Thursday, August 30, 2007

On Numb3rs

I am dumb because I don't have the numbers to support a contradicting claim. I don't have any brains because of the very same reason. I have come to believe this fact as a part of my life. There's no escaping it. The past was an illusion, meant to heighten the effect of this expose. It was The Prestige, the final and hardest act in any magical show. The only difference being that over here, the show was staged backwards in time, with the prestige preceding the The Turn and The Pledge.

I continue to live and stumble on. It's not the end of the world. It's the end of just some part of me which believed otherwise.

P.S.: Just before writing this, I saw the lamp on my table going phut. Now there will be no yellow cadence tonight. Perhaps, a sign of things that I was going to write about. HE seems to know it all.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On Lethargy

Some-friggin-body said today I am too lazy to even talk. Another enlightened soul tried to warn me about the repercussions of not seeing too much of the world too often. "Bahar ki duniya bhi dekho kaka. Kamre mein hi rehte ho," the wise Oracle spoke. I find it highly disconcerting. I mean I can't go on blabbing like some people (do you get the hint?). Neither do I find bliss in scoring goals. I find pleasure in doing other things. Be it reading, writing, collecting trivia, or just enjoying some good 'ol music. Is it my problem they don't require neither company nor exertion? That being said, I do indulge in the ancient art of bakar, often with remarkable finesse. I do flay my hands around while supposedly playing badminton. And I do enjoy traveling as much as any other person. It all depends on what catches my fancy. Probabilistic predictions seem to hinge on the former options. I have absolutely no say in those matters.

I need my privacy and I am jealous enough to protect it with nasty glares and even nastier retorts. That somehow gives people the wrong ideas. But I seriously don't care. I have been following a dictum for quite some time now. It goes something like this:"You're with yourself all the time; better enjoy the company Fortunately, it has been serving me well.

Some remarkably gol body said about me, "He's is unsocial, shy and quiet... prefers solitude or at most the company of one person to a crowd. He has aptitude for creative work..." I have come to find a lot of truth in that statement. Maybe I am meant to be that way. *sigh*

So people, please be considerate while reaching conclusions the next time. It's not all about saving energy. It's often about preferences. Let's be a little more - uhmm - lethargic. What say, eh?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On Eluding Phantoms

And I find it kind of funny
Find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I am dying are the best I’ve ever had.
And I find it hard to tell you
Find it hard to tell
When people run in circles it’s a very very Mad World.
- Mad World, Gary Jules

I haven’t been this sappy or philosophical in a long time. And teary eyed moments (am only exaggerating) call for unforeseen measures. They call for yellow light, some mellow music, and lots of midnight musing.

Tonight, I happened to chat with a friend who “seemed” to be unhappy and troubled. That very same observation made me think. Is anyone of us happy? I am not talking about fleeting bits of unadulterated bliss. I am talking about lasting happiness, the eluding phantom. Often, with considerable amounts of guile and tact, we fool ourselves into believing that we are happy. We work hard to keep that visage alive, while reality keeps gnawing at it with remarkable tenacity.

I am sure I don’t have any panacea for this malady. But let us put it under the knife. Almost always, I find myself setting goals for myself. This unending process has its own pros and cons. Achieving these targets makes me “happy”, but only momentarily. Soon, I am too lost in the quest to conquer my next Everest. So much so, I forget to enjoy the stay at the top. I forget to feel the wind brush through my hair. The daily hustle-bustle of life then clouds any surviving remnants of that nascent mirth.

That brings us to the bone of contention. What should we do in order to trap that master escapist? Yet again, I have only my personal experience to share. I believe the best way to be “not unhappy” is to keep yourself busy. One won’t be able to able to appreciate the dark clouds in one’s life if one doesn’t have the time and patience to feel the rain drops falling on our heads. Just go about setting goals for you, one by one, and slogging to achieve them. You’ll get your share of “happyness”.

