December 28, 2012

The Coward's Little Jig

I cannot stand anyone less than a champion.

It’s a bold statement to make but true and I drew these words out of my hilt while meaning every bit of it. For me, champions are the ones that rise out of dust and shine like gold. Champions wear their hearts on their sleeves to terrify cowards who fear to show their own. Champions cry their fears out and waste no time in lament henceforth. They drive their thresholds to peak each day of their breathing existence. They have nothing to hide and are shrouded in their nakedness. They have scars. They have wounds. They have fought.

Cowards, on the other hand, will hide. Hide behind excuses. Hide their tools of torture. Hide the tools that shaped them...into cowards. They have secrets. They have reasons for not being there. A reason for each day, each moment and each millisecond of their pathetic existence. They have reasons why one should have a reason for the sky being blue. They need proof and evidence because they are too scared to believe.  This is my ode to all those cowards who take pride in the stop signs that halted them in their tracks.

You can’t change them because they lack belief. Do not try to make their lives better because that will never happen. They have given up and do not possess the will to rise. Masochists in true nature who enjoy their pain and writhe in misery. They fear to allow anyone else the luxury of hurting them and self-inflict themselves to torture of a different kind. The world is onto them and will never allow them to emerge as winners. They believe winning is for losers – there’s no need to make an effort. Tears and begging don’t work on this kind because their hearts are safely locked somewhere deep inside, catching dust and turning into stone. Some might have even thrown their keys away. Black holes of every human effort that will just take and give nothing in return.  All of this and more makes them a true spectacle worth ignoring. Ignore the minute you sense a coward near you. Run for your life the minute you sense their presence and never look back. Take my two pennies worth of advice and avoid a coward the minute you sniff its stale presence. It’ll save you a lifetime worth of happiness and effort that's better put to something far more productive.

Because, seriously I cannot stand anyone less than a champion!

December 23, 2012

'Coz I'm Angry

Every hand that pushes you
Can be chopped off. You can.
Every tongue that swears at you
Can be sliced off. ‘Coz you can.
Every eye that strips you
Can be scooped out. You know you can.
 Every mind that hurts you
Can be turned unsound. You very well can.

It’s not a pity when you don’t.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of if you don’t.
Your silence is not weakness.
You don’t ‘coz you’re a woman.
You don’t ‘Coz you’re a lot better!

November 24, 2012

The Curse

A beast was born on a cold winter dawn of the 10th of December. The newborn lay combating the ruthless unforgiving wild amidst thorns and bramble in the outskirts of a small village. It bellowed its first sound into the world which was a deafening howl that echoed and thistled through the wild growth - letting its presence known. Mortal existence around the affair heard and felt it. Goose bumps could be sensed erupting on calm skins. Most of them blamed it on the chill in the air and closed their windows. An intolerable pity dawned when no human could recognize the wonder that had just landed amongst them. Because a wonder was beyond their conceivable beliefs and nurturing, the phenomenon was brushed aside as a mischief of the silly North wind.

The beast entered the village in shadows and sensed fear in every corner. The animal inside the creature was fed off the abhorrence of the civil. His vicious talons and hypnotic gaze was discomfort at an arm’s length. A misfit. An outcast. With no past and a non existent future, he toiled. It was the beast’s curse to not know what he could achieve. The curse that brought him here. He could have been an idea at the most. Or a figment of the village idiot’s imagination that no one wanted to fructify. The truth was that the beast was sinister. He was like a bad painting hidden behind drapes. A painting that revealed too much and absorbed the onlooker’s engrossment. It made the audience too uncomfortable within their own skins. It was cursed!

The fact that he was born to reign was forever kept from him. He had the invincible power to do whatever pleased him. The village knew this even before he was born. There were stories told at bedtime of a beast so vicious that he could rid a soul of its will to exist. Children were threatened to never share these stories outside their rooms. Every kid grew up with the story buried in his heart and never uttered a word about it. The beast grew up smelling this fear and never questioning it. He was doomed to live in the darkness and never realize his capacity to conquer. He toiled away his youth earning for his daily meat. Earning for himself. He lived for himself and wanted no more. 

As time passed by, the talons lost their shine. The hypnotic gaze faded and gradually in the village’s fear the beast was tamed.

