Monday, December 13, 2010

I want to die

I want to die..

I am waiting for it to come

Like a bride waits for her bridegroom on the aisle

I am awake all the time

So that I don't miss it if it comes knocking on the door.

I know that you should slit your wrist in the direction of the vein and not across

But I want to die a 'natural' death

I am so lazy

Playing a game of hide and seek with death

And in the meantime, living life

Will I make it or will I succumb to the last 'temptation' ?

Will I live my life or will the blade rule ?

I am fighting a monster inside me

I will defeat it

But I am scared that this fight may make me a monster

Lest death comes....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I need to Grow up

I need to Grow up. I don't behave in the way adults do although I am 23 now.

From now on, I will do all these to "Grow Up":


  • Will think before speaking. This means to lie to people.
  • Will maintain good relations with all. This means to speak false things always.
  • Will walk with a straight head on road. This means that I will not help anyone who is in distress and will look the other way.
  • Take things more seriously. This means to think of only oneself and one's family and ignore others.


Please add more to this list so that I can fully grow up.

Coffee and Assimilation

About a week back, I went to a restaurant to have some coffee.

I had just ordered a Latte when a westerner came in the hotel.

He sat at a table next to me. A waiter came promptly and served a glass of water.

The man smiled, cleared his throat and then spoke in, hold your breath, Marathi, "Saada pani nakko. Bisleri paani paheje". Loosely translated, it means - "No plain water. Need Bisleri water".

For a moment, the waiter could just gawk. However, the next moment, he went away smiling only to return with a Bisleri bottle.

I looked at the foreigner who smiled at me. I reciprocated.

I was wondering how humans try their level best to assimilate in an environment. I believe it is this quality that has enabled us to spread our footprint on the entire planet.

My trance was broken when the waiter placed a cup of coffee on my table and said, "tumhala coffee".(Your coffee).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Caravan - A Narrative Journalism magazine

Journalism is something which we all read in varying degrees in our everyday lives.

Newspapers and magazines constitute a bulk part of it, although the internet has a substantial share these days.

Off late, I have come across a phenomenal magazine. The magazine is in the genre of narrative journalism.





In a short time of about a year, the magazine has carved a niche for itself.

It includes extensive articles about politics, social and cultural points of our society, etc.

It also includes a fiction story in every issue which is my favourite.

To my knowledge, I don’t think there is any magazine in India which caters to this specific genre of narrative journalism which is so well developed in the west.

The contributors to this magazine include Vinod K. Jose, Kajal Basu, Salil Tripathi, etc

The caravan is a monthly magazine and has become a must read for me.

I hope that it becomes a world wide success.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

संतुष्टि

शाकाहारी खाना खाया
मांसाहारी खाना खाया

कीमती कपडे ख़रीदे
कीमती जूते ख़रीदे

कई फिल्मे देखि
कई गाने सुने

सस्ता मदिरा पिया
महंगा मदिरा पिया

सुन्दर लडकियों को देखा
उनके पीछे गया, प्यार ख़रीदा

वक़्त को कोशिश की मीचने की
और कोशिश की जीवन बदलने की

किन्तु फिर भी न मिली संतुष्टि

क्या करू अब ?

कहा मिलेगी ये संतुष्टि ?
उस बाज़ार का नाम बता दो |

जीवन

मैं पिछले कई दिनों से १ उधेड़बुन मैं हु |
शायद पिछले कई सालो से |

क्या मेरे जीवन का कुछ उद्देश्य है ?

या फिर मेरा जीवन भी बाकि करोड़ो इंसानों क तरह कुछ वर्षो का फासला है ?

या फिर किसी सोये हुए व्यक्ति का सपना है ?

या फिर किसी का परिणाम है ?

या फिर किसी अनदेखी शक्ति की ताकत है ?

या फिर किसी के  पिछले जनम  का अंजाम  है ?

क्या ये  उधेड़बुन मेरी होगी दूर ?
या फिर मेरा जीवन बन जायेगा किसी अन्य इन्सान के जनम होने का कारन ?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kindness and Humans

A friend of mine called me last Sunday evening. He said he wanted to buy a few clothes for Diwali and asked if I was free. I thought I was being offered a choice. Before I could come up with my answer, he said, "See you at 6 near SNDT."

And closed the call.

I crawled out of my bed and after a quick gander at myself, I dressed up.

