove, trust me, you don't want to know where it ended up.. and I'm pretty sure Carpethead wouldn't either. And since he was such a sport about the bra and the mohawk i gave him, i'll leave him alone, for now.
Jeepus, on the other hand, i feel sorry for, but will still let u in on what happened. A friend of his (just figured why they're "chaddi" dosts) decided to try and pull his pants off.. not really such a big deal since Jeepus wears loose jeans and no belt (proof enough on facebook), except that I don't think even Chaddi Dost expected his boxers to come off as well... That led a super-embarrassed Jeepus scurrying for cover (quite literally) and ending up behind the open fridge door...

Apart from cross-dressing and pulling people's pants off, we also had more entertainment. The artiste formerly known as Noodlehead, (now called streedhar, i've been told) clad in a lungi no less, performed a rather convincing cover of the Pearl Jam hit, Jeremy, before moving on to other songs. The birthday girl had left the room "to go out for a walk (involving nicotine)" a lil after this, so no more updates on the live music scene. But brat, XHEO, Nile and carpethead all had turns playing with the guitar, as did the newly aussie-returned Dabooo.

Most guests were relatively new faces at the Sarita Apt parties, seeing how most of the old chain-gang have disapparated or gotten married or both. The old-schoolers included moi (aka Mala/Ms Nariyalpani now), the Rapchick (pirate, who eventually tired of her bandana), XHEO (wanna-be politician or 'political palty), and the C-Loafer. This was a fun party, still pretty different from those back in the old days. There was a little music.. almost no dancing.. and almost EVERYONE helped with sumfinn :P Also, unlike in the past, there was a penalty for those who didn't show up in costume/according to the theme.. Mum painted everyone's faces with food color:D

Actually, my mum did more than just paint other people's faces.. she suddenly appeared out of nowhere with a blood(!)-stained top, mask and hat, wielding a meat cleaver... scared the s**t out a lot of us who weren't expecting it

Still, nothing anyone did can quite compare to the XHEO, who now claims she was never drunk, merely pretending... sure, kiddo.. we believe u! Anyone who was at HER birthday party would know the significance of "we are the champions". Trust me, this was better. WAYYYY better, and o, did i mention, she was wearing a sari? (in an attempt to look like a politician)

The last guest departed at about 5.30 (thanx for helping to finish most of the tombstones Nile), after a ton of fun, and i spent the next 3 hrs cleaning up...But i didn't mind that part one bit!
But since I was woken up in 4 hrs with a hangover, and my wonderfully idiotic friend suggested I use the alcoholic method to get rid of it, MY party eventually ended when i got to work 2 hrs late, pretending to be awake and sober :D

BIG thanx to everyone who showed up.. those of u who didn't/couldn't... wait for next time:D

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Unrelated to expected B'day post:

It's just that I realized something on/around this birthday: Everyone I know has a Saviour complex in some form or the other... we all just wanna save the world.. OK, maybe not, or maybe that's just me...

Now, get back to waiting for my brain to wake up and lose the hangover...

Adam Sandler said (well, sang, but whatever) this about birthdays and the parties that follow

Once a year we celebrate with stupid hats and plastic plates,
the fact that you were able to make another trip around the sun.
And the whole plan gathers round' gifts and laughter do will bound,
we let out a joyful sound and sing that stupid song.
Happy Birthday, now your one year older.
Happy Birthday, your life still isn't over.
Happy Birthday, you did not accomplish much.
But you didn't die this year i guess that's good enough.

So lets drink to your fading health, and hope you don't remind yourself
your chance of finding fame and wealth decrease with every year.
Dose it feel like your doing laps, and eating food and taking naps,
and hoping that some day, perhaps, your life will hold some cheer.

Happy Birthday, what have you done that matters?
Happy Birthday, your starting to get fatter.
Happy Birthday, it's downhill from now on.
Try not to remind yourself your best years are all gone.

If cryogenics were all free then you could live like Walt Disney and live
for all eternity inside a block of ice.
But instead your time is set this is the only life you get,
and though it hasen't ended yet some times you wish it MIGHT!