Then there is the road less traveled. The road I am sometimes pugnacious enough to follow. And that is to accept everything bad in one’s life as a long lost friend, with disarming honesty. To become one with it. And it is then that the boundaries, so well defined by our preconditioning, begin to get blurred. The two mates find solace in each other’s company. All this is not a cake-walk. But it is not herculean either. I have advertised my concoction time and again – the written word, mixed with copious amounts of music, and just a hint of yellow color. This preparation never fails to do the trick for me.

But I can’t live in a parallel universe forever. I HAVE TO be dragged back to reality, often ruthlessly, to revel in the juxtaposition of the two worlds. So choose a path. Or carve your own. Your “happyness” is, after all, your own. You need to be selfish enough to stake claim to it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

iPod Nano

Here's the story about how my iPod came to be mine:

Circa July 07, I asked SB to get an iPod for me. Mr. SB "BusyBee" promised to get me an iPod at a discounted rate of 10k. I was positively bubbly. I was getting a flat rebate of 3k on the market price. Nothing could be better. SB assured me I would be grooving to a Nano by the time I left Lucknow. The day came and went. Instead of the grooving bit, I was literally fuming.

SB again became the knight in shining armour. He made me believe I would get it in a week's time through Tewari Bhai. A week of anticipation passed as well. I was as near to getting the Nano as Chiku was to proposing to The *beep-beep* Team. Hmpf. Some cells were fished out and some calls were made. However, after a lot of phone calls and frustration, I finally realized that nothing was going to happen. At least not until I banked on SB to make things happen. So I decided to get one myself (courtesy a venture capitalist who goes by the "nick"name of John G. Buss). I hitch-hiked to Ahmedabad today and got me one for 11k (not a bad bargain eh?)

I had promised Shaktimaan I would update my blog tonight. But I was too wrapped up in my latest muse. In fact, I was too engrossed to do anything but upload as much music onto it as possible (I am enjoying the fruits of my labor right now).

So, my apologies Shaktimaan. Next time, I will try to do a better job out of posting trash here. My sincerest apologies to SB as well (for casting him as a villain in this teeny anecdote). He is not that bad either. Or is he?

I will let the matter rest for the time being. A lovely number from Sadma is playing. Shantaram is waiting too. It's time to say good night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


For the past few days, I have been the unsuspecting victim of a tumultuous converge of varied thoughts and feelings. I had been searching for a word that aptly described this sangam of sorts. But I had no special longing to look up some abstruse term in Barron’s High Frequency List. So my g33ky sub-conscious came up with this loser title.

Amalgam, as some of you might have read when you guys were chhote-chhote bachhe, is used to refer to any alloy containing mercury. Likewise, I consider myself the mercury which is undergoing metamorphosis due to other elements being mixed with it. Also, amalgam exemplifies the factotum nature of this post. It talks about a lot of things, and at the same time it talks about nothing at all. So read further at your own risk.

I am just back from Mysore, a lovely city. Mysore wowed me with its clean roads, irritating obsession with uncle-type heroes, I-want-to-be-here resorts, biking sprees, and overtly eager buggers (read kids). Make sure to visit it if you get the time. I’ll tag along and serve as your free guide (accommodation and food not included of course).

It was last year, somewhere around this time, that I sensed something different in me. I could not put a finger as to what had changed. But then, just like well-crafted sarcasm, it could be felt. I am sure that sooner or later, all that I have learnt in the past two years will make its presence felt. Maybe it’s evident in the discussions I have with my mom. Or maybe it’s making itself felt in the kind of future that I want to have. Who knows?

We dream big. We dream a lot. We dream to make this world a better place. We dream about eradicating poverty and hunger. But somewhere down the line, all these ideals are lost in the struggle to eke out a living. We go with the flow, like sheep. I am not saying I won’t be one of you, one of the umpteen sheep. But I will probably strive not to. If I succeed you’ll know my story, plausibly sooner than me. Make sure you are not caught napping then. Sometimes, just sometimes, we need to ignore that potent concoction of forty winks.

P.S.: This was written quite some time ago, 22nd July 2007 to be exact.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This Time

Disclaimer: I don't claim ownership of this piece. The author had written this for me and I hope he/she won't mind my putting it up here for public perusal. It deserves to be read by as many as possible. I seek his/her clemency for being a blatant and shameless plagiarizer.