We went to Pune Central Mall where he looked for clothes and I looked around.

After going through a pile of clothes, he chose one t-shirt. I cursed him.

We went to the billing counter to pay for that solitary garment.

Being a Diwali season, the mall was brimming with people and there was a pretty long queue at the counter.

So, we thought of asking a bespectacled person who was about to get his clothes billed, if he could adjust the t-shirt as well in his bill while we pay him in cash right there.

He gave us a dirty look. He must have cursed us at least 10,000 times.

Reluctantly, he agreed and we were saved from the torture of standing in that serpentine queue.

As I returned to my place, I was left wondering why humans have become so rigid? Why is help so scarce these days?

We had shown that man cash before we asked him to take that t-shirt. Still, he was not ready to help us.

Where have the small acts of kindness gone? The acts which we used to read about in small stories when we were kids.

Have they been reduced to fables?

I am searching for answers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Hidden Message

My last 3 posts viz. The Event, The Birth and The War may seem like works of pure fiction. They were written with an agenda of putting a smile on the reader's lips after knowing the end.

However, there is a hidden message which I wanted to convey through those 3 stories.

The 3 posts showed that there might be many sub systems at work around us. We might be oblivious to them but they exist.

The second post (The Birth) showed a very usual activity of spitting. However, for the saliva, that was his world. He took his surroundings as his world, maybe even planet.

In the larger context, we need to understand that we too might be a part of a larger system. We might be existing as some saliva or dandruff of a larger body.

To human beings, this may seem quaint. This is because we have a tendency to attach a sense of self importance to us. A feeling that we are better than others and more crucially, we "understand" things which appear around us.

Our life span may be a blink in the larger system of which we maybe a part of. Just like in the case of sperm, saliva and dandruff.

The important thing to be noted here is that we should be aware of this fact all the time.

The moment we begin appreciating this fact, we will stop fighting, quarreling and hurting others. We will stop killing over trivial things like temples, mosques, Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, etc. The list goes on.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The War

The first side

"I will kill them all tomorrow."

"Yes, we will. We will finally finish it once and for all."

"Are you ready with the ammunition?"

"I am fully loaded."


Across the border


"We have concrete information that there is going be an attack from across the border tomorrow."

"Yes, I too came to know about it. Are we ready to handle them?"

"Yes we are. This is our nation and we will never let her be in danger."

"Exactly. The front and side areas are ours. They will only have the rear portions."

"Yes Commander"

The next day the attack was about to be launched when heavy thunderstorm started. Before they could understand, a very intoxicating chemical was sprayed and everyone on both the sides died.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Armaan applied anti-dandruff shampoo on his wet hair not knowing that two "nations" and their warriors(dandruff) had just been wiped out.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Birth

I can feel myself. I can feel the warmth around me. I can feel the food around me. It intoxicates me. It instills a sense of dizziness in me.

As time passes by, I increase in size. My growth goes on unhindered.

I am fed properly. Who could have such a wonderful set of parents?

I can hear sounds outside. The talking of people, the playfulness of children, the cries and I can hear some even shouting and quarreling.

I wonder why people are so violent?

When I will be born, I will spread love everywhere.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the time has come. I can sense it.

Oh my God! I am being pushed outside.

Will I die? Will I make it?

Will I see the light of the day?

I am almost there.

Oh! there is so much sun shine here.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ashok spitted saliva on the road and moved on with his friends not knowing he had just given "birth".

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Water - The object which will be the cause of the 3rd world war

I am writing this post in support of Blog Action. There is an annual event held every year on October 15 where bloggers from around the world join into fight for a cause.

Water is a miraculous object. Something which has been such an intrinsic part of our lives ever since we evolved that many a times we even tend to forget that its in limited amount and needs to be replenished periodically.

We have seen countless people fight and die over water wars in third world countries.

India as a nation faces acute shortage of water in almost all its cities. Wastage of water and no knowledge of water conservation are two primary reasons for this.

Who gets affected because of this shortage? Women are the first and the worst casualty.

In India, where sanitation facility is a privilege few people enjoy, women have to squat in open fields.

What a shame! And then these very women are supposed to collect water from distant wells for cooking and drinking purposes.

Water pollution in turn affects adults and children alike. And in our quest for modernization, we pollute our rivers and oceans with gay abandon.