Happy Birthday, you wish you had more money.
Happy Birthday, your lifes so sad it's funny.
Happy Birthday, how much more can you take?
But your friends are hungry so just cut the stupid cake.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Dear.....

Stay tuned for what actually happened the night after i turned 25...

Friday, October 24, 2008

On the road

A stranger in strangers' eyes,
I'm bent and I'm broken
i know where I'm going,
but where do i wanna be?
Dark shapes against a charcoal sky,
crossing bridges on a moonlit night
The wind whistles through my hair,
and the smog descends,
strangling everything in sight.

Random thoughts from recent journeys...
I like that words can bring back the images:) how about you?

Monday, September 29, 2008

People are complicated. Relationships, of any kind, even more so. But then, considering all relationships involve more than one person, that is only to be expected. After all, the complications get multiplied...
Still, some times, all you can say is, "WTF!!!?" and log out of Google Talk...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"Im a roadless traveller, travelling on
I may not be alright, but i'm not all wrong"

Thanx Bunny

Sunday, September 21, 2008

42 vs 24

42, Douglas Adams said, is the ulitmate answer to life, the universe and everything. How come then, at 24, I have more questions than 42 can answer? Ofcourse, it took Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, and of course, I may not have come across the Ultimate Question... Still, some answers would be nice, rt?

And btw, i just realised this is post no 102. WOW! which means I should've mentioned something about it in the previous post... or the one before that... I just hadn't noticed. Maybe that's my problem.

What is my biggest problem? 42... na.. still doesn't cut it for me
FROM an NYT article:

"Looking either grim or overmedicated, Bush spoke for several minutes — 1,260 words worth of reassurance. That was a far more ambitious effort than the day before, when, as Politico’s Roger Simon noted, our president devoted 100 fewer words to his public utterances on the collapsing economy than he did to toasting the president of Ghana at dinner.
Behind the-first-president-with-an-M.B.A.-and-a-lot-of-good-it-did-us stood the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, who appears to be actually running the government. On Thursday night, Bernanke had called Congressional leaders together and terrified them into supporting a quadrillion-dollar rescue plan. Legend has it that there was a time when these sorts of gatherings took place at the White House, but it would probably have really cast a pall on the president of Ghana’s big night."
I had to share this... Love the adjective for Bush, not to mention i liked the bit about bernanke runnin the country... So, should we be blaming HIM for the current mess in the world economy?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Of Terror and Clichés

It’s so easy to fall back on clichés. Every time some moron sets off a string of bombs, headlines scream “Terror re/visits XYZ”. Seriously? That’s the best you can come up with? There are people dying out here… Human beings being mauled and mutilated by the remote hand of another... Does that not warrant a slightly greater effort?
The friendly elves inside Microsoft Word tell me ‘terror’ has a number of synonyms. Fear, horror, fright, dread, shock, panic, alarm… reads the list. Yet, we consistently choose to go with ‘terror’. Of course, you could argue that “XYZ in panic” just doesn’t cut it.
Then again, when serial bombs hit a city, how many people (not affected first-hand) hear about it, unless via TV? From personal experience, I’d say people are largely so self-obsessed, that it’s a vague concern. The people who are truly afraid, are those who watch too many news channels cover the same thing, watch too many gory pictures of blood splattered across the road (or wherever else) and wonder if any of their friends and family were part of those injured/killed.
When the blasts hit Delhi (using that since it’s the latest) I can imagine people continuing to buy groceries, taking a walk, meeting friends, partying hard, or whatever else it is people in Delhi do on a Saturday evening.
It’s only later that the panic button goes off. I can bet that the city will come to a crawl over the next few days. I know it happened here, almost a month ago. Now, that, is funny.
Why would you step gingerly over a mine that’s already exploded? If the city’s been attacked, it’s been attacked. Staying home for the following week is not going to change that. In fact, terrorists, or glorified cowards, tend to be like lightening. They prefer striking where you don’t expect it much, and rarely strike the same place in quick succession. Think about it. Delhi was last bombed three years ago. And by a different outfit.
Besides, staying home after what the papers call a ‘terror attack’ (Something to think about it: if terror and panic are synonymous, does that mean Delhi underwent a panic attack yesterday?) people tend to watch a lot more news. “Where else? Who else? How many? And thanks be to the great spaghetti monster I decided against getting that video game CD just yesterday!” becomes “OMG! That could’ve been me. Where next? Are they planting bombs in my balcony? Can I cross the road? What if I’m their next target?” and so on and so forth.
True, I may have been exaggerating a little. But, isn’t that how it works? People tend to get more freaked out when they realise the extent of the damage. Their safe cocoons are broken into, and no one is safe. Therefore, it’s obvious. Television is too disturbing. So the next option, the newspapers. And with such standard headlines, I doubt how much of an impact they make. I doubt how much of the people’s fury, or even sympathy, these headlines evoke.
I hear you say, but that’s not a newspaper’s job — to evoke fury or sympathy. True. But, if you want to get technical, doesn’t newspaper reportage tend to be only from one perspective, irrespective of what that perspective is? If absolute objectivity reigned, we’d probably have headlines like “Delhi bombed again”… but that wouldn’t sell any copy, would it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Posts: 4
COmments: 0