No one's around as you read this. Just you and that almost forgettable little voice which goes by the name of a conscience, telling you not to smoke when all your friends are puffing away, telling you to study just when you are beginning to have a good time, nagging you to be angelic just when the devil comes a-knocking. Now that you've looked all around and found no one peeking over your shoulder, let’s get down to answering some pesky little questions. Yes the ones that get brushed aside in the normal humdrum of daily existence, the ones that ought to be answered but never are. Allow yourselves the torture of facing them this one time.

When was the last time you treated yourself to the luxury of a lazy evening lolling on some grass? Doing absolutely, soaking in a fast dimming curtain of sunlight, feeling each blade of green as it pokes you, hearing a squirrel behind you, stretching yourself in utter abandonment.

When was the last time you reveled in a friendly leg-pulling session? Ripping a friend apart? Not online and certainly not over the phone. A simple person to person laughter soaked, buddy bashing spree.

When was the last time a line in a book or a song moved you in an inexplicable way? Not earth-shatteringly, ground-breakingly different. Not breath-takingy beautiful. Just moving in a quiet, almost shy manner.

When was the last time you felt the tongue of a dog lick across your face in that adorably delightful way that is so cleverly mastered by all creatures canine? Just enjoyed the moment when a dog bounds up to you, laughter rollicking in his eyes, ball in mouth, asking you if you could throw it just one more time.

It is extraordinary how we manage to go past our lives living from one mundane task to another. Hopping from one excruciating deadline to the next, zombified by the necessity to exist, doing things that are supposed to be done, following the path others lay down as the correct one. This is certainly not a pep talk telling you to follow your dreams. It’s about telling you to at least find the time to dream in the first place. Consider yourself worthy enough to dream for. The time used to think for yourself, your needs and your own wishes is always time well spent. Living each day as a drag, complaining about painful workloads, studies, jobs, and families isn't what we were meant to do. We were (hopefully) meant to be living our lives more passionately, packed with more laughter and some amount of hurt and tears each day and certainly more satisfaction.

So the next time you see a face smile at you, hear a quirky little tune, take the time to enjoy it with a happier heart. Giggle at trivial things (frankly no one is bothered by your breaking out into grins so forget about looking silly), enjoy a bath, hum a song, eat with passion and be a livelier person. This may sound like a Readers' Digest "How to Stay Happier" article and maybe it is. But somewhere the beat of that teeny voice of your conscience is nodding its head in agreement in its sagely condescending manner.

Take the time.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Shakespeare Baba

Having seen Vishal Bhardwaj's adaptation of Macbeth and Othello, namely Maqbooland Omkara, I have a strange overwhelming desire to read these two classics by Shakespeare. But reading them in his original style will be quite a daunting task. So if anyone of you has the paraphrased version of these two works, then please drop a line here. I will make sure to get back to you.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

YO! India

"The simple and astonishing truth about India and Indian people is that when you go there, and deal with them, your heart always guides you more wisely than your head. There's nowhere else in the world where that's quite so true."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Dilli Meri Jaan

Each time I visit Delhi, it never fails to wow me. It is always a different facet which rears its head and somehow manages to amuse me in an inexplicable fashion. And almost always, I can give no reason why I have come to like this city. Is it the ever crowded markets and malls? Or is it the alarmingly quiet VIP roads? Perhaps it is none of this or maybe it is everything.

This time I chanced to stopover in Delhi for 6 hours. My flight for Ahmedabad was due to take off at 6 in the evening. I touched down (flying from Lucknow) at 12 in the afternoon. Shaktimaan played host to the holy trinity of Chiku, Chepu, and Red. Great host, I must confess. No matter how much she might gloat over this.

Anyways, we had lunch at Shaktimaan's place, got to visit Humayun's tomb (the highlight of the small stay) and also had the good fortune to listen to some hard core Delhites bitching about their ex-boyfriends. All in all, a very satisfying 6 hour stay for me. We left Delhi somewhere around 7. I could not help but wonder when I would get to visit this irritatingly incomprehensible city again.