So what is the solution for all this? Water conservation? But in a country like India where more than 40% of the people live on less than $2 a day, how much civic sense can one expect?

IMHO, water needs to be a fundamental right. Every government must provide water as a right. If people are happy at their homes, then only will they come out and make the world happy.

Lets pledge to make this a reality.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Event - My first attempt at short fiction

The stakes were high for today's event. Everyone was excited. They had been waiting for this spectacle for the last 2 years. The reverberations could be felt very clearly. The time of reckoning had come.

However, not everyone was so enthusiastic. Some said that nothing was going to happen and it would be the same routine this time as well.

"What are you going to bet on?", I asked rather impatiently.

"I am positive".

"Are you kidding me? Even the seniors are saying that nothing is going to happen. It will be all usual".

"Let them say whatever they feel. The chemical results will come out in the evening. Then you will also bet along with me".

Everyone waited with baited breath for the reports to come. If positive, the event would be over. Else, the bets would tear the roof.

"The bets have tripled!".

"I told you so. The reports are negative. The event will happen".

"But the hedges are risky still. The chances of loosing are big. These days such events happen only 1-2 times in our lifetime unlike in the past when more than half a dozen were common".

"I don't care. I am placing all my bets this time".

""OK. Add me as well".

                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The event had begun.

The bets increased as the news spread like wildfire that even the second test was clear. The "plastic" was not there. But there was very little time remaining.

The pressure had begun. Soon, the participants were lined up. Within a few minutes, orders were fired and and the gate was thrown open. Everyone dashed and crossed over. The rest watched with eyes wide open.

"Hurray! We won". I could not believe myself.

"Yes, it is a great win".


                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Its a girl!". Smiled Ravi and Aisha when they saw their child. The sperms inside Ravi were smiling as well as they basked in the glory of their win when the "event" had been successful 9 months ago.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A first hand experience with Kindle

I recently used kindle for the first time in my life. The device was amazing. I felt I was almost reading on paper.

Its an amazing product. The view was sharp. The pages were easier to turn and the overall experience was good.

I believe that e-book readers would become a norm in about 10 years and we will shed whatever inhibitions we have about such devices.

Maybe we can start constructing museums which will showcase how we used to read on paper :)

Manual Scavenging - II

I wrote about Manual Scavenging in my last post. Its a topic which makes me really sad. Its the height of human degradation.

However, what makes me wonder is how can we treat other humans like this?

I recently read a post in David Mcraney's blog.


In an experiment a group of people sit around a table and are given a few dollars. They are told they can put as much money as they want in the community pot. The pot is doubled, and everyone then gets an equal portion back.
If it’s 10 people and everyone gets $2, and everyone puts in their money, the pot would be $20. It gets doubled to $40 and divided by 10. Everyone gets back $4.
The game proceeds in rounds, and you would think everyone would just put the maximum amount in the pot each time – but they don’t.
Someone usually gets the gist of the game and realizes they can put in very little, or nothing at all, and they will start making more money than everyone else.
If  everyone but you puts in $2, the pot would be $18. Everyone gets back $3.60 – including you, the one who put nothing in at all.

What  this experiment shows that humans have a tendency to hoard as much as possible. They want to collect enough so that they can be at peace about their future.

I believe this trend makes human degrade others.

I am not sure if we can reverse this trend.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Manual Scavenging in India




"Bye ma", said Pratigya as she dashed out from her home towards the bus stop. She was already late for the office. "Call Mr. Sharma, Complete the report....", Pratigya was making the list of things she had to do on reaching office when suddenly a filthy garbage's smell entered her nose. She immediately covered her nose with her dupatta. She saw a couple of men working in the garbage, separating, chaffing and putting them in a large truck which shall carry it to the outskirts of the city.






This is a common sight in India. Hundreds of thousands of Manual scavengers. People who clean our garbage with their own hands sans any tool or equipment. We see them everywhere and everyday. We close our nose and hearts when we pass by them.
Its a pity that such a practice still continues in India.

But isn't there something called Municipal Corporation in every city? One may ask. Yes, there is. The task of municipal corporation, inter alia, is to clean the city's garbage. It employs people for this task. But does not provide them any tools. They are supposed to use their own hands.