It's like old times again...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Blatant promotion, with vested interests

(no, its not another one of my blogs:P)


Saturday, September 06, 2008

While I sleep, they're cows and elephants
Unnamed moving shapes, while I'm awake
Fear streaks yellow against the gray in my head
I wonder, is being awake the prelude to being dead?

Shadows surge, they merge and they grow,
Unnamed fears — possibilities of dreams —
Jostle for the space that keeps me awake
How many more mistakes will i make?

Sleep, once an unwelcome friend, now avoids me
The disdain of the healthy for the ill
I crave sleep. Yearn. Seek it desperately
Some help, some sleep must come calling, eventually?

Random thoughts I noted down while severely sleep deprived.. think i may be going out my mind. would possibly be a decent vacation... i dunno... the voices in my head are driving me insane already...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I wonder what it means when my fingers go all numb and tingly... and my hand hasn't fallen asleep either... ponders ponderously

Monday, September 01, 2008

What marks the line between thinking with your eyes closed and dreaming? Aren't dreams just thoughts that you think while asleep?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Craziness is the basis of every fine relationship" someone said in a very popular book. That may explain the extreme fine-ness of the relationship i share with my self... and most of my friends... There are some friendships, however, that exist purely because one of the parties involved is too pig-headed to leave things be.. Think Sid the sloth in the Ice Age series... as Manny the mammoth says at the end of the sequel. Sid made the herd.. Its those like SId, the gooey slime that holds the herd together, that, well, holds the group together...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lunar eclipse

She played hide and seek with the clouds,
Till she grew tired of the game,
Yet, the darkness kept growing,
Slowly, steadily
Till she could be seen no more.

Her radiance diminished, she stood still,
Despite the baying dogs
And the bats — their velvety wings
flapping black against a black sky
For a moment, the world went dark.

Then, with a flash, the shadows peeled back
The dogs fell quiet, the bats stayed still.
As her brilliant radiance lit up the night
We'd known she'd be back.
She knew she'd never left.

Pic credit: Mickie Mueller

Thursday, August 14, 2008


If she’d left on time, she’d have taken her own vehicle.
If she’d been on her own vehicle, she wouldn't have been there right then
If she hadn’t been there right then, he wouldn’t have crashed his car into her
If he hadn’t rammed into her, she wouldn’t have been hurt
If she hadn’t been hurt, she could have fought him off when he assaulted her
If she’d fought him off, she wouldn’t be afraid to ride home alone every night