October 30, 2012

My Pet Gnu Is Upset Again

I. Am. Not. A. Birthday. Person.

Nor am I into anniversaries or Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or Forgotten Distant Uncle’s Pet Dog Day. I do not call myself a cynic, though many of my near and dear ones (N.AN.D.Os) would disagree. I might come across as a recluse, which I clearly am not. You can check with the same NANDOs. And no, this post is not about what I like or dislike or about who I am. Even my pet gnu ‘Monkey’ wouldn’t be able to define who I am. Trust me, Monkey knows me very well! Better than my NANDOs. But then, Monkey himself is going through an identity crisis of sorts. Ah! Leave Monkey out of all of this. He hates being dragged into debates.

Now, my saying ‘I am not a Birthday person’, does not imply that I hate the fact that I was born. It simply means that it’s no big deal. There’s a big difference. If every thing living on the face of this earth started throwing a huge birthday bash every time they reach that time of the year, imagine the amount of confetti and birthday waste we will have to take care of. I’m not kidding. You don’t want confetti falling on your head the day you get fired just because it’s that familiar pigeon’s birthday that keeps dropping little presents on your car everyday. I always felt that humans ended up celebrating the wrong occasions in life. Jesus Christ has a right to celebrate his birthday. He is the son of God! I don’t think I’m ready to take up as much suffering for humanity as he did. So, I choose to be left out of it. Surprise me with gifts on a random day if you wish. Now THAT’s a surprise!

Monkey ends up feeling a little left out on my birthdays. Not like he is the centre of attention all the time. As a matter of fact, nobody notices him and he’s fine with it. He doesn’t age in the same fashion as I do and it disturbs him that people celebrate when I get old and he doesn’t. He loves cake and hates it when nobody offers him a piece and instead waste it on my birthday facial. The aggression of my NANDOs on my birthdays confuses him to no end. He has started reading up a lot on affection and aggression. Might explain the identity crisis. Monkey doesn’t even remember my birth date. His birth date is a mystery too. He keeps changing it every time you ask him. I don’t think he remembers it himself. Gnus don’t have a fabulous memory. I think it works to his benefit. So, I asked him when his birthday was (again) for the umpteenth time today. That led to a discussion on birthdays followed by a heated debate on the whole idea of celebrating birthdays. He hates debates and arguments. Starts huffing like a wildebeest when riled up. So this post is dedicated to you Monkey! Hope you’ve cooled down now. Chronic boredom drove me into pawing at you. Guess, defending my NANDOs is just not worth your short temper.

September 11, 2012

The Vase Full of Sand

Once I owned a Vase. Owned it with my heart and soul.

Everyone had a vase of their own. One girl I knew bought it at the flea market because she could afford one. Another one bought it because she felt bad for the lonely piece which no one would buy. I also knew a guy who bought one every month. He was a connoisseur - of vases. They all had one. The one they could call their own. Even had their names engraved on them. I heard that the couple next door recently lost theirs. They were speculating the idea of buying a new one. The missus of the house hates a house without flowers. They all had a reason. They all knew what they wanted.
I was never into vases. It was not something I would buy; for myself or for anyone else. Not even for the couple next door. I was not looking for vases until I met her - The Gypsy from Andalusia. She was on her way. I never bothered to ask where to. I doubt if she knew the answer herself. She stayed over. A company like hers would never disturb me. The vase was a gift from her. It wasn’t even a vase. More like a jar.

Each morning she woke up earlier than the sun and waited for the first rays to hit the ground. With the first sparkling rays she packed a pinch of sand and sprinkled it into the jar and quietly brought it back inside. A pinch a day. Everyday. Till the jar was full and it was time for her to leave. The last day of her stay was a celebration. Just the both of us with good food, a beautiful rendition on her guitar and light chit chat. She left the next morning after thrusting the vase in my hands without saying a word. That’s the last time I saw her or heard of her.