But the government can't be so insensitive. It must be doing something for them? Yes, it is. It passes funds every year to the municipal corporations of every city to improve their work. Unfortunately, the grant received seldom reaches the recipients. It is siphoned off by the officials. So the money allotted to buy new tools and machinery which would help in cleaning the city's garbage more efficiently actually goes in buying a jewelery set for the wife. No wonder, corporation officials are sought after marriage prospects.

You can know more about manual scavenging here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

5 reasons why Tom Hanks' starer "Cast Away" will never be made in India

5 reasons why Tom Hanks' starer "Cast Away" will never be made in India:

1. A man forced to live with no food for 4 years on an isolated island! Heck, 400 million Indians live like that for their entire lives.

2. No water to drink for 4 years! No water again for 400 million Indians for their entire lives.

3. No shelter for 4 years. Millions of Indians live and sleep on roads for their entire lives.

4. No one to talk to for 4 years. Millions of dalits and lower castes live their life in isolation like that.

5. And last but not the least, who in India has the ability to play the character of Chuck Noland(Played by Tom Hanks)?

So, why make a movie on a topic which is already the story of more than 400 million Indians?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An innocent comment by my cousin

"Sariiiiiiii..........", said my 11 year old cousin sister when I asked what her favorite dress was.

"And what about your friends?"

"I have lots of them!!". Ashish, Sanjay, Swati, Rahul, Priyanka,....She continued even before I could ask what their names were.

"And all of them are wary of me because I am the topper".

"Great!". "How much percentage did you get?", I asked.

"98.96."

I gawked. I could count on my fingers the number of times I had crossed the 90s in my academic career. This young child was getting 95 plus since she started attending school. And she was in Class 6th when I was speaking to her.

After treating her with a chocolate, we chatted a little more. She talked to me like a cute doll which she was.

Sometimes, I wonder how simple things make children so happy.

As I was about to return  from her place, I asked about whether she has friends in other sections.

"Yes, I have  many from other sections also."

"Okay."

"But no one from E section."

"Why?"

"Because the topper of that section has got only 92 percent marks." She said as a matter of fact.

I waved her good bye and returned. While returning, I was wondering what have we made of our young generation? Where are they going?

The craving for marks has reached unsurmountable levels. A maze so complex that it has gone beyond the comprehension of humans.

I was only imagining the poor plight of that 92% guy. To whom no one was ready to talk because he got only 92% marks.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Social Media and Web 2.0

I have been reading a lot about the social media revolution and how it is transforming lives of millions of people around the globe. Apart from helping people, it is also helping companies. In fact, one of the questions which have been troubling organizations a lot these days is how to use Social media? They are trying hard not to be left behind. Some people even say that we have not fully understood social networking and need to understand it better, to use it better.

For people in general, social media has surely transformed lives. But in what way? Stories abound of people checking their twitter account before even getting off their beds. Rushing to update their facebook status after returning from a party. Do these examples suggest we are getting drowned in social media. What are we making of our selves? Only feeding our voyeuristic ambitions? Or is this a cynic talking? Can't you see the obvious difference it has made to our lives, you moron.

I may not know as of now. It will benefit people and the world. I am sure of this. What I am not sure of are the side-effects. Will the side-effects create such a monster that it will be impossible to tame? Let us wait for light at the end of the tunnel to know.

Can two women really become friends?

Can two women really become friends?

Two girls may bond extremely well with each other but in the dark recesses of their heart and mind, they always fear that the other girl may be backstabbing her, planning to deceit her or even worse, trying to be her!

Would welcome response from people.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blogs I read regularly

Here is a list of all blogs I read regularly -

1. The Life and times of an Indian Home Maker
2. HRBartender
3. EvilHRLady
4. Let me be me
5. Lisa Rosendahl

The good thing about these bloggers apart from their great content is that they write very regularly. Almost 12-15 blogs per month. So, go ahead start following them.

Movies that made me cry

I love movies. Bollywood as well as Hollywood. My inclination is more towards Art House movies though. Here goes the list of movies which made my heart ache.

1. The Pursuit of Happyness - The last scene where Will Smith celebrates his success is gut wrenching. He could have an Oscar for that one scene only.

2. Revolutionary Road - I haven't scene more real fights and arguments between a husband and a wife in a movie than this one.

3. Taare Zameen Par - It made me cry. Literally.

4. 3 idiots - The track "Give me some sunshine" summarizes this wonderful movie.