If only you could change one or two ‘ifs’, life would be so different

Monday, August 11, 2008


It seemed like a case of spontaneous combustion, which I guess it was, after a manner of speaking. (Does it matter that it was a car, and not person that combusted? Although I think seeing a person combust would be super cool on some freaky level.)
One minute, four off-duty copy editors (and some non-journo friends) are ending the day with chai, cigarettes and conversation. The next minute, there’s a car on fire in the middle of the road.
Our first instinct (and this may explain why some people see journalists as shallow or apathetic), is to call a photographer…
“Think we should call one of them?” (Note that there’s no need to spell things out)
“Na… it’s just an empty car. Not newsworthy enough.”
“Maybe we should, anyway… It may explode… missing that would be bad…
(Internal debate for about a minute.)
“We should at least try calling. Maybe we could carry a 100-word copy in the city section.”
One of us (OOU) goes off to wake a rather grumpy photographer, who probably turned over and went right back to sleep after hanging up on us. (Can’t blame him, it was past 1 am, and we already had a copy of the next day’s paper, fresh off the presses. It would be stale news by the time we filed the copy, forget seeing it in print!)
“U think someone’s called the fire dept?”
“What if no one did? Think we should?”
“Na… the cops are here. They must have”
“I’m calling anyway”
By this time, the cops had materialised, I thought for a minute, out of thin air. But they were probably lounging around one of the other tea-stalls that dot the area (I mean, who cares about security? The blasts happened like 15 days ago… and only killed 45-50 people... hardly newsworthy, rt?) About 9-10 of them try forming a human chain, to keep the traffic off the burning stretch.
OOU: Hello. Fire?
Fire Dept (FD): haa.. bolo..
OOU: gadi me aag lagi hai.. (there’s a car on fire)
FD: yours?
FD: ok… what car is it?
OOU: Honda City (How does it matter?)
FD: ok then, we’ll send someone
OOU: Ok (wonder if they’d have come if had been a Maruti 800 or something…)
While OOU was on the phone with the FD, the dormant reporter in the rest of us (ROU) woke up. (We all have a sleeping reporter… It’s that part of you that needs to have all the news, immediately, and first hand.)
The big question was do we approach the car? As strong as our journalistic senses were, it turned out that our collective instinct for self preservation was just as strong.
After a long drawn battle (which lasted about 4-5 minutes in real time), we gathered together and drew courage from that little piece of plastic called the press card. (People often think of reporters as super-brave, foolhardy, or just plain gluttons for punishment, but they’re just people with press cards… Mark my words: it’s all in the cards…)
While our battle raged on, some brave, if silly, souls managed to douse the fire with the help of a few well-aimed buckets of water. Except that it was an oil fire, and from where we were standing, we were watching the oil drip onto the road, bringing the flames with it. (Watching flames drip is rather trippy, btw.)
Suddenly, someone tells us that the two 20-something-women across the road are the owners of the car. So, inspired by the magic cards, OOU troops across to talk to said girls, and gets a car door slammed in her face for the effort.
At this point, we were speaking with the cops. They’d earlier told us they hadn’t been able to get through to the fire dept…(“Number nahi laga”…They’d tried once… What kind of morons stand watch near a burning car without making sure there’s a fire truck on its way?), and were now trying, rather stupidly, to hold off traffic with their bare hands.
When OOU suggested that they set up barricades (which were 10 mts away to begin with,) they hemmed and hawed till AOU (all of us) went over and dragged them into place ourselves.
Eventually, (about 20 minutes later) the fire truck showed up, (The fire station is about 2km away), and the cops took it easy(er). OOU decides the barricades can’t be seen from a distance, and so heads off to direct traffic, followed by another OOU. Soon, TOU (two of us) are signalling traffic and yelling at bus drivers, whose inner reporters were causing traffic to queue up.
When the fire truck drove off, we realised all that excitement had nothing to back it.. total downer. The owner of the car was being driven back home after watching a particularly pathetic Hindi movie, by himself (or so he claimed, thereby creating the mystery of the unidentified 20-somethings). The Honda City was taking a U-turn, around a circle at a popular intersection (It has to be popular if u have traffic jams at 1am), when the engine suddenly collapses. The driver tries to fire the ignition, and smoke starts spewing out of the engine, which then quickly catches fire.
Turns out, the car was CNG-powered, and a leak had caused a break in supply to the engine. When the driver turned the key again, spark met gas, and boom!
Ok, so I’m exaggerating. Sue me!
Truth is, the car was scorched and the road bore a few signs of the night’s excitement… But that was it… just an accident, as the cops and fire guys said. Not even an explosion. (The CNG cylinder was too far away from the engine, for any 'newsworthy' excitement.) The crowds went home, the fire guys back to the station, and the cops back to whatever it was they’d been doing to begin with. And AOU had one last cigarette for the night, put away our magic cards, and headed off, each to wherever s/he was headed.