The jar was painted pretty red and filled with sand from my backyard. I kept it like a handsome knight in front of my army of books. The very first to wake me up and the very last to put me to sleep. They said it’s just a jar full of sand. What good could it bring? Some suggested I grow a plant and some wanted to put flowers. How silly would a knight look with a plant or flowers in its head? I chose to let it be. A jar full of sand is what I wanted. A jar full of ‘Sunshine sand’. I grew a fondness for the jar while it stood on my bookshelf motionless staring back at me. The more people despised the handsome knight the more I developed a pride in ownership of this vessel. It was mine. It had potential to be so many things. But I loved it to be the Sunshine jar. Many told me, “It’s not even a Vase!” I agreed. I never wanted a vase. The Sunshine jar was doing its work. I smiled. I worked. I was happy.

Till one day. That one wretched day when I disturbed my army of books. The jar fell right off the shelf and got smashed into a million gut wrenching pieces. Pieces I wish I could put back together. But the sunshine got scattered all over the place. I scrambled on the floor to save my sunshine. I gathered all the sand I could and put it in a plastic bag. The sight was painful. Warm tears were soaking the sand now. I could feel the sunshine escaping. The shards of the broken jar had to be saved. Some cut my fingers. But who cares about finger cuts when your sunshine’s escaping. I put the remains of the jar in an old shoe box. Spent the entire night staring at the dead knight and crying. There was no one to put me to sleep. Maybe this was a nightmare or maybe I just woke up from a dream. I lost the sunshine that could never be owned.

I was never into vases. I never wanted a vase. I would never buy a vase. Not even for the couple next door. 

Get published with Harper Collins -

August 19, 2012

When Teletubbies Make More Sense

What if your entire life could be lived in one day and you have just one more day to learn from yesterday? The second day is frozen in time and doesn’t seem like it will pass anytime soon. You’re frozen with a day where yesterday is just an overwhelming thought.

Allow me to simplify this thought. An entire day spent panicking over the idea of time running out can only be productively ended with a cathartic attempt at emoting this fear. I’m not critically ill or facing a death sentence. I have a fairly good immune system and if all goes well I have a good chance of making it to a healthy 60-65 (Yes, I have calculated my life expectancy). But, I woke up today with a sinking feeling. The feeling that my entire life so far, was lived in a day. I asked a few friends if they've ever felt the same, just to confirm if I was still sane. Apparently not. No, they have never felt this way and no, I’m not sane.

Anyway, I progress through the day bumping into incidents that replicate incidents from my past. Like a vivid recollection. A revision. It all happened yesterday. No time has passed since all my firsts. And I stand today waiting for the day to get over which seems like the longest day I have ever lived. This is almost sounding like paranoia. Maybe it is. I tried to sleep through it. Woke up to find the sinking feeling burning through me faster than before. What have I learnt from my one day of being alive? Did I try enough? Did I make the most out of it? How much did I lose every time I said no or gave up? No answers and the paranoia just got worse. Also, made the mistake of sitting and comparing achievements and my present stand in life. Things got worse.

Sigh! It still feels like yesterday was my entire life. Today is sealed in a vacuum container waiting to be let out. And as soon as it’s opened, game over! Scared is not even a fitting word. Till it wears off, staying still like a humming bird flies. 

August 8, 2012

Bare Naked

If I were stripped naked,
I’m no different.
I hold the same contempt.
The disappointments.
You saw me stronger than the wind.
And you. Yes you!
You saw me wither away.
You are everyone.

You are scared
that I must be beautiful inside.
The ugliness so well hidden.
Hidden beneath the velvet drapes
lies the ugliness of the world.

The clothes put me to shame
when you letch at me.
My body singes
When you try to touch.
Who do you think I am?
I’m just like you.

May 20, 2012

Ai Du

"Trust and faith in your fellow man has no equal.
If you have experienced trust you will know its strength.

You must know yourself before you know others."

I lived through a mellow high, as if sipping wine. The piece starts pouring into a rhythm while it tries to catch up with the beats that tenderly start picking on the strings. I’m sitting with my eyes closed and almost imagining the guitar doing a waltz with the beats. Slowly forgetting what I was thinking and the guitar almost preparing me for some light blues. Just when the beats got me used to them, Toure pitches in with words far from understanding. The haunting appeal of his voice drags across the piece playing with my imagination.