5. Ardh Satya - The scene where Om Puri reads the poem "Ardh Satya" is a gem. It elevates Om Puri as well as the movie to an altogether higher plane.

Would love to listen about your favorite films.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Company bus drivers in India

A weird underground economy is developing in India. Buses of IT companies returning at nights often take people from the bus stops. People who are tired after a day's work also jump at such buses as these buses are clean and not overcrowded. The drivers are also generous and do not usually charge the full fare (eg May just take 5 bucks instead of the regular 7 by State buses). And no one is complaining! The bus drivers get to make a neat sum which I am sure must be rivaling their company salaries. Its amazing to see how the economy drives in strange ways. One more strange chapter on the dark roads of India.

Did not write in a long time

Did not write in a long time. I have been on a blog reading spree. Literally. Have been updating my google reader almost daily with new blogs. Added a dozen HR blogs. Have been just trying to soak in as much as possible.

Will try to be more regular.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Classical music continues

And to add to the previous post, classical music is something which needs attentive listening. Its not something which you can just turn on and start gyrating. What is unfortunate is that it has lost its relevance in India. Most of India's biggest stalwarts perform in the West where they get their due appreciation. Talking about the Indian government supporting them or creating funds for them would result in more sighs....
People, listen to this music. You will get to know what I am talking about.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Classical music

Finally, I got some time to write about. I would rather love to write about my new found indulgences. Off late, I have started listening to classical music. And I must tell you, its awesome. The kind of satisfaction you get while listening to this kind of music is indescribable. And the peace of mind! Initially, I have started with instrumentals only as I feel I am not in a position to appreciate real voices of stalwarts like Pt. Jasraj. After listening to this kind of music, I feel the current film music is crap, something not even worth talking about, barring a few exceptions.
I have decided that I will be building my collection slowly and steadily over the years. and try to appreciate this music. 
What I am worried about is that this kind of music is fast losing its space, particularly in India, which should be a matter of concern. Its here that this music originated. If things don't improve, then we may soon be listening to something which would have become extinct.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Life on the edge

Life can be really fast, particularly if you stay in a city. And it can be dangerous. The recent news of a drunk NRI woman speeding into a police jeep killing a policeman and a biker testifies the fact that Indian roads are not safe. But I feel that there is another dimension to this. The first question which comes to my mind is that why people do such things in the first place? What makes them drive on the roads in an inebriated condition? Or for that matter, do anything which is illegal and could have dangerous repercussions not only on their lives but also on others. I surmise the real reason lies in the deep rooted human trait of craving for importance. The quench to be known and noticed by people. Appreciated by people. And in a country like India where rules are meant to be broken, this trait gets all the oxygen that is needed to break them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Malls and poor people

Shopping malls - The new shining toys which the urban cities of India love to flaunt. "O nahi ji! bachho ko na mahine may 1 bar wo vasant vihar wale mall se shopping na karao na to ruth jate hain". The proof of India's growth. Whenever I go to a shopping mall, I invariably come across a certain kind of people. Its usually a family consisting of a couple and 1-2 children. They come from the lower strata of our society - plumbers, rickshaw pullers, security guards, etc. They come to the malls with wide eyes, looking everywhere as if they have reached heaven. The children tug into their mother's saree and ask for something. The mother quickly hushes them up. The cool breeze of the AC blankets their pale faces. They watch other "capable" people shopping in the malls, trying new things and buying things on their will. The look on their faces reflect the tears of their heart. With a big sigh, they leave the mall empty handed.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Alone on the road

Ever since I came to this new city, I have been fulfiling  my dreams. Low waist jeans, canvas shoes, expensive shirts, watches, laptop, expensive coffee, etc. have been some of my indulgences. Armed with these fulfilments, when I walk alone on a road, I feel a strange sense of hollowness in me. These were the very things I was crazy about a year ago. I just could not stop drooling about them. The day I became capable of buying these things, I went crazy. But once I got all these, I felt no happiness. I feel good when I am using these things and my friends appreciate them or when people on road observe my style. I can easily make out. But I feel something amiss. And its not that I am yearning for something more. I don't want a better pair of jeans or a more expensive watch. I actually don't want anything of it. As I write this, the sun is about to rise and another day will begin in this part of the world. Another thousand feelings and some more dreams, only to be followed by a sense of hollowness. The kind of hollowness which has the capability of eating you from the inside.