[Incidentally, this story is based on actual events that took place between 1 and 2 am on August 11, 2008, and is being carried as a 70-word copy in the August 12 edition of a local newspaper. I was trying to prove a coupla points:
1.You CAN pad a 70-word copy to make a 1000-word copy.
2.This was a 70-word story because no one died or was injured.
3.This is my blog and I can say what the hell I want. (Unlike in a newspaper, where this would be called ‘editorialising’)
4.I wanted to.
5. HAH!

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's very interesting how almost everything we learn goes against something else they tried teaching us. Every book I read, every idea someone shares with me, every theory.. whether it is how the world came into being, or whether ancient civilizations really did have access to alien technology (I'm typing this from India, using technology that's not homegrown.. alien? I wonder) Or if it is something much simpler, like should I allow myself to be offended and get angry.. how much narcissism is too much...
The part of me that interacts with (not necessarily always understands/agrees with) those of a scientific bent hears that anger, for instance, is a natural instinct.. something that evolved to take natural fear and convert it into something that could maybe help keep me alive.. the part of me that interacts with (but, again, not necessarily always understands/agrees with) those of a more spiritual bent, hears that anger raises my negative energy, keeps me tied to my earthly limitations. So, which is it? am i supposed to feel angry, or not? on one hand, not being angry would make me passive aggressive, and on the other, it could raise my spiritual levels and take me to paradise on earth.. hmmm.. tough choice, innit? which is why my motto is go with the flow (waaaaay different from go with the herd, btw) which again leads me to the question.. how much CAN i trust my intuition.. how much of what I think is intuition, really is, well, intuition (wheee! three intuitions in one sentence..uh oh.. make that 4) How much of that is just plain conditioning?

And coming back to the question about Narcissism, there's always just one answer to that.. (I don't care if u you don't agree... that's your prerogative)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How to improve India’s performance at the Olympics

1. Include events such as gulli-danda, marbles, bullock-cart racing and belching

2. Disallow participation from countries which have won a total of five medals in any of the previous Olympic games

3. Allow the use of artificial stimulants (especially for the livestock in the bullock-cart races, that too, only for Indian participants)

4. Discontinue events such as all athletics, swimming, gymnastics, water polo, hockey and basketball, in which India has no hope of winning

5. Appoint politicians to the organising committee, to make fixing events easier

6. Put India into a pool comprising, India, Mozambique, Eithiopia, Afghanistan and Nepal, with the other pool consisting of just India

(This is the short version.. pl feel free to add ur own suggestions in the comments section)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

and since i'm pretty much bent on makin' yer trip as well.. ensoy.. It's John Coltrane's Afro Blue.. heaven's got this man, i tells youse..

And, if we have the Trane, can Mr Miles Davis be far behind?
here's the supremely soulful "Yesterdays"

For those of who don't quite follow the trajectory of usually twisted thought waves.. this isn't rocket science...
Trane was part of the Miles Davis quintet... much before he headed off to form first a quartet and then, later, a quintet...more ejukeshun leita!watch this space..

(but not too hard, u bozo!)
I'm tripping on Dizzy G. Pl send me any more that you might find...

Culture, history, and the lack thereof (or, random musings at dawn)

I'd like to discover India. Does that sound strange? I know I've lived here all of my life.. but how much do i know about it? I sometimes think I'd like to see the world... the people, the cultures, the history... then I ask myself how I could ever hope for something that big, when I haven't seen my own back yard.. It's so easy to believe in, and slot people into, stereotypes.. (Don't we all?) but can human nature, much less mother nature be slotted that easily?

I want to travel. and by that I mean truly travel. I want to live among the locals. I want to BE a local. that's someone I've never been. I want a culture to call my own. I hear you laughing.. "you're Indian," you say... "you have culture.." sure my country has a rich and varied history, and since you can't have history without acquiring some culture, you must be right, rt?