The first sip rich in Malian flavours being nudged by the subtle blues and the beats keeping me high. The coarseness of the vocals adding the depth that I just don’t want to let go. Toure pulls me down and leaves me floating back in space. Just when I realize he’s playing with my longing for the flavour to return, he comes back to flirt with the melodies of Mali again. The wanton camaraderie of Malian rythm and the blues bringing a sudden melancholy while I feel an unbearable lightness. A mere seven minutes that could explain humanity beyond language. Just emotions. Pure music. 

May 13, 2012

O My God!

Remember that couple that was trying to conceive a baby to kill the demon next door? The demon that was creating havoc in the city for the past decade? Yeah! They finally decided to have a baby to kill him. Similar to how we get lazy when there’s a fire in the house and wait for the rains to put it out. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Was breezing through some of the Hindu mythologies today. I’m sure they have plenty of metaphors that got lost in translation over years while a bunch of dunces translated them from one language to another. The Chinese whisper ended up creating far more ridiculous stories that make Immaculate Conception look real! And now all that’s left of them is larger than life characters whom we can blame for every puddle of shit that we end up stepping in.

This post is not an intention of hurting any religious sentiment but just an attempt of reasoning and questioning. Had to insert that line before I get dragged to the court of justice. India is a free country after all. Any citizen is free to drag me to the court for what I write in my personal space here. And they can practice this right very shamelessly. So, not taking any chances.

Now, coming back to my question of the day. Why did gods have to reproduce individuals for objectives like killing demons and monsters? Why couldn’t they do it on their own? Taking the example of Kumar Sambhava, poor Kartikeya had to be born and trained by Shiva to kill TarakaSura. Logically, it looks extremely stupid that the gods deemed it fine for people on earth and heaven to keep suffering till they felt a need to kill this Asura and finally conspired with everything possible to get Kartikeya to finally take birth and kill him. I can’t even come up with words to describe how ludicrous this entire idea seems to me. It all started with Shiva meditating on the top of Kailasa minding his own business. Kamadeva, the Indian cupid went and messed with his affairs with his nosy arrows and brought upon himself the wrath of an individual who’s famous for his anger. Should I call that utter stupidity or reckless behaviour? Nevertheless, at the cost of Kamadeva’s life, Parvathi and Shiva unite to give birth to the God of War, Kartikeya.

My question: Why couldn’t Shiva ‘The Destroyer’ kill this Taraka guy himself? Why did the gods have to wait till the complex birth (that’s another story!) of this war kid, wait for him to grow up (which did not happen overnight), get trained by his dad and then finally proceed towards his objective in life? Apparently, some very smart God had endowed this Taraka guy with a boon that only Shiva’s son could kill him. Ha! Technicalities. Hindu mythology always comes up with excuses to have kids. No wonder our population is bursting at the seams. Not just that. The kids are born knowing why they are born. If only I was lucky enough to know the reason of my existence. Gods conceive kids to kill demons. Regular people have kids to kill time and I’m fulfilling every bit of that objective. Boons and curses were like tragic decisions made by the top management. Who in their right mind will endow a ‘Demon’ with powers that no god can handle? Very similar to reckless inventions of the present day.

After reading so much about Shiva and Parvathi alone, my knowledge about conceiving a child has theoretically been ameliorated. According to what I’ve read, kids can be born out of body dirt, hair strands and all other parts that have no contribution towards the actual act. I’m not letting another guy near me till I am ready to mother a child. Don’t want kids taking birth every time I sneeze, get angry or sweat. And the Indian government is providing me no privileges apart from the rising inflation. Nevertheless, these stories do have enough chutzpah to challenge your logic. I would suggest keeping that aside and trying to pacify your left-side brain by constantly assuring it that it’s just a story and nothing more. There can be as many temples and worshippers of these deities all across the world that manage to give a substantial number of people enough hope to fight with their demons. In the end, I guess that’s all that counts. Probably, these ridiculous stories have managed to keep the child inside satisfied with a hope that many of us have lost. The longing for a better day that many have started losing and the numbers are just getting larger. Probably, another demon in the making.

May 9, 2012

Low-point Sally

She’s not a guardian angel
to shield what she takes over.
Deem she’s an apparition
A task and Halo ‘pon her.
From the corner of yer eye
You’ll find her crouching silver
Nights you’re low n’ hurting
She feeds on it for supper.