Except than I am not my country. I do not "belong" anywhere or any when.. I want to know the history behind a place... not the kind they taught in school. I want to know about the men and women behind the legends... the people who became the heroes. those who built the monuments to time... and not just the ones who commissioned them.. I want to know those who toiled in the summer and in the monsoons.. those who, possibly, did not want the monuments built, but were forced to anyway... those who, discovered and loved these relics before the Archaeological Survey of India began to charge an entry fee... Those who lived and loved among the monuments to others dead, but not forgotten... the other places they saw... the grounds they walked.. the thoughts they thought.

I want to know what the ghoonghat-clad women of ancient Rajasthan would have thought of their bare-breasted sisters in the territories that became Kerala... What the Mughal men with their courtesans thought of the Dravidian priests and their devdasis... What the French in India thought of the English in India? More importantly, what the Europeans thought of the Indians... did they ever get beyond the "hmm..these guys could make us rich" phase...? How did palates accustomed to pièces montèes, and potato and meat stew react when they met dum aloo, sambhar and the aptly named gun powder? Did everyone get a round what we so euphemistically call Delhi belly today?

We've all heard stories about how the invaders — "they" ruined the lives of the locals "the us" and ransacked our culture? How come I've never heard of an Indian version of Pochahontas? I refuse to believe it never happened.. Maybe there was.. and maybe, the anonymous Pocahontas from the sub-continent (I'd like to think she was dravidian) refused to move to England, to be paraded as a "tamable native".. insisting, instead, that her John Rolfe take over the responsibilities of gruhasthashrama and, thereby, of her extended family! Maybe that killed him... imagine having to plan (and fund) weddings for all those younger siblings and cousins....and having to remember who's who among your wife's cousin's cousin's in-laws... (most definitely not for the faint-hearted!) And may be she then married some wealthy old man her father approved of, (of course no self respecting pop would've approved of some "Firang" back in the 18th century.. or that's what I've been told... doesn't help that the same people who tell me this are the ones who insist all Anglo-Indians are of Royal blood — more or less, anyway..) had a ton of sons (of course she didn't have daughters.. no self-respecting mother-of-sons ever does, does she? in any history... in any country and in any culture? Pardon my ignorance, but did Achilles have a sister? and would Thetis have dunked her in the Styx to make her invulnerable??) and died of old age, syphilis, boredom or child birth... and basically faded into the non-existence that seems to mark the lives of women in this part of the ancient world.

I've always found it strange that, in India, some courtesans are remembered better than queens... (Kinda ironic that a system that insists that women behave in a particular manner rewards the few who don't... but that's a topic for another day)... yet it's fascinating. The country is such a kaleidescope of cultures and of people, And when you haven't been born into one of the many available options, that choosing is hard. And not knowing your own, or your neighbor's, history makes it that much harder.. I hear u laughing again... "What idiot has to choose cultures?" All I can say is having a culture seems important to me... It gives you a norm.. and if you don't have a clear cut idea of what is acceptable and what isn't... It gets that much harder to decide if you are a conformist or a rebel... And maybe it's because I have stayed as far away as I could from my own...

(Lord knows well-intentioned folks have driven me nuts with their "OhmyGawdourcrapdoesn'tstink! We'renotthesedirtyIndians" brand of BS, and I'm proud to say I've returned the favour — "Youstinkmorecozyou'reneitherherenorthere" or "Howcanyoucallsomeplaceneitheryounoryourgrandparentshaveeverbeen,'home'?" doesn't make you very popular in the community, trust me)

So I want to learn. I want to know the history of the land. From before some of my ancestors left their potato farms in the land of clovers to wander among the sugarcane fields in the land of the idli... I want to hear the songs in the rocks... of the coal that once was a forest... I want to hear the stories of centuries past... I want sepia-toned memories awash with colour... I don't want to study culture and history... I want to live it..

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"She's perfect for you, Man, there's got to be somebody for me."
I want to be Bob Dylan

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

People expect more from me than I have to give them.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Can a ritual ceremony force you to grow up? by you, of course, i mean anyone who isn't me.. cuz gettin me to grow up would take a lot more than a ceremony, rt? rt? actually, i think the answer'd depend on who u asked...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sometimes, u get things you wanted... but then you're left wondering why u wanted them in the first place...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

i like this song