Sally drinks your tears
meets over nightmares
watches the tossing n’ turning
In fear she lurks and ensnares.
Breezes through bouts of insomnia
keeps low but you can hear
when she gushes past on nimble toes
a cold breath when she’s near.

Sh’was there when you slept calm
When you woke up with no qualm
Follows you under the sun
Sniggered when you sang the psalm
Waits for you to fall
In good times when you stand tall
Looks out for gashes
You’ll sense pain when she’s around.

She’s the low-point Sally
Hate her and she breeds on it
Stays around till it hits again
Sears your soul bit by bit.
You’ll never escape her
She dwells in your shadow
When the sun sets again
In darkness she will wallow.
Time strengthens her grip
feels like a meth trip
every gasp, every scream
She's hungry. She will swallow.

April 2, 2012

Life Lessons Leading To Nowhere

#458:  Do not crap where you eat!
Yes. If you love the hygiene of your deeds as much as the deed itself, draw borders. Don’t let it infect your sanity with conundrums polluting your way of life. And the consequence? You end up looking for a new place to squat every time. Geez! Save yourself the effort. Isolate your dining areas. (If you know what I mean!)

#45: The temperatures remain the same. Thresholds increase.
Remember how people give examples of babies learning from touching hot objects where they would never touch it again after the first burn. I say that’s just a whole load of crap. The first burn just pushed your threshold levels to a whole new level and you didn't even realize it. Burns are good and you will get burnt every time. But that's no reason to stop playing with fire. Wear your scars like accolades. They push you to a whole new level. 

#136: Travel Light
Easier said than done. There’s always something on the way that just can’t be left behind. But trust me on this one. There is nothing that can’t be left behind. Give away stuff. Donate some. Dispose off the baggage. Make room for the next lot. There are always a lot more places to cover! The bag will never get empty. Just lighter.

#3: Lessons always have newer editions
Change the covers. Improve the style. The core idea may stay the same. They sometimes may not. But that’s the best part about learning new lessons. You’ve always got to unlearn. Revamp models. Jazz it up with the latest!

#860: There’s always a better dress
Go on an impulsive buying spree. You like it. Buy it! Wear it with all you can afford and see how it goes. There will be prettier ones down the line. But that’s for another day. Remember, lessons need to be revamped.

March 21, 2012

Let's be Grown Ups

Being adult about things in life can open a chapter of perceptions. People change. Situations change. There are highs and then the terrible lows. The lows that kick you in the shins and point and laugh at you. For some, being adult could mean sucking it up, making a few reforms and marching ahead with a remodeled brain. For some others, it could mean submitting and accepting a side that they were unaware of. For the other brilliant ones, it’s just a billing period for the fabulous high right before they touched the point of no return (or so they would think).

Being mature probably means not placing trust without a bargain. It probably means how to weigh your words before speaking your heart out. It could also mean having a new secret compartment in your cupboard for your favourite stuffed toy that’s too old to sleep next to you in your bed now. So, how does one really “grow up”? Who does that to you? What makes it the most crucial part of your survival? When did it hit you like a million rocks tightly packed in a jute bag across your pretty face? Did you bleed (no pun intended!)? Did it hurt like a thousand sharp swords skewering your ribcage slicing the guts and choking the life out of you? And was it all worth it? The pain is almost physical and out comes a neatly laundered ‘You’. Ironed and dry till you face some more dirt. After that begins another laundering process and then another and so on… till you wear out.

It’s a brilliant place to be. Being Adult. You finally know it all. You are so sure. Nothing can dupe you into believing anymore. You’re not a cynic. You just don’t give in that easily. You wear your wounds on your sleeve and flaunt your worry lines. The frequent cackling laughter has been replaced by an occasional smirk and wandering eyes. Your towering confidence is reeking of insecurities. And the face now wears a brilliant porcelain mask painted with wisdom. You always have a lot to offer to the 'still innocent' with a disclaimer, “You’ll know with time”. There is a published book of theories you hold in your hands with definitions written across a hundred pages. The pride you take in the pain. The pleasure you take in the tears you shed. You love it! The sweet masochistic pleasure. If that’s not called being grown up, then I don’t know